You have options

You have options

As a Life coach, and one that is always working on my awareness and the words I use to communicate, I have found that the phrase “I don’t know” can often add confusion to the personal growth process.

“I don’t know” can be a statement or a question. The important thing to recognize about this phrase is that you are feeding your primitive brain exactly what it wants when you use it. It is almost like confirming out loud that because we don’t know something we will just stay put, get someone else to do it, or ignore it and hope it goes away.

When you ask a question, your brain wants to find the answer. However, if you begin a statement with self-doubt or lack of clarity your brain will go ahead and spin with you, as it is assuming that is what you must want because you just told yourself “I don’t know.”

Much like a personal computer using Google as a search engine, your brain can’t seek to find the information you are lacking when you use the phrase, “I don’t know.” On a whim, I entered this same phrase into a Google search and received the following information:

 I don’t know. informal. Used to express that you do not understand or are angry at something that someone has done.

Following this definition was an article called, 25 Things You Can Say Instead Of I Don’t Know. Even Google wants us to stop saying, “I don’t know” and spun to offer different suggestions on what to say.

pink and blue road signs near trees
lots of options

Here is a little self-coaching tip when exploring other options to the I don’t know phrase. Think of a circumstance in which you had the thought, “I don’t know,” one you are experiencing now or have in the past. Now decide how you are/were feeling: are you experiencing confusion, self-doubt, or are you overwhelmed? Now think of the same circumstance and use one of the phases below or think of words that fit for you then see what feeling comes up from the new thought. Is it curiosity, determination, maybe even clarity?

Here are a few new statements that you can say when you find yourself deciding to go down the I don’t know path. 

You can choose

“What do I know about this.”

“What’s another way to look at this.”

I am learning…….

I’m willing to experience…….

I’m challenging myself to……..

Growth is a step by step process. The saying “Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change we will stay the same” comes to mind when I think of the growth process. One thing I am learning is growth can be painful, but it can also be exhilarating. Only you can choose which it will be for yourself. 

Hitting snooze might not be best

Hitting snooze might not be best

Excuses are like snooze buttons, and if there was ever a time to stop “hitting snooze,” I would say now would be a perfect time.

When one uses an excuse for why they did what they did they are attempting to lessen the blame on themselves. When you think of hitting that snooze button realize you are just using it as an excuse to not begin your day, yet. Obviously, the day is coming whether you want it or not. Here are two things you could ask yourself: Are a few more minutes going to make a difference for the rest of my day? Why am I hitting the snooze button?

Just allowing that awareness at that moment could be a small pivot to creating a different acceleration in your life. Do small things, little shifts in life, really matter? There might be instances in your life that have played a role on why you are heading down the path you are currently on. Can you think of a moment that hit you like a ton of bricks? Maybe with this awareness you can allow a different outcome to take place.    

Imagine another scenario. Your alarm goes off and you wake up, but don’t hit the snooze. You have purpose for why you are getting up. Your purpose has become the driving force to the habit of getting your day going. You don’t have time to second guess the day, why waste energy on that? Instead you use that energy to go for the morning walk, shower, fix breakfast, and then you are out the door.    

Started out the same
Started out the same

Now I want you to step back and think about both of the scenarios above. Let’s say the circumstances they both had, the one who hit the snooze and the one who got up, work at the same job. In fact, they both work a similar position, have the same life style and yet one is ready to go and the other just doesn’t want to get up.

How do you start thinking your alarm clock is your best tool and you can’t wait for the day? So many times, we are waiting for something outside of us to change. The change that needs to happen if you want true life change, needs to come from within. Change your thinking. 

Did you know an excuse and a reason are exactly the same thing? It is just the difference in how you choose to see it. For example, your children could be your excuse as to why you didn’t do something, or your reason for doing something.

Remember it all starts with our inner thinking, just changing a word in your thought can create that little shift you need to start to seeing improvements.

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