The Power of I Don't Know
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
The modern world does not encourage people to admit when they lack knowledge or skills.
However, when we don't acknowledge our ignorance, we limit our chances for personal improvement.
Although we are naturally curious as children, school teaches us that there is a specific set of facts to memorize and that we should not question these facts. If we don't know something, we're taught to guess.
Once the curiosity has been driven out of us in school and we're moving into the workforce, we're even less likely to say we don't know.
We're afraid to admit when we don't know something for sure and expect not to see uncertainty in others. It can be disastrous.
Consider the case in which a business spent hundreds of millions on an ineffective advertising campaign because they refused even to ask if it was working.
The defeatist mindset: When you admit you don't know enough to do a task and think someone else should do it. Here "I don't know" is an excuse for not completing a task and prevents you from learning new skills.
A growth-driven mindset: When you admit that you don't know enough to do a task and respond that you don't know, but would enjoy the opportunity to learn. This attitude allows you to learn something new, possibly earn yourself a promotion, and open up more opportunities due to the new skill.
Acting on the growth-driven mindset requires the ability to see where you are now (what you don’t know), where you would like to be in the future (what you want to learn), and then forming a plan to get to your goal.
Saying I don't know is an admission of power: You'll be wrong less often, and it will lead to more considerable improvement.
If saying "I don't know" is too difficult, rephrase it terms of intellectual humility. "I don't know how to program" becomes "Learning to program is next on my list." But being truthful is really best because you don't have to maintain a facade of lies.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Researchers studied whether customer service employees were more productive under narcissistic or humble leaders.
The least effective bosses were narcissists. Humble bosses we...
Narcissists believe they're unique and superior, while humble leaders know they're flawed.
The humble narcissist has grand ambitions but doesn't feel entitled to them. He is also willing to acknowledge his weaknesses and learn from his mistakes.
We're all drawn to someone who shows confidence - that is the reason that narcissists are more likely to be promoted or get elected to political office. But on its own, narcissism is dangerous. It tends to promote overconfidence and it dismisses the criticism.
Adding humility to narcissism prevents capriciousness and complacency. It helps you remember that you’re human.
4 more ideas
It means being actively curious about your blind spots. It’s not about lacking confidence, or self-esteem. It’s about entertaining the possibility that you may be wrong and being open to learning f...
Even if we might tell ourselves our experience of the world is the truth. Our interpretations of reality are often arbitrary, but we're still stubborn about them. Light enters our eyes, sound waves enter our ears, chemicals waft into our noses, and it’s up to our brains to make a guess about what it all is.
one more idea
Researchers identified six predictable levels of critical thinkers:
These are people who don't reflect on thinking nor consider the consequences of not thinking. Their prejudices and misconceptions lead them.
They do not consistently apply standards like accuracy, relevance, precision, and logic.
People at this intellectual stage are aware of the importance of thinking and know that the lack of thinking can result in major issues.
4 more ideas
Much of the confidence we crave is based on how we want others to see us.
Confidence comes from within. It’s not just about owning the stage and giving a knockout performance but putting...
True confidence in yourself doesn’t come only from the knowledge you already possess, but a willingness to learn more.
There’s no shame in admitting you don't know something; you’re showing just how confident you can be. Ask questions, be curious about the world around you.
A truly confident man won’t get aggressive or arrogant, because those traits suggest someone is losing control. He knows keeping cool and talking in a calm, measured way is the quickest way to get respect.
one more idea
one more idea
We are often excited at the idea of learning something new. We are excellent at identifying new skills and can visualize how they may change our life.
But, we tend to overlook where we ...
True humility allows you to plot Point A and accept that risk and failure are part of moving to Point B.
Humility brings growth. Pride is good at trying to convince us that we are not prideful.
Approach learning and growth with real humility. Accept that pride affects us all and will try to limit you. Failure is part of the process. Set aside your ego and simply move past the failure. Make adjustments, and continue the process anew.
True confidence is a feeling of self-assurance that is grounded in an authentic experience of our own ability, perspective and sufficiency.
It’s a stable connection to the fact that we...
Confidence is expressed most profoundly through our bodies. No matter how well we speak, the way we feel about ourselves will always manifest in our posture, our hand movements and our facial features.
So commit to strong, positive body language and make a conscious effort to form habits that make your nonverbal communication automatic.
3 more ideas
Time is the most precious resource. Death gives a sense of urgency, as any moment could be your last. It humbles you and should also deeply motivate you to not spend your time thoughtlessly.
Outside forces don’t make us feel things, our perceptions of them do. It’s easy to think otherwise, but doing so harms us and undermines our self-discipline.
The next time you run into an obstacle and feel resistance, don’t look at what’s around you. Instead, look within.
Whatever you do, there are individuals that you can learn from. If you can’t talk to them, you can study their story, works, techniques, successes, and failures, and discover patterns of success you can apply to your life.
Be careful not to turn it into an exercise of comparison and expect your progress to be the same as theirs. Their teachings and principles are supposed to help you grow, learn, and create.
6 more ideas