Limiting Words Series 1 – “I Don’t Know”

In this Limiting Words Series, I shall explore some of the words and phrases that I have came across, be it of myself or others I have interacted with. These words or phrases, have got a limiting behaviour to the majority. Minimising or changing to more empowering words and phrases, will have much positive impact to our behaviour and actions to achieve more.

It is always easy to say “I don’t know“, and let things be. After all, that is the easier way out and let others do the legwork. Yes, it is a lot of thinking and effort in looking for answers, yet the journey to sourcing what you do not know, is a lot more interesting and fulfilling than just waiting for answers to be given.

Many greats of our history have used this concept to get to where they want to be. One of the most famous advocate of evoking curiosity in all his works, which led him to be called the renaissance man, is none other than the great Leonard Da Vinci.

Having an insatiable curiosity to everything in life, being able to observe his surroundings, has given Leonardo Da Vinci the edge over others. His pursuit of knowledge and truth has propelled him to being a prime thinker of multiple areas, painting, mathematics, engineering and strong physical being.

If he has chosen the route of less resistance, not asking questions, leaving his world to “I don’t know“, people today will never know of him at all.

What Can We Say Instead?

Switching to more empowering words can push us further to growth and action. This not only cultivates our inner curiosity to always want to learn and know more, it also helps us to give a vibe to others that we are trying to learn.

Imagine the scenario when you were interacting with your boss or a potential client. Saying “I don’t know” may be an honest response and yes, you do not want to cook up a grand story to let the party realise you are smoking your way through. But what is even better, is when you add in empowering phrases like “let me find out and get back to you in a day” or “I am sorry I left that out. Allow me to find out more for you“.

A further step will be to find out more of what was asked of you, and relating to the questions that were left for you to find out. For example, if you do not know how paper was made, and you managed to find out the process of paper making, you can even go a step further to know what other methods are used that are more economical, more environmentally friendly or even DIY methods that everyone can learn and use.

The key is to keep your curiosity going and allow learning to take place. The fundamental of growth, really boils down to curiosity. Thinking that you have all the answers will never allow you to move ahead.

Let us all cultivate inner curiosity more, and leave out the “I don’t know” from our lives.

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