I don’t know is a lie

Listen on:

One of the biggest lies we all tell ourselves is “I don’t know.”

We say it like it’s just a fact and move on, but “I don’t know” is not a fact. It’s a thought and remember those are optional.

I don’t know what to do. My manager said they would put me up for promotion, but they keep changing the timeline.

I want a new job, but I don’t know what I want to do.

I have an offer with another company, but I don’t know what to do.

When your brain hears I don’t know, it stops looking for ways to know or even take a guess. It keeps you stuck and from moving forward. Your brain is the most powerful tool in your tool box, but like any tool you have to learn how to use it correctly.

We are all masters at thinking I don’t know so when your brain easily feeds you that though, you have to start consciously replacing it with a different thought like:

What if I did know?


How could I know?

While a bit extreme, something what really helps me is to image someone has a gun to my head and that I only have 1 minute to come up with any answer. Every single time I’ve tried this, I’ve come up with an answer. It’s not always the right answer, but it’s an answer and guess what I DO KNOW.

Sometimes we think I don’t know as an easy excuse and to let ourselves off the hook. Like, I don’t know why I can’t lose weight and keep it off. In reality we know exactly why, but it’s so much easier to play dumb.

What would your life be like if “I don’t know” was not an option? Think of all the things you would start doing.

Try going 48 hours without saying or thinking “I don’t know.” Tell yourself to guess and see what your brain offers you.

If you want to find out how this applies to your specific situation, sign up for free coaching here and let’s jump on the phone and get you in the know.

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Lindsay Lyman Avatar

Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last 11 years growing my career at one of the largest tech companies in the world. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

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