I don’t know was one of my most used phrases during my school days.
It was an easy 3 words to use in situations where I didn’t want to participate, like class.
I’d sit daydreaming, ruminating or just quietly paying attention. Then all of a sudden a teacher would call on me for the answer to a question.
Perhaps I hadn’t heard it or maybe I didn’t want to think or join in because after all my hand wasn’t even up.
So, I’d almost immediately respond with I don’t know even if after some thought I might have had an answer to contribute.
I never wanted to offeranything because on the occasions that I did, my hand would be up.
And so when I used to say I don’t know it just meant that I didn’t want to offer, join in or engage.
This phase of my life was around 10 years ago at a time where I found it incredibly difficult to use my voice.
These days I’m more commonly heard saying I’m not sure and I’m much more willing to contribute something and be wrong instead of saying nothing at all.
If you find yourself using I don’t know as a regular response ask yourself why because you might find that it could actually be replaced with the phrases ‘I don’t want to think’.
And if you don’t want to think then you might be a lazy person or you might be scared of being wrong.
Either way there’s something to work.
How do you feel when you try something that doesn’t work?
One of the things that limits people from trying new things or just being themselves is not the thing itself but the feeling that comes afterwards.
That feeling of being exposed. Of all eyes on you and nothing to show for yourself. The thought of people knowing you tried and failed.
Especially when you already feel your own disappointment.
So, how about if instead of focusing on how bad it feels you focus on being kinder to yourself.
After all it might be worth acknowledging that you had the courage to try in the first place.
Thoughts on how we sometimes make ourselves feel worse.
In a recent moment I found myself choosing to do something that wasn’t making me feel good.
Now the details aren’t important but the lesson I learnt in the moment is.
Imagine you’re doing something and you it doesn’t feel good. On one hand you can stop, let go of the feeling and focus on yourself.
But on the other hand you can negatively indulge and allow yourself to feel bad.
It might seem strange that someone would choose to feel bad. But something I’ve learnt is that when someone has an internal belief they’ll be drawn to things that support that notion.
Take not feeling good enough as an example. If you heard people talking about you saying unkind things and you already feel bad about yourself those words only reaffirm your existing feelings.
But I think if you do feel good enough you’re less likely to give attention to something that goes against how you feel because that isn’t beneficial.
So the next time you find yourself indulging, ask yourself how it’s making you feel.