Pretending that we know everything is probably the worst self-liming behavior that we do.
What’s especially challenging about this bad habit is that our culture pressures us to believe that we should know everything about anything. That to be at the top of our game, we have to be all knowing.
The reality is that knowing everything is just not possible.
And to pretend otherwise is just not healthy…
But there’s a bigger issue here.
Knowing everything means that you need no one to help you.
You know it all and that means that you need (and will get) no help.
And no help means that you’re no closer to your dream tomorrow than you were today.
It’s a horrible cycle we put ourselves in.
Pretending that we know more than we really do is one big reason that we’re not as successful as we really should be.
- It’s the reason that we don’t ask our prospects better questions. We assume that we know the answers. So why waste time asking anyone else?
- It’s the reason that we don’t speak kindly and candidly. We assume that we’re going to get the same answer we get every time. And being passive aggressive shields us from actually having to care
- It’s the same reason that we don’t read and educate ourselves. We assume that it’s got to be the same old things that we’ve heard forever. And it limits our ability to master new things.
Pretending that we know everything stops us from taking advantage of the opportunities around us.
It not only alienates people who would otherwise help us, it:
- Limits our creativity to explore new ideas
- Prevents us from complimenting successes that aren’t our own
- Stops us from seeing the world outside our own prejudices
Frankly, it’s the kind of attitude and actions that come from fear and panic. Not from a champion.
So in place of ego here are a few ways to know more without needing to pretend anything:
- Take notes while reading a book
- Ask a mentor “what you can do better”
- Listen to contrarian points of view
- Put out a risky question in a crowded room
- Reach out for help when it get’s tough
- Write down the last 5 reasons you failed
- Stop saying “uhh, huh” and “yeah” when you don’t know
- Be grateful for unexpected lessons
- Say “tell me more” more often
- Keep a running list of books you want to read
- Keep asking “why”
- Immediately apologize when you are passive aggressive
- Share key knowledge that you have acquired
- Take 3 new friends to coffee and learn from their talents
- Stop watching so much television (pet peeve, but still true)
- Tour a museum and take a few pics
- Put together a list of lessons you’ve learned
- Teach yourself not to complain about anything
- Practice celebration (for even the small things)
- Keep your head up when your down
- Read the USA Today newspaper (or Wall Street Journal)
- Adapt new vocabulary into every day conversation
- Trade tweeting for reading
- Be kind when you know someone else doesn’t know
Why pretend to know, when you can create a habit of knowing?
Why pose when you can empower?
Why do when you can be?