On the journey of self-development/actualization/performance, It’s not enough to simply know. By knowing, we’ve admitted and committed to awareness - that’s just the beginning.
Sure, knowing is the first step - bringing awareness to something that was once unnoticeable. I don’t want to dismiss or overstep the journey to knowing - it’s integral. That is merely not the linchpin of this article.
If we want better, we must do better. Jim Carrey summarizes this idea when describing manifestation,(I’m paraphrasing here) “we can’t ask for blessings from the Universe and then go eat a sandwich.”
Action is the bridge between where we are and where we want to be. Think of it this way: Island A is knowing (where we are) and Island B is realizing (materializing the knowing). The stuff in between are obstacles that tend to keep us from getting safely to island B.
What helps me (and my clients) to begin taking action is a rudimentary question “okay, now you know, what are you going to do about it?” This question begins to unfold the pathway. Knowing doesn’t change the trajectory of the path, taking action changes the trajectory of the pathway.
If, rather, when (as it’s a part of the journey), we find ourselves often saying “I know I know but…” or, “I know just…” it’s time: We’ve arrived at the stage of shifting! We must ask, “what are you going to do about it?”
After we ponder this, it’s time to shift! Replace the “but” or “just” with “and” then add the action created through reflection. ;)
My most recent “I know” shift went from, “I know but that’s not what I am saying” to “I know and I must think before I speak”. In my case, I’m quite literally speaking out loud so it’s happening swiftly, and as soon as I begin to murmur, “I know” I’m triggered to shift. Changing the “but” to “and” is a powerful call to action!
This stops us in our tracks, rewrites the words (literally) we are speaking/thinking, rewires our approach, and reframes the situation in our heads. It’s not enough to know, we must act.
A client is working with me on their confidence: Part of our journey together is getting them back to regular exercise. When they hit me with the “I know” spiel, we kept digging.
A supplemental question we can ask ourselves is “What is knowing costing me?”
If we know better and don’t do better, there’s more digging to do: This is an opportunity to see what lack of action is costing us. We are learnt to measure everything, so viewing the situation as a value helps us to prioritize with greater ease.
After listing off everything not exercising was giving them - less guilt about not spending that time with their kids, snuggling with their partner, watching the sun come up, etc. - they finally came to the conclusion that not exercising regularly was costing them the very thing they came to work with me on - self-confidence. And in the blink of an eye, the very things that were just disguised in high value, became excuses.
To do better, we must act. To act, we must know. It’s up to us to understand what is at stake if we stay in “knowing”: Comfort breeds complacency. Complacency fogs vision which allows comforts' disguises to be viewable as reality; misguiding us to falsely believe that knowledge is enough. Time to get uncomfortable and do something with this knowledge of ours!