What two words can make you more stuck than ever?
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What two words can make you more stuck than ever?

What could possibly be the two words that make us stuck more than anything?

Answer: “I know.”

How many times have you gone into a meeting, a training, had someone help you with something and all you could think was “I know this already”?

What does that attitude do for you?
How can your brain take in any new information if you are just shutting it down…on purpose? How can you self-lead if you aren’t even willing to listen?

Case and point, a few months back I attended a training. I was observing the trainer so I was sitting in the back taking notes. I ended up watching the audience instead because I noticed a few participants with the attitude of “I know this already”. They sat in the back, crossed their arms, chatted with each other, had their phones out multiple times, and only answered when they knew the bosses were paying attention to them. Sad part was, these were managers who had been in their roles for years, their company has tremendous turnover and the training just happened to be on “Engaging Your Team”. (Insert emoji with big eyes here.)

Imagine how they could have shown up better. Imagine if they had come in with an attitude of “I’m curious” or better yet came in with the attitude of “What is one thing I can learn today?”.

It was painful to watch but at the same time I’ve been there. I’ve been that person that showed up to a training, a meeting, a conversation where I felt “I know this already.” My very own ego kept me from learning, being present and taking at least one thing away to implement.

Telling ourselves “I know” creates a story in our minds that we no longer need to listen or be mentally present for. We create a barrier to learning and growing that leaves us stuck. We shut down, get frustrated or act “better than” when in reality everything we show up to could be a teaching moment.

Dropping the “I know” in our lives opens us up to become the best self-leaders we could be. It not only grows us but shapes how others see us. And all at the same time we teach others how theycan show up in their own lives.

–  –  –
Next time you feel the “I know” coming:
How can you edit the narrative so that you are more open to learning?
What barriers to your success could you start to take down if you showed up more curious?
How would dropping the “I know” help you self-lead?
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