For many people, there is a pressure to know an answer, have an opinion, and be able to provide input at work, in conversations with others, and even to ourselves. In other words, people can experience a feeling that they must continuously prove knowledge and greatness that often makes us resistant to simply saying “I don’t know.”
It feels good to be considered knowledgeable and to have our opinions respected. The challenge when you are focused on doing this all of the time is that it can also quickly become a burden on you to be constantly projecting greatness.
The Benefits of Admitting You Don’t Know Something
With all the knowledge out in the world, the average person knows only a fraction of it. Most people only need the knowledge that is directly relevant to their work and personal lives, as well as some knowledge that they might find interesting. This leaves an extensive amount of knowledge that you will not know.
Admitting that you do not know something or have enough information about a topic to adequately address it can be vulnerable and not something that many people are naturally inclined to do. Yet there are a range of benefits to accepting yourself and your knowledge as it is, and freely admitting this to others, including:
- Liberation – When you readily admit that you do not know something, you remove the need to have to prove yourself by coming up with answers and heading off difficult questions from those who might have more knowledge of this particular topic than you do.
- More Learning Opportunities – Admitting that you don’t know something opens you up to learning opportunities because you no longer need to convince yourself that you already have all the information. This then makes it easier to learn the necessary information so that next time you will have more knowledge about the subject.
- You Get to be True to Yourself – By embracing that greatness instead of creating an illusion of knowing more than you do, you can be truer to who you are, giving you better options for goal setting and a more authentic experience.
Building up this habit to the point where you can be comfortable being yourself instead of continuously trying to be great will take awareness and practice. It can also be guided by an experienced therapist. Long Island Psychology helps our clients live more authentically and prioritize individual strengths. We meet with clients at our just opened office in Roslyn Heights in addition to offices in Rockville Centre and Garden City. Send us a message to get started with therapy on Long Island today.