When I started my business back in ’95 I knew how great this stuff called kinesiology was and I wanted to help everyone.
Because of my business background I knew pretty much what to do. I had a bit of a plan, did some advertising, created pamphlets, went to networking events, built a website and gradually built a clientelle. I found that word of mouth was most effective and gradually dropped everything else except my website and a business card.
I pottered along like that for several years (without even a brochure) until one day a client who loved my work and who happened to be a business coach, made me a new brochure. He worked with me for several months and opened my eyes. I was amazed at what I didn’t know and what was possible.
I had been stuck in a pattern of ignorance and it stopped my growth, the growth of my business and more importantly, it seriously hindered me being able to reach as many people as I wanted with my work.
I had thought I was as successful and organised as possible, I even prided myself on how much more so I was than some of my colleagues. I knew I was working at my optimum. It was the weirdness of my work that held me back. I thought that I was open to new learning but, truth be said, whenever I read anything about growing a business or was offered an idea I thought about it and then decided it was not applicable to my work. My work was different.
Ignorance is such a difficult pattern to recognize because it is the first step in the ladder of learning, when we are ignorant we are unconsciously incompetent. We don’t know what we don’t know – and because we don’t know we cannot find any answers.
We are closed to new ideas (even if we think we aren’t) and we think we know everything already. Coming out of it is dangerous for the ego so we tend to avoid challenging it. Accepting we may be ignorant, not know something we think we ought to, damages our pride and our self esteem. How could I have been so stupid! Instead we avoid seeing the truth – and the truth is that we are denying the facts.
4 quick tips to recognize and get over your ignorance (ow!):
1. If you think you know the answer you probably don’t! The areas you feel most competent in may well hide an edge that you could explore to grow yourself and your work.
2. Allow your lack of knowledge to show. Often the most uncomfortable and avoided issue is solved with incredible ease and speed when we open to the answer.
3. Get someone who is totally impersonal to offer you truthful feedback and ask you the tricky questions.Yes, get a mentor if you can afford it but if not find a friend who will do that for you. NOT someone who just thinks you are fabulous. And be prepared to grow!
4. When you feel yourself closing down, thinking you can do it on your own or that no one else understands, question the truth of it. Is it your ego trying to save you from a fall or an old issue rearing its ugly head? That fall may come anyway and that issue is just old news. Perhaps opening to new knowledge and new ways of doing things might transform your life.
Ultimately the answer is learning to be in the Beginners Mind. It is a concept within Zen Buddhism called Shoshin and is an attitude of eagerness and openness and includes both doubt and possibility and the ability to see things always as fresh and new. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. (Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, 1973)
Through practicing the Beginners Mind it ceases to matter what the past has been, we can move forward, make changes, do things differently and ask for help. The pattern of ignorance is broken and as a bonus, we have taken a giant step forward in our personal development and on our spiritual path.
To knowing nothing!
Have a great month,
To find out more about this tip email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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