November 18th, 2016
If we’re alive—and assuming we are—we’ve heard the saying, “Knowing is half the battle.” But, what does that really mean?
In an obvious sense, it means that the most difficult part of a situation can be the unknowns, which, once known, make it easier to move forward. Building from there, we can see that knowledge all by itself can open a door to action, or at least pave the way. Without the right information it can feel absolutely impossible to drive ahead because ignorance is a great purveyor of lose/lose situations.
So, in that way, just by simply getting the facts straight we are given some clarity about the situation(s) we are facing and, from there, we can put words around it and articulate a plan. Even if that plan changes, we can, at least, form a strategy and make a start.
Take, for example, the process of letting go. Maybe it is an old idea that we are trying to release—perhaps it’s a limiting belief or an ideology that no longer serves us. It could even be a person or a group of people holding us back from our true potential and growth. Whatever it is that we are trying to let go of, we are likely accustomed to having it in our lives and, in some cases, unable to truly see how it is affecting us.
If that is the case, we might feel on a subconscious level that something needs to shift, but we may grapple with how and what to change. That is where the saying, “Knowledge is half the battle” comes into play.
Without naming what holds us back, we can become so used to living with a certain mentality that we lose the perspective to see that we have other choices available to us. When this is the case, we generally don’t really consider alternatives to our self-constructed status quo.
A great example of this can be found in the daily messages that we repeat to ourselves about the way things are in our lives and about who we are as people as well as our potential as unique human beings.
If we tell ourselves that we are “awkward in social situations” we will likely continue to produce and reproduce this “truth”. If we tell ourselves that we are “bad with money” or that we “don’t fit in” we will, inevitably, create circumstances that prove these “truths”.
Until we identify and name these messages for what they are—self-limiting beliefs—we cannot let them go. We will think of these messages as truths and, in many cases, we link these negative messages to our social and emotional survival. In a backwards way, self-deprecating messages give us the illusion of security because, in a worst-case scenario, we can at least say, “I already knew it would turn out like that…
Until we name our limiting beliefs, we cannot do much about them—we will continue living with them as the only option. However, once we’ve become aware of them we can begin the work of letting them go by replacing them with messaging that does serve us and our greatness.
That is to say that having knowledge of them is the first step in releasing them. After all, how can we let go of something that we do not even know we are holding.
As is so often the case, asking the right questions can open up the right doors. And, from there, we can scale our actions up gradually until we see real results. So, we can ask ourselves:
What are my limiting beliefs?
What messages do I repeat to myself that others might not?
Do I want to continue living these “truths”?
Can I point to and identify an area of my life that could be going better?
When I think of letting go of something, what is the very first thing that jumps into my head?
Knowledge, in this case, truly is power.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.