It’s been said that the three most limiting words used together are “I know that!”
There’s a lot of pressure, and even hype, out there about the need to be or become an expert. Of course, to be perceived as an expert you need to know something about your area of expertise.
“Expert” also implies some depth of knowledge and understanding, as well as expertise in applying it.
Except, I’ll suggest being an expert isn’t just about knowing. It’s not just what you know or how much you know. It has as much to do with your ability to think and apply what you learn and experience over time in service of an outcome or possibility. For example, you can expose 10 people with the same IQ to the exact same knowledge and they still won’t “know” all the same things or apply that knowledge in the same way.
Recently I noticed I had unwittingly fallen into the “but I don’t know enough” trap. I realized in an area where I did not believe I had enough knowledge. I kept learning new things from “the experts” hoping I would at some point know enough to proceed confidently. I can see now that I had begun to relate to some of my “ready, fire, aim” experiments (that in hindsight turned out to be more “ready, fire, OOPS!”) as failures rather than experiments from which I actually learned and grew. At some point I no longer gave myself permission to experiment by thinking, “By now I should know how.”
So I am writing this as much for myself as I am for you:
STOP trying to figure it all out and START experimenting!
You can easily get hung up on trying to do things perfectly the first time. You can stop yourself from acting because you think you need to know more before you can start. It is an illusion to think that at some point you will magically be able to say, “I know enough.” Until you take action you will never really know what you do know and what you need to learn next to succeed.
Sure it takes courage, but the best way to learn is to start from where you are and take a next step.
The key is to take that next step with a clear intention for what you want to accomplish or manifest in mind. You may even set a short-term goal and think through your approach. But recognize that as you begin to experiment you may tweak or even change your goal or approach. Consider that this is a sign that you are learning. You may also choose to stop and declare an “oops” when you realize you are headed in the wrong direction or the direction you chose wasn’t taking you where you really want to go after all.
If you consistently take action consciously and deliberately in service of a heartfelt intention you will continue to discover and learn something you didn’t know you didn’t know. These discoveries will keep you on the path to success even though it will likely not be a straight line.
Experience is truly the best teacher. If you see a child fall down you don’t yell at them because they fell down, do you? No, you celebrate and encourage them to get back up. You know that each time they fall they are actually one step closer to walking.
Even the “experts” are experimenting and learning because there is always more to learn, to know and to invent. Relax and jump into an experiment with both feet. You may even end up teaching the “experts” something.
What will your next experiment be?