This is an especially powerful way to crush creativity. When I KNOW, I can’t learn.
In one of its most devastating forms, I KNOW equals prejudice and bigotry. If I KNOW that someone of a particular religion, sex, gender, race, age, or any other category is a certain way, or age, I prevent the ability to see anything unique and individual about that person. I can’t find points of identification and communication. I lose any opportunity for a relationship with him or her.
KNOWING closes doors on opportunity, possibility, and creativity, not only in terms of the big areas of prejudice but in more immediate ways.
If you know your kid isn’t going to clean her room no matter what you do, you walk into the designated health hazard day and in your mind begin to compose the dialogue for the same fight you’ve had for months (worst case scenario: years). You expect difficulty and resistance, and your child fulfills all your expectations because you KNOW she will.
KNOWING not only shuts the door on relationship growth with family members and friends, it can prevent you from expressing creativity in your preferred artistic pursuit, whether it’s a career or not.
This happened to me all the time when I was learning to paint. I wasn’t happy if I didn’t achieve a near-photographic representation of whatever I was painting. That’s how I KNEW it had to be.
At the same time, I wanted to be more imaginative, abstract, and exciting with my painting, but that meant taking risks. My message to myself was, ” I’m afraid to change. The unknown frightens me. I have to stay with what I know.”
When I Don’t Listen to Myself
When I make the decision to stay safe by KNOWING, I don’t listen to myself.
Our intuition and inner wisdom is always giving us new possibilities for thoughts and action. It might say, “Use that color,” “Try treating your child like a human being who’s interested in sanitation?” The protective self says, “Scary, unknown, dangerous, no.”
To live creatively, though, we need to step off the familiar track. Creating is making something new, and sometimes that involves risks.
To do something new, you can’t say “I know.” Remember that “I know” equals “No.” Solution
Start by noticing how often you say or think either “I know” or “No.” Then do something small, a minor deviation in your routine. Listen to your intuition and do at least one thing it suggests.
Keep a record of your yes votes, and see if your life gets more interesting.