I Don’t Know How To Do Anything Either

Categorized as Coaching Business
I don't know how to do anything either

I regularly have people, clients, friends, family, and so on tell me “I don’t know how to do that.” They’ll often add something before and after like “I’m not like you,” or “you understand how things work, so you wouldn’t get it.”

But I do get it. Because I don’t know how to do anything, either.

Yes, I’ve learned along the way.

Yes, I’ve practiced things over and over and have gained the knowledge and skills they’re referring to a lot of the time.

But I didn’t start out that way.

I freely admit to not knowing how to do things all the freaking time.

Sometimes, it’s when I’m on a call with a client and they’ve asked me to figure out how something works because they don’t know how. And my response is always, “I don’t know how, either, but we’ll figure it out together.”

Other times it’s when Tierra asks me to get something set up for our template shop or content marketing, and I just say, “I’m not really sure how, but I’ll give it a shot,” or “I’ve never done that before, so if you have some tips or recommendations along the way, I’d be glad to hear them.” And then I do it.

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I don’t feel shame around not knowing how to do something. I don’t get frustrated over it.

Because I know that if I put my mind to something and try it, eventually I’ll make it work. It might not be perfect, it might not be how someone else would do it, but it works.

“I Don’t Know How” is a Belief, and a Mindset

I once had a former client get mad at me for suggesting that she could figure out how to get her website working if she could change her belief that she’s not capable of doing tech stuff.

She got really, really mad. And super defensive.

And I totally get it.

We all have areas of our lives where we think we can, and think we can’t. In fact, we’ve had those thoughts that we can or can’t do certain things so many times, they’re ingrained in us as a full belief system about what we’re capable of.

I happen to think I’m pretty good at tech stuff, and I’ve proven that to myself over and over again by figuring out how things work and making them happen.

But I also think I’m really bad at physical exercise. That I can’t run for more than 15 seconds at a time, and if I do, I’m going to hurt myself trying. And you know what? I’ve proven that to be true over and over again as well.

Here’s why that’s important…

I believe I’m able to figure out tech stuff, no matter how difficult it is. And so because I believe that, I focus my energy and attention on figuring it out. I don’t let that energy turn into frustration and self-doubt and annoyance. I keep putting the energy into my determination.

It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes to figure something out. It could be minutes, hours, days, or weeks. Yes, I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out complicated tech stuff. Hell, I’ve spent years researching and training to become a better website designer and developer.

But you know what I haven’t done?

I haven’t spent the same amount of energy, time, or dedication on becoming a better runner.

I’ve put in surface-level energy.

I’ve gone for walks, and run for my 15-second bursts, and then thought, “I can stop here, I won’t be able to go further anyway.” And I stop.

I’ve barely even tried to push myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve let my belief that “I can’t” stop me from even trying. From giving it the effort needed to actually make progress and change my reality.

Another example?

I don’t know how to date. And so I don’t. Because I believe I don’t know how.

I fully believe that I would make a fool of myself, it wouldn’t go anywhere because I don’t know what to say or how to act, and that it would be a complete waste of my time.

Guess what the result is of that belief? I never make progress and figure out how to date.

Our beliefs are what create our reality. If you believe you’ll never figure out how to do something, you won’t. You’ll probably never even try.

You’ll give up, over and over again, before you ever discover that maybe you could figure it out.

How To Change Your Beliefs

This is the point in the conversation where my clients always ask me, “How do I change my beliefs, then?”

Here’s my answer: I don’t know.

There are a variety of things I’ve tried to change my beliefs, and I’m not actually sure which have worked, and which haven’t.

Frustrated yet? Me too.

Here’s what I do know: changing a belief about yourself is a process. And that process is different for everyone.

It might be a combination of tools for you, like it is for me. Or it might be one overwhelming realization you gain from a single tool.

So here’s what I can do for you…share the tools I’ve tried so you can try them yourself. And I will, right here.

Mantra the hell out of it.

I repeat to myself, over and over again, that I’m capable of doing something. I say it while I’m doing the thing. I think it while I’m in the shower or on a walk. It plays in my head constantly.

Try better, fail better.

I don’t give up. I keep trying to do the things I don’t believe I can. Sometimes I make a little progress, and sometimes I don’t. But for me, the act of trying is a small success, too.

Choose my new belief, and practice believing it.

I use The Model by Brooke Castillo to choose new beliefs I want to work on believing. If you’re familiar with Brooke Castillo’s The Model, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, you can learn about her process on this podcast episode. It’s a tool I use frequently to create awareness around my thoughts and actions, and one I use to build intentional new thoughts.

But when it comes to changing my beliefs, I first decide on a new intentional thought, and then create a thought ladder to get me from the belief I’m ready to let go of, to the new one I want to believe. And in order to do that, I first have to believe a neutral thought. Here’s Brooke’s process on how to do that.

Download my to-do list and organize it by capability.

Here’s a good tool if you’re an action-taker, like me. Aka, the mental and emotional work feels harder than just freaking doing something about it.

First, I do a download of all the things I should be doing in order to reach my goal (the one I don’t believe I’m capable of).

I organize those things into three columns.

On the left, I put the ones I know I can do. In the middle, I put the ones I might be able to do. And on the right, I drop the ones there’s no way I can do.

Then, I do them.

I start with the left column, and do all the things I know I can. When the list is done, I move the things from the middle column into the left column. I keep working on them until they’re all done. And once they are, I move the things from the right column into the left column, and work on them until I complete it all.

Here’s the concept: every time you complete something in the left column, you’re proving to yourself that you can. You can do that thing, and you’re capable of doing more.

So when you get to the middle column, you’ve built confidence in yourself by completing everything before, and when you get to the right column, you’ve built even more confidence by completing the things you only thought you might be able to do.

You are systematically proving that you’re capable of doing more than you ever thought possible.

Create Your Own Process

Now I’ve talked about some deep subjects in this post. And I may have triggered you. It’s one of those topics where you run the risk of upsetting people who haven’t gained awareness around it yet.

But here’s what I want you to consider and take away from it…

You are capable of so much more than you even know right now.

In ten years, you’ll look back at the things you thought were impossible, and you’ll laugh. (Btw…there’s no such thing as impossible.)

I want you to be able to laugh in that moment, because you rose to the challenge of “I don’t know how,” and conquered it.

Be you. Be amazing. Be better than you ever thought possible.

About The Author

Hey! I’m Cass, a brand coach and the Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches elevate their businesses with beautiful branding and websites. Here on our blog, my content focuses on branding, web design, and storytelling.

By Cass

Hey! I’m Cass, a brand coach and the Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches elevate their businesses with beautiful branding and websites. Here on our blog, my content focuses on branding, web design, and storytelling.

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