In my previous post, I said fear is one thing holding you back, and gave some reasons for fear. Today I want to briefly explore another reason we have fear: We don’t think we know enough about something, so there’s just no way we can succeed.
(Hmm…on second thought, this is really just an excuse. But let’s keep going and see where it takes us.)
First, consider this: no one knows everything. If perfect knowledge of is needed before you try something, you’ll never actually do anything. No one would. We’d spend all our time studying and not doing any productive work.
Second, this is really a symptom of fear of failure. You’re using the excuse of “I don’t know enough” to avoid taking any risks.
Let’s say you’re a martial arts student, and your instructor just told you you’re testing for the next belt at the end of the month. You start to worry that you don’t know the material; you’re going to fail!
Now, your instructor wouldn’t let you test if she didn’t think you’re ready. She’s not in business to set you up to fail.
But let’s assume you’re right: you actually don’t know enough. Let’s even say that you don’t even know what you should know! So what you do?
First, ask someone who should know! Your instructor probably has a list of requirements for the next belt. She’s not going to tell you, “Oh, I’m sorry; I can’t tell you what you need to know for first gup.” (If she does, demand your money back!)
And don’t be afraid to ask. One thing I’ve learned is that most people really want to help. They really, really do. We get satisfaction from helping our fellow man. So go ahead and ask! (Of course, use some common sense. If the person is obviously busy, or in a conversation, hold off on the question until he or she is free.)
The second thing you need to do is to study on your own. In the martial arts, there are literally hundreds of books you can read, ranging from books on katas and forms to the mental aspects of martial arts. Making the effort to study and learn outside the studio pays off in both the short term and the long run.
So there you have it. If you don’t think you know enough, ask and study. You’ll surprise yourself with what you learn!