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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Kocher

I don’t know.

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

How often do you say this?

It’s a common, automatic thought our brain loves to give us.

It seems benign enough, but it’s a sneaky tactic your brain uses to keep you stuck, safe, and protected from uncertainty.

Think about it.

You want to do something, accomplish something, go somewhere, and your brain offers up, I don’t know how, where, or who.

And so you put it off.

It’s the freeze part of fight, flight, or freeze.

Keeping you stuck in inaction feels safe to your primitive brain but frustrating to your evolved brain.

It’s a vicious cycle we all ride from time to time.

Here’s how to interrupt that cycle and move forward.

Learn to recognize, I don’t know, as a clue that your subconscious is in fear.

Ask yourself, what am I afraid of and why?

Keep asking why until you get to the core fear.

It will usually have to do with not wanting to experience a big emotion like shame, humiliation, or inadequacy.

In this case, fear is created by your thoughts.

Be compassionate with yourself.

Of course, I’m afraid because I’m making this mean something scary.

Stay there. Feel it. Don’t rush it. Be kind.

Because once you feel an emotion, even a very strong one, it loses power over you.


Notice yourself softening and opening up to possibilities.

We cannot access our intellect, creativity, or solution when we are in fear.

We must solve the fear first.

When you feel more open, ask yourself, what DO I know?

Or, if I did know, what would I do?

Or, if someone else asked you, what would you tell them?

These questions take the pressure off and allow your brain to relax and work for you instead of against you.


What’s holding you back from living the life of your dreams?

I bet there are a few I don’t know hows lurking around there.

Get to know them. Make friends with them.

Guide them into action with compassion and safety.

This is the action of Mindset.

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