One of the faster ways to put yourself into a drama relationship with yourself and others is to pretend you know something when you don’t. If you pretend you know how to fix your computer after it crashes rather than ask for help from a computer professional, you will only cause yourself frustration.
If you spend hours trying to fix your car without the proper tools and know-how, you may never get your car running again. Pretending you know something when you don’t limits your own effectiveness and will frustrate your co-workers and family.
The mind can get lazy and keep repeating habits that worked in the past. As a result, we may forget how to learn new ways of thinking or approaches to life’s challengers. Adopting a beginner’s mind is a cool way to reverse the need to be comfortable with what you know.
A beginner’s mindset is the opposite of the expert mindset. When we think we know something (the expert), we must compare what we know to what others know. Once we compare we either defend that we are right or become self-critical that we don’t know enough. Either way we have firmly planted ourselves in the Dreaded Drama Triangle™.
Adopting a beginner’s mindset is one way to become more comfortable with not knowing. It starts with these steps:
- Declaring that you are a learner rather than a “knower.” With this declaration, you become open to new perspectives and ideas.
- Learning something new that places you into an uncomfortable state of “not knowing.” It may be learning a new hobby, language, riding a motorcycle—anything that sounds interesting and forces you to learn. For Donna, taking drawing lessons has been her dance with the beginner’s mindset.
- Committing to continuous learning rather than attaining a goal with a certain destination. Goals have their place. However, they can reinforce the “all or nothing” expert mindset rather than focusing on the journey of learning.
- Ask for help! Asking for coaching, taking a class, or starting over opens us to learning, simply by stating, “Will you help me learn?”
These steps can help you become comfortable with not knowing. This is one of the benefits of the beginner’s mind—learning to be curious and full of child-like wonder.
The Creator mindset is a beginner’s mindset. You may feel uncomfortable at first. With practice we believe you will experience more fun, joy and success in life.