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Boy do I hate that answer!

Let me tell you a story. In my Frontier training (my public speaking training), there is a very clear rule. The “T” word can’t ever, ever, ever be said. The “T” words stands for TRY.

If you say you will “T” something, it means that you are not 100% yet committed to what you are "T" to change in your life. It means that there is still doubt in your mind, and you are not ready (or don’t really want to be ready) to make the leap.

If someone says the “T” word at Frontier, the rest of the group will make you aware that you just said it - the ‘punishment’ usually means 20 push-ups or jump squats, or something equally painful that your body will remember and associate with the “T” word.

This inspired me to make my own rule in my coaching practice with clients.

It’s so painful and frustrating to hear clients answer “I DON’T KNOW” when I ask them questions. So I also created a ‘punishment’: something that will hurt them and stop them to repeating that answer in the future. They have two choices: either put £5 in a jar (which will be donated to a charity), or they have to do 20 push-ups.

Why do I do this? Because my job is to help them overcome obstacles. By allowing them to say “I don’t know”, I’m allowing them to keep thinking in the same way. By thinking in the same way, they will always get the same results. In other words, they are wasting their money and time.

For me, the “I don’t know answer" is a lazy answer. It’s a comfortable answer. But if your life depended on that answer, would you say “I don’t know”? Probably not, because in reality you do know, you just need to make a bit of an effort.

You see, it’s all a question of perspective. If you are in your comfort zone and the question requires moving out of your comfort zone into the unknown, “I don’t know” is the easy answer – certainly easier than the unknown.

But in order to make change happen, you have to create change from within. The “I don’t know” answer is a subtle way of digging deeper into the known: it's a way of holding onto the status quo.

Since I implemented this new rule, I have been truly impressed by the powerful effect of outlawing the “I don’t know” answer. By making that extra effort, and challenging themselves to find the answer (without being lazy), my clients are accessing new depths of insight and our sessions are flying!

So, every time you find yourself thinking or saying ‘I don’t know”, do yourself a favour: drop to the floor and give me 20! It will not only benefit your health, but will also give you time to reflect on why you opted for that lazy answer, instead of reaching for the truth.

To life – not laziness!

Nico “you do know” Curia


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