In order to pursue being a ‘know-it-all’, we have to sacrifice self-acceptance and perpetuate perfectionism which, in the grand scheme of things, prevents us from being our true, authentic selves.
People may or may not recognize this, but being a ‘Know-It-All’ is actually a character flaw. We think it is something impressive, something necessary and a favorable trait but it actually keeps us from being ourselves. And it creates a pressure to know everything, which is not possible. Being a know it all is a form of perfectionism and, as they say, perfectionism is the highest form of self- abuse. We beat ourselves up for not being perfect, just like we can beat ourselves up for not knowing something or being wrong. And it perpetuates seeking outside validation or approval, which we really don’t need. It helps to recognize intellectually that is a flaw to stop perpetuating.
A lot of behaviors that don’t serve us are perpetuated unconsciously. And it takes awareness and a conscious effort to stop them for good. In my opinion, being a know it all is cultivated by the praise and validation we get from knowing something vs. being chastised and invalidated when we don’t know something or are wrong. So this is going to condition us to be know it alls when, in fact, it’s impossible to know everything. It is ok not to know everything. And doesn’t that seem more reasonable than the expectation of trying to know everything?
Acceptance is a key factor in making positive
change. People may think that acceptance is not making any change, but it
actually is a component necessary to stop perpetuating what is not you and
doesn’t serve you. When we accept that we do not have to be perfect, know
everything, do everything right, that’s when we find ourselves. Acceptance
allows us to stop trying to be who we are not because we can accept who we are.
When I recognized that it was okay not to know everything, I felt relief and
guess what? I stopped trying to keep up the farce of being a know it all. I
gave up on pursuing it. I got more and more comfortable saying “I don’t know,
I’m not sure” and I also stopped thinking I knew things I couldn’t possibly
know. When we think we know everything, we cross the boundaries of thinking we
know things we couldn’t possibly know. Like when someone says “ I know she was
thinking this” It is impossible to know what anyone else is thinking and we are
projecting our know it all thinking onto them. We only know what people are
thinking if they tell us. Knowing it all is actually just a lot of assumptions
so with acceptance that we don’t know everything, we get to stop making those
assumptions, a lot of which we can’t even prove.
With taking on our
flaws, we gain a little more peace and confidence with each one gone. And with
taking on being a know it all, I discovered the freedom of not knowing. Yes I
don’t know everything. I know what I know. And I’m open to learn what I don’t
know. Of course we as people know a lot and we all are capable of expansive, in
depth, profound knowledge. Is there really any maximum to the amount the mind
can know? But in the infinite of the world, one mind can’t possible contain
even a fraction of all there is to know, in my opinion. Our mind is filled up
with all we are exposed to, not everything there is to know. And when we can
allow ourselves to just be ourselves, that’s when you’ll find you know enough,
are good enough and are perfect in your own way, as meant to be. It’s when we
try too hard, pretend to be more than we are or pursue the unattainable, that
we miss out on the very thing we are trying so hard to accomplish, being our
authentic selves. Being a know it all is not authentic because it is not
possible. Being authentic is being who you are and that’s very possible with
acceptance and taking on your flaws.
Debbie Jacobs is an advocate, writer and healing specialist living in Alexandria, Virginia. She lived most of her adult life with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety and bipolar and speaks out on how self-improvement is life improvement and believes we all can live happy lives just by making positive change to ourselves. Her influences are Louise Hay, Napoleon Hill, Les Brown and Tony Robbins. She does positivity life coaching and is in the process of writing her first book on her healing process of accomplishing positive thinking, positive effective coping skills and healthy self-esteem, what she calls “freedom and happiness.” She shares her work to motivate, inspire and help others make positive change to themselves for their freedom and happiness too.
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