The Pursuit of Better

Thoughts and ideas for self improvement.

"I Don't Know How"


We hide behind excuses that inevitably hold us back. Whether it's because we are scared, insecure, lack self confidence, or are down right lazy. These excuses need to stop. Once you open yourself up to acquiring new knowledge, you will be less of the things mentioned earlier. Every time you experience something new, every time you are faced with a challenge, you become more capable of handling future challenges. You build on your knowledge base and future obstacles don't seem as hard and intimidating.

The Excuses

Some common excuses that anchor us in mediocrity are "I don't know how to do that", "I've never done that before", and "You do it, you know how to do it better"

Their Meaning

Those excuses all link back to an unwillingness to expand your mind, your capabilities, and put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. It's way easier to get out of having to do something if you say you aren't capable of performing that task. Plus it's a much more peaceful state to be in when you only do things you already know how to do. You're also off the hook in the event that you take on that task and mess it up. Those excuses make you look lazy to those looking for you to contribute or help out.


The reality is, you can't not learn new things. You won't make much progress in any facet of life if you don't gain more knowledge. Nothing that's ever been achieved hasn't come with the necessity to learn something new along the way. Besides stagnating achievement wise, you also show the people in your life that you aren't very helpful. After a few "I can't, I've never done that before" replies, your friends will see you as unwilling to support them. Once that happens, they may distance themselves from you, and the time YOU need help, they won't be there.

Real World Example

There was a time when I once said these very excuses. Admittedly it was mostly out of laziness. I didn't want to take on more. I didn't want to have to remember stuff. Most of all, I didn't want to experience the discomfort caused by doing things I've never done before. Thankfully I have people in my life who pushed me to stop with those excuses. Not in a "hey, Andrew, quit with the excuses," but a "Andrew, I need you to do this. If you don't know how then figure it out." Basically throwing me in the deep end of the pool forcing me to learn to swim. That all stopped though. Now I willingly and enthusiastically steer into uncharted territory so that I can learn and grow. Building on past experiences, polishing existing skills, and adding new skills. Someone may ask "Hey, how do you do __" If I don't know how, I figure it out so I can show them. Better yet, with lots of experiences under my belt, I can a lot of times figure it out as I'm showing them.


Cut the excuses. Quit being lazy. No more "I don't know to do that, sorry". If you don't know how, figure it out. I'm not talking astrophysics, I'm talking real life stuff like being good at communicating with people, knowing how to cook, learning how to use a software program, or how to paint a room. Once you've learned how to do that thing, use that experience to solve problems and gain more knowledge in the future.

ExcusesAndrew Clifton