"Action without knowledge can be destructive, but knowledge without action can be demoralizing."
~ Bill Crawford

“Action without knowledge can be destructive, but knowledge without action can be demoralizing.”

~ Bill Crawford

Trusting Your Own Judgement

Of course, the first part of this quote is self-explanatory, as when we act without knowing what we are doing, the potential is high that we will be less than successful, and, at times, actions such as these can be destructive.

It’s the second part of the quote, however, that I feel could be valuable to those of us wanting to have more influence in our experience of life. It says, “knowledge without action can be demoralizing.”

This refers to the fact that, in important situations, when we know what to do but don’t do it, we often feel demoralized or powerless, and can even begin to question whether we can trust our own judgement.

This is especially problematic for those who have grown up in families where they received either the overt or covert message that there was something wrong with them, or that they shouldn’t trust their own judgement. Sadly, many people take this perspective on themselves and the world into adulthood where they often feel paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision, and, therefore, do nothing at all.

For those of you who follow my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy, you know this fear-based self-doubt comes from the lower 20% of the brain (the brainstem) and when trusted, can cripple even the most talented of individuals.

The solution, therefore, is to do our best to gather the knowledge we need to make a good decision and then trust our judgement, or choose to take the action we feel is right, and that we would recommend to someone we love.

This way, one of two things will happen…either we will be successful, which will add to our self-confidence and belief that we are indeed someone whose judgment we can trust… or, we will find out that what we thought was the right thing to do didn’t really solve the problem or create the result that we wanted. However, because we were willing to trust our judgement in the first place, we can now trust our ability to take what we learned and apply it to future decisions.

The truth is that we will never really know what is the best thing to do until we try what we believe to be best. The key is to adopt a “Top of the Mind” perspective that allows us to access the upper 80% of the brain (the neocortex) where our best decision-making skills and problem-solving skills reside.

Or, put another way, given that “demoralized” is not what we are going for, I suggest that we trust the best and most moral parts of who we are to do what is right. That way, even if we make the wrong decision, it won’t mean that we are wrong, and we can take what we learned to make an even more informed decision in the future.

~ All the best, Dr. Bill