I'm sure all of you can relate to this. A friend seeks your advice. As you begin to relate your thoughts, your friend fervently interrupts you with, "I know, I know I know". A coworker reaches out to you for feedback on a particular project. As you share you some insight with your coworker, they - in a tone almost laced with annoyance - state "I know, I know, I know".
I see this all of the time in coaching sessions. Primarily, clients frustrated with themselves for showing up a certain away, reacting to a conflict in a certain manner, or fixated on a particular person or event. Whenever I hear the words, "I know, I know, I know" I am aware that a couple of things are happening:
1. Their intellectual body may have an understanding, but that understanding hasn't fully integrated into their feeling body.
2. Since it hasn't fully integrated, it's simply information and not embodied wisdom.
3. Their statement of "I know, I know, I know" serves only to foster self-judgment and self-shame, because it operates off of the belief that they should have done something differently or be somewhere different.
4. Also, the client stating "I know, I know, I know" could be a protective measure, for they may be in fear of how they will be perceived - by myself and others - and are wanting to convince me of their worth.
As a coach, I can provide a judgement-free, shame-free place for the client to accept where they are, right now at this moment, which may include recognizing the dissonance between their intellectual and feeling body (more on this in the next post). From there, we can begin to reframe the situation by acknowledging the factors that led to the choice/reaction - while still holding them accountable to their choices. More importantly, we begin to explore to the feelings that surround the situation, moving from the intellectual body to the feeling body. Finally, we develop a strategy for what can be done differently, always centering our responsibility and the choices available.
If you find yourself saying, "I know, I know, I know", in personal or professional circumstances I invite you ask yourself, "why is it important for me that others know I am aware of the information they're sharing?".
- Am I worried about how they will perceive me?
- Am I concerned about creating a power dynamic in which I feel indebted to them?
- Am I afraid, if I were to follow through on said advice/insight, that the person would use that against me and make it about themselves (the "see I told you" scenario).
If you find yourself in a similar situation, and are looking for someone to create a container to process your feelings and co-create a strategy to address future situations, consider setting a one-on-one coaching session with me today.
Christopher W. Daniels,