“I get it.”
One of the greatest barriers to learning and becoming a better version of oneself is the phrase “I get it.”
Being aware of a piece of knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean that you truly understand and implement it in your life.
We all have comfort zones, like thermostats, and the idea that we are aware of something that can help us but don’t actually make use of that knowledge brings about a feeling of cognitive dissonance and takes us out of that comfort zone.
The quickest way back into that comfort zone is not to acknowledge that we are playing a role in hindering our own progress, but to construct an explanation that in fact nothing of the sort is happening.
Most times this decision is made reactively, in a portion of our brains not responsible for logical calculation but for emotional reaction.
We are confronted with a piece of knowledge or information that we are at least partially aware of already and rather than examining it further and accepting that we have failed ourselves in some way for not integrating it, we say “I get it.”
Unless a considerable effort is made to pay attention to this as it happens, it will occur outside our conscious awareness and we go on our happy way.
In this way the solution we’re seeking is never really found because we already get it. The reason we don’t have the careers we want, the relationships we want, the bodies we want or the happiness we want isn’t because we simply don’t make use of something we already know, it’s that we just haven’t found the real secret to it yet.
So we keep on looking, or at least pretending to look, blissfully unaware that the things we need most are probably already in front of us if only we’d have the humility and conscious detachment from our ego protecting mechanisms to see and make use of them.
Next time you feel the words “I get it” leaving your mouth or even just entering your stream of thought, take a moment to stop yourself and analyze where you are and what you’re doing.
Is this thing that you “get” something that you’ve already integrated into a daily ritual? Understanding it is only one step. You also have to put it into practice. Do you do anything that would prove contrary to a true understanding and practice of this thing?
You probably “get” that email is essentially other people’s agenda for your time and that you would be most productive if you disregarded it temporarily in order to first focus on accomplishing one major thing on your own schedule first, but here you are again, browsing through your email and blogs online before you’ve really put any focused energy into the things that you know would bring a real sense of completion for the day.
You “get” that you would live longer, look better, feel more energetic and be stronger if you ate a diet of mostly protein, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats with little to no processed ingredients. But what did you have for breakfast this morning?
Do you really get it?