The Surprising Truth About Building Authority: Crushing the Stereotype
No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “ignorance is bliss.”
Is it? Seriously?
I mean really… bliss?
Maybe during a week-long tequila-soaked bender in Cancun you might want to forget your troubles and responsibilities and go loco for a while. In that case, ignorance might be bliss.
Until you get home and check your email.
But ignorance isn’t bliss over the long haul. Not when you’re running a business… or supporting a family… or holding down a job… or trying to pull off anything ambitious, really.
So what, if anything, is ignorance good for?
Your Ignorance Is Your Opportunity
First off, you need to quit thinking of ignorance as a bad thing. Stupidity is a bad thing. It means not smart – or unable to learn more.
Don’t confuse the two. Ignorance is simply not yet knowing something.
So while ignorance may not really be pure joy as the saying suggests, I promise you it is one hell of an opportunity to transform yourself from average to outstanding.
When you acknowledge and embrace the fact that there’s a whole cosmic buttload of stuff you don’t yet know, you open yourself up to infinite growth and discovery opportunities.
You’re also admitting there’s unlimited opportunity to get better every day for the rest of your life. The sky’s the limit.
Not to mention the fact that your sincerity and humility will attract the right kind of people. There’s a fine line between being an expert authority and being a know-it-all.
No one likes a know-it-all, but everyone loves an expert who embraces being imperfect.
Why Real Authority Is a Far Cry from Perfection
I realize this all flies in the face of the authority-based content that’s so plentiful these days. I’m pretty happy about that, actually.
See, in this authority-centric space we all occupy, few people embrace their imperfection, so it’s easy to come away with the idea that you’re supposed to appear as infallible as possible at all times.
But there are a couple big problems with the “ultimate authority” schtick. First, smart people tend to see right through that act… so it may not be the best long-term audience building strategy.
Second, it suggests that you already know what you need to know. And that’s a dangerous message to send to your own psyche.
In other words, you’re telling yourself you’ve already peaked. You’re a finished work. There’s nothing left to learn and nowhere left to go from here.
That’s so wrong it’s ludicrous.
Conversely, if you find yourself starting to believe you’re the shiz-nit and you’ve got it all figured out, snap out of it. You’re not there yet… and thank God for that!
Because when you start to believe you’re done, you’re finished.
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Remember – you’re an amazing one-of-a-kind masterpiece in progress – not a complete (but mediocre) 3rd grade art project.
Embrace not knowing it all.
Having infinite capacity to learn and experience is a tremendous gift.
It means you can still become.
You can still pull off amazing things. Things you haven’t even thought of yet.
You’re not done yet.
Neither am I.
And good for us!