For my instructor friends…
Training people how to protect their lives from violent crime is a specialty. It requires ongoing study. It requires a commitment to learn. It also requires a ruthless self-assessment process: what do I know? What do I not know? Am I really qualified to teach the things I want to teach? If not, what can I do to reach that level?
You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your students to be fearlessly honest with yourself about what you know and what you don’t know. Sometimes that’s hard work, sometimes it’s humbling, sometimes it’s confusing. But having an honest understanding of your own limits is always valuable.
Never be afraid of saying, “I don’t know.” Never be afraid of the reality behind it, either. When you say it yourself, “I don’t know” is one of the most powerful phrases in the English language! It tells us where we have room to grow, how we can improve, where we can become more than we are right now.
Treated right, “I don’t know” helps us reach our goals and helps us meet the needs of others. It’s tremendously empowering!