Articles and Media

Raise Your Hand

by Ana L. Palles

Raised Hands Raise your hand if you know the answer!

Say that to a classroom of 6 year olds and you get a room full of waving hands and squirming bodies barely able to stay seated. Fast forward 25 years and you’d be lucky to have a single person admit to knowing the answer. It seems the older we get, the less sure we are of ourselves.

It’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed. Our world expands at an amazing rate thanks to ever faster communications. A 2003 Berkeley study on the amount of information we process “show[s] that the storage of new information has been growing at a rate of over 30% a year (upper estimate, uncompressed)." So sometimes, we simply do not want to figure things out because there is so much information to sift through.

But consulting with experts or with our own trusted advisors is a wise thing to do. They provide the benefit of their experience and education. They help us problem solve. Often, professionals help us see options that we have not considered, help us sort through and understand data, and help us provide valuable structure towards accomplishing our goals.

Where problem solving becomes challenging is when we are overly obsessed with getting something right. When this happens, either we go into an analysis paralysis loop or we rush headlong after the latest fad without really checking it out first. We forget the critical key to success. We forget to trust ourselves.

Each of us comes with our own internal set of filters and inner knowing. If something doesn't seem right to you, it is important to listen to that prompting. There are many times when our senses process the information it receives faster than our logic. We hear story after story of folks that listened to their instinct, even when they could not immediately find a reason why this instinct was correct.

Trust yourself to make good choices. Know that we each carry a deep inner wisdom that is uniquely our own. Sometimes, even when we think we have made a wrong turn, down the road we find that it was exactly the right place for us to be.

It’s ok to raise your hand. You’ve got the answer.


Berkeley Study: How much information 2003