What You Know Vs. What You Think You Know

Incite InsightsThis is how humans are: we question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question.” ~ Orson Scott Card

There are two ways to preface a statement regarding your beliefs. You can say:

This is what I think.

Or you could say:

This is what I know.

The first one (what I think) seems to have less of a commitment. The second one (what I know) seems more assured.

In reality it’s often the opposite.

The Paradox of Knowing

When you know something deep in your gut — something you have absolutely no doubt in — there’s a confidence that comes from that knowing. That confidence is so strong, you don’t feel the need to convince anyone of what you know.

You may even choose not to try at all. You know it, and have no real desire or need to make anyone else know it.

So when you discuss it, you say, “this is what I think” because it’s less confrontational than “this is what I know.”

Saying you know something tends to scare people. Mainly because they aren’t too confident in what they think they know.

People who say “this is what I know,” are often starting out from a defensive position. They always feel the need to defend their beliefs, because they aren’t real confident in them.

It often makes you think “who are you trying to convince, me or yourself.”

When you know something, you don’t feel the need to defend it. Sure, you like discussing it, but can easily see the other point of view. You know what you know, and nothing will shake that. So it’s easy to view it from another perspective.

Question everything, until there are no more questions to ask. Then rest assured in your knowing. Then when the questions come up again, you’ll have no need to dodge them. Because true knowing is bolstered by questions, even though you’ll have no need to ask them.