When faced with a new challenge outside your comfort zone, and asked if it can be done, there are several possible replies.
The easy answer is “No, it can’t be done.” After a person answers “No” and walks away, that person can go back to whatever he or she was doing and not give the new challenge another thought. This is certainly not the type of person who grows and develops throughout life.
Another possible answer is “I don’t know.” This answer is better than “No” but still, the person who says “I don’t know” takes no responsibility for the new challenge. Any future efforts are out of his or her hands.
A far better answer is: “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
The “I don’t know” part was honest. A person with this response isn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. That’s good, because when people act as though they know something when they don’t, they usually wind up over promising and under delivering which has negative consequences.
Then, after admitting “I don’t know,” saying “but I’ll find out” is accepting the responsibility to find a solution. By adding that phrase, the person becomes a solution provider, rather than a source of another problem.
Great things happen to those who see challenges as opportunities to learn rather than taking the easy way out.
The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Monday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.