Listen to the Full Episode:

How often do you tell yourself, “I don’t know?” I used to tell this to myself all the time, and it wasn’t until I stopped accepting it as an answer that I realized, “I don’t know,” is one of the most unhelpful and heartbreaking statements a woman can make.

Why a life lived from, “I don’t know,” always leads to a life you don’t really want to have.

As long as you’re thinking, “I don’t know,” you’re demanding very little from yourself. The worst part is, you think it’s a fact that you simply don’t know. However, it’s actually a thought. And it’s one of those tricky little thoughts that our brains like to throw at us because it’s afraid of the brilliance and the growth that lives on the other side.

Tune in this week to discover why a life lived from, “I don’t know,” always leads to a life you don’t really want to have. I’m sharing why the answer to any question always lies within you, and I’m giving you the tools you need to start accessing those answers right now.

Have you heard? We have opened the doors to the School of Self-Image Membership. Come and try it out because, if you want to clear the path to your extraordinary goals, this is the perfect environment in which to do it. What’s not to love? Click here to get involved.

Have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Click here to get your copy and learn how to think and show up in treas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why nothing kills your dreams quicker than, “I don’t know.”
  • What you’re trying to cover up when you tell yourself, “I don’t know.”
  • How to come up with a more empowering answer than, “I don’t know,” in any situation.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

There are three words that I rarely say to myself or to other people. And they are, “I don’t know.” And in this episode, I’m going to share with you why, and why you shouldn’t use those words either. So, let’s dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.

What is happening, my gorgeous friends? What a week it has been. I just wrapped up hosting the Business Image Mastermind three-day workshop and, you all, it was so good. And it’s just the beginning. We have six more months together. I cannot wait to see what happens, not only in these women’s businesses, but in their lives based on this work that we’re doing around their business image.

And then, this week, I’ve been running the Royal Treatment workshop, which has been equally as incredible. It’s been so fun seeing all of these new people being introduced to the work that we’re doing within the School of Self-Image. Which, by the way, I think the day that this episode is released, we will be closing down the doors to the School of Self-Image for a while.

So, if you enjoy this podcast and you want to take this work even deeper and create some extraordinary results in your life, come and join us. It’s a no-brainer, seriously. Come join us for the month. If you don’t like it, you can leave. But I bet, if you’re 99% of my members, you’re going to stick around for a while because it is so good. You can head to and read all about it.

Today, I want to talk with you about, “I don’t know.” I just finished a coaching call with one of our School of Self-Image members, and she was really frustrated that she was not making progress around her goal. And she said, “I don’t know,” probably 20 times during our conversation.

I would ask her a question and she would say, “I don’t know.” She would tell me she doesn’t know what to do with her business, she doesn’t know what the content should be. There were a lot of, “I don’t knows…”

How often are you saying, “I don’t know,” to yourself? Pay attention. If you’re not creating results in your life, my guess is, a lot.

“I don’t know,” is simply a thought. When you think, “I don’t know,” notice how you feel. If I say, “I don’t know,” about something I want to do or something that I want to become, I instantly feel frustrated and stuck. And so, therefore, I don’t take any action.

I get to stay exactly where I am. “I don’t know,” is covering up what’s really going on, and that’s fear of stepping into the mystery of where everything that you want and don’t yet have resides.

As long as you think, “I don’t know,” you demand very little from yourself. And you think it’s true. You think it’s a fact. But I want you to know, it is not a fact. It is a thought. And it’s one of those tricky little thoughts that our brain likes to throw at us because the brain is afraid of what’s on the other side of, “I don’t know.”

I used to say, “I don’t know,” a lot. And when I was in that place of, “I don’t know,” there was not a lot of momentum in my life. I wasn’t creating a lot of results. And it was me allowing my brain to be lazy.

So, what I would do – because I really thought it was a fact, I would go and ask other people, “What do you think I should do? Tell me what to do. What do you think the problem is?” wanting other people to solve my problems for me.

And then, sometimes they would give me a piece of advice, or they would tell me what they think I should do and then I would say, “I don’t know if that’s the right thing.” Can you all see how this works? I know some of you all are doing it to yourself.

One of the things that I ask of all of my members is that they never use the words, “I don’t know.” And it’s hard at first because, number one, you think it’s a fact. And you only think it’s a fact because you haven’t asked your brain to come up with the answers yet.

And then, what happens is you might feel like life is happening to you. Life is just being what life is and it’s happening, but you’ve created all of it. And creating a life from, “I don’t know,” usually leads to a life that you do not want to have.

The other reason why it’s challenging for my members when they start practicing this is, the moment that they’re honest with themselves, the moment that they access the wisdom of their own brain and they come up with answers, then they’re compelled to take action. And that action leads to more discomfort.

So, maybe you’ve been spinning in, “I don’t know where I should move.” And so, you ask your brain, “Let’s come up with three possible places that we could move to.” And so, you come up with three. And now, what’s your excuse for not moving there? You’re going to have to feel the discomfort of making a choice between those three, and having your own back and taking a bold action.

And the brain is so terrified of what it doesn’t know. So, the brain will try to trick you into, “Well, you just don’t know.” So, as long as you don’t know, you get to stay exactly where you are.

I was talking with a friend of mine recently and I asked her the question, I’m like, “What are you going to do about this relationship?” And she said, “I don’t know.” And I asked her, “Why are you afraid of knowing?” Because I know she knows. She knows exactly what she wants to do.

But, “I don’t know,” is her escape from facing her own truth. “I don’t know,” is her escaping the discomfort that she will go through when she gets honest with herself about what she wants to do with this relationship.

But then, she complains about the relationship, and she keeps herself trapped in it with an “I don’t know.” Can you all see how this works? It’s very tricky.

And my brain wants to take me to that. My brain wants to be lazy like everybody else’s. In fact, I am working on a project for the membership, and my brain want to go to, “I don’t know how to figure this out. I don’t know what I should do.”

But I just don’t entertain it. I will never say out loud, “I don’t know.” And sometimes, people say, “But I really don’t.” And I say to them, if you want to know, stop saying, “I don’t know.” Of all of the thoughts that you could think, why would you say, “I don’t know,” if you want to know?

Or, are you being honest with yourself? Maybe you don’t want to know because you don’t want to take the action that that knowing would ask of you. So, for me, I just don’t say it. I don’t say, “I don’t know,” unless someone asks me about something I genuinely don’t know, and I don’t care about knowing.

So, for example, if someone asks me about the black hole theory, “I don’t know, and that’s not how I want to spend my brain energy, trying to figure it out.” I’ll leave that to all the scientists in the world. Then they can inform me, if I actually want to know about it.

But if there’s something that you want to know, don’t ever say, “I don’t know.” I would rather you say, “I’m figuring it out.” That one thought will ask more of your own brain. Now we’re getting some momentum going. Now your brain’s like, “Okay, she has asked that we figure this out. Let’s start looking for all of the clues to help us figure this out.”

Also, if you want to get out of, “I don’t know,” start asking yourself quality questions. So, for example, when I think about this project that I am working on, I’m asking myself questions like, “What’s the end result? How do I want my clients to feel? What do they need to know? How can I deliver this in a way that will be super effective?”

Those questions demand that I ask more of myself. I don’t run to people and ask them what they think I should do. Because they have their own thoughts and their own wisdom. I want to have something original, something that comes from me. And so, I ask that of myself.

Now, once I’ve come up with my own answers, once I have thought about possibilities, then I might present it to my team, or to someone that I trust and say, “Am I missing anything here? What do you think of this?” And from there, I may take their feedback if it resonates with me, and it feels good to me, and I might use that to refine and make it even better.

But I don’t depend on them to solve for my, “I don’t know.” I solve that for myself because that is what grows me. And that is coming from me. Because listen, the whole world will have ideas for you about what you should want, about what you should do, about what you should wear.

And it may not be a match for you. But if you’re allowing yourself to spin in, “I don’t know,” and you’re depending on the world to solve for that, you may get answers that don’t fit. I’m telling you, the answers are within you. And if you want to access them, you must stop saying to yourself, “I don’t know.”

What is really happening when you are saying, “I don’t know,” and you’re asking other people to figure it out for you, or you’re just staying stuck in that, is that you’re forming the self-image of a woman who doesn’t know. And you’re forming the self-image of a woman that doesn’t trust herself. And that is a big problem that inhibits us from growing.

You must be a woman that trusts herself. And so, in order to trust yourself, you have to get intimate with your knowing. You must trust it. You must take action on it and have your back no matter what happens. But you will never create an image of a woman who trusts herself, who knows herself, if you constantly say to yourself, “I don’t know.”

So this week, I want you to pay attention. How often are you saying the words, “I don’t know?” And when you catch yourself, a really great question to ask is, “If I did know, what would the answer be?” It forces you to practice a new way of thinking, a bigger way of thinking, a way of thinking that will help you create extraordinary things.

So, can we make a deal? No more, “I don’t know.” You do know. The answer is within you. And if you want to go deeper into this work, as I said at the beginning of the episode, the doors to the School of Self-Image are closing soon. We take the concepts that I talk about here on the podcast to a whole new level.

We practice it and we become it, so come and join us. You can go to And I can’t wait to see you inside the membership. Have a beautiful week, everyone. I love you, and I will see you in the next episode.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.


Enjoy the Show?

The Self-Image Manifesto

You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!