Don’t Let “I Don’t Know How To Do This” Stop You In Your Tracks

You don’t have to know all the perfect answers before you start

Deb Knobelman, PhD
4 min readMay 22, 2019


I have a new consulting client. Well, one that I’ve worked with before. I enjoy working with the management team. And its a project like many others that I have done in the past.

My first deadline is a few weeks away. Plenty of time. But I know that I need to get started. I know that it is a busy time of year. I have other work projects, and writing, and family life to juggle. And I am not typically a procrastinator.

But I found myself putting off this project all week last week. I had a sense of dread about it. I couldn’t figure out why. But I found every excuse in the book. I found something else to do with every minute that I had planned to work on this project.

And I realized, it was because I kept having the same thought:

I don’t know how to do this.

The thought came out of no where. And stopped me in my tracks for several days. Until I identified it.

Confidence is a funny thing.

It comes and goes. And its ebb and flow is unrelated to the circumstances around us.

I have worked in my industry for almost 20 years. I have been consulting for seven. I have a very specific niche. Which means I have done the same thing for many people.

And yet.

I still had the thought.

And it was strong enough to keep me from starting. From doing. From accomplishing.

Once I was able to identify the thought, it made all the difference. Because there are a few things I remember when I think this thought. Some mindset shifts I make. Because I know that I have goals to reach. I know I have work to do. And I can’t let my thoughts get in the way. So I remember these things:

Perfect does not exist

Cliche, but true. For me, part of the issue is that I want to do better each time. To top myself. Even if I already have a good relationship and reputation with the management team. I want to outdo myself. Deliver the best goods that I can.



Deb Knobelman, PhD

Neuroscience. Wall Street. C-Suite. Parent. Recovering Nervous Nelly.