When it comes to transitioning, it´s crucial to be aware of the important role words play. Words are the true indicators of where exactly we find ourselves in our transitioning journey.

One little word often tells us more than an entire monologue. For this very reason, today´s blog will focus on the difference between the two verbs “to understand“ and “to know.“

In my coaching sessions, I often hear my clients say: “Oh, I understand now where I´m heading.“ The verb “to understand“ has been defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “ the power of comprehending; especially: the capacity to apprehend general relations of particulars.”

In other words, when I hear my clients say that they´ve now understood something, I know that they´ve gained a rough idea of where they´re heading and where their transitioning journey could possibly take them.

At the same time, the use of the word “understand“ indicates that – even though my clients have grasped the basic idea of their individual transitioning journey – they haven´t taken ownership of their vision just yet. They aren´t fully committed to starting the implementation of the actions needed to make their vision their reality.

When we´re in the phase of “understanding,“ it means that there´s still something holding us back. This could be fear. Self-doubt. Or simply the fact that our vision isn´t 100% us. Consequently, there´s a very high likelihood of us changing our minds about transitioning.

In my coaching sessions, when I hear my clients say: “I know where I´m heading,“ I can tell that an internal shift has taken place. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the use of the verb “to know“ indicates the taking of “possession of exclusive inside knowledge or information.“

In this state, my client has now fully embraced their individual transitioning journey. Their voice is different. They suddenly sound more confident. Their posture is different. They´re sitting upright. Energized. Ready to go.

In the “knowing phase,“ we´ve take on ownership of our ideas, of our transitioning process. And it shows. In our voice. In our body language. In our actions. We´re 100% committed.

“To understand“ and “to know“ – with their different meanings – are equally important in the transitioning phase. They´re the true indicators of where we really stand in our transitioning process.

In fact, “understanding“ and “knowing“ are an essential part of the transitioning process. You could even go as far as saying that in order to successfully transition into the next chapter in our lives, we first of all need to transition from “I understand where I´m heading“ to “I know where I´m heading.“

Where do you currently find yourself? Are you in the “understanding“ or the “knowing“ phase?


photo: fotolia / zhu difeng