In one of my earlier posts I briefly mentioned a certain phenomena – the curse of knowledge. In the article I discussed how it makes it difficult for someone with already superior knowledge on a subject, to teach others effectively.

In the above example, it is the audience, the receivers, who fall victim to your curse. However, there is another side to it which affects you (expert, entrepreneur, manager, trainer, teacher, speaker, specialist – pick your thing) directly.

Given sufficient time we adjust and grow accustomed to anything. Also to our level of expertise and knowledge. This adjustment grows to the point where we stop being impressed by what we know and can do. By our own expertise. It becomes ordinary. We just know these things.

Since we also tend to assume other people are just like us, this is where it gets difficult. Self-doubt shows it’s ugly head:

  • “Does it even makes sense to tell them that? This really sounds simple…”
  • “Wouldn’t they know this already? Isn’t it common knowledge?”
  • “Do I really have anything interesting and valuable to share with them, which they don’t know yet?”

Yes you do. No, they don’t know. You really are an expert. You do know more than others.

Never assume people know what you know. They don’t. Even if they read the same things, attended the same seminars, worked the same jobs, they will never have that one thing…

Your perspective.

And interesting perspective is always impressive and worth sharing.

Tell me, do you fall victim to this curse as well? How do you fight it?


#Reflections is my short, quick, more flow-driven post format. My mind. A sheet of (digital) paper. Direct transfer. Here I cover thoughts I have during the day that could be of use to someone else. Or not. You will judge that.

Find more of them here: wojciechmendyka.com/category/reflections

Wojciech is a trainer, teacher and life-long learner on the topic of effective communication. He believes that speaking clearly, effectively and with confidence is essential to our success and taking advantage of all life’s opportunities. READ MORE
  • Yes, I do have a problem with this from time to time. What works for me? After workshops I am asking attendees for fulfilling a questionnaire about whole training or in smaller groups I am asking the question “What did you learn today?”. It helps me to build confidence that things that I am sharing are valuable.