Remember that phrase? Usually, when we’re young we would get a lot of joy as we yelled out “I Told You So!” when we had a point validated by a knowledgeable 3rd party who was maybe a parent or an older sibling.

Somewhere between age 5 and age 20, it became quite rude to proclaim, “I Told You So!” to a friend, a work colleague, and especially a spouse. To soften it up a little, a person might say, “I hate to say I told you so…but I told you so.”

That really is not any fun to hear; kind of like hearing your morning alarm clock after a short night’s sleep. I had a buzzing alarm clock in college, and I think I drove over it with my car after graduation and haven’t had a buzzer since. I cringe at the thought in fact.

With our coaching clients, we may exaggerate the use of the term but we’re always looking for positive uses for the phrase. And somehow, it’s not rude in the context that we’re using it. Where it comes into play, for the most part, is when we see something in a client who we are working with, but their confidence level is too low, and it forms a blind spot for them to be able to see their potential.

From where we sit, we know that the client is able to perform at a high level, reach new heights, and carry out certain activities that they never believed they could. Somehow, they don’t seem to mind hearing “I Told You So!” after landing the large account, delivering an outstanding presentation, attaining new quarterly production levels, or successfully getting through a challenging team conflict.

We love to say, “I Told You So!” when we help a client change an “I Can’t” to an “I Can”, when we can help them turn doubts and fears into a conquering spirit, and when we can help them turn daunting odds into slam dunks.

We have so much untapped potential, but sometimes, we need someone to help bring it out of us. I’ve got to admit, I love telling people “I Told You So!” when they’re winning and they just didn’t think they could.

So, face your doubts and fears head-on and at the end of the successful project, sale or event, look yourself in the mirror and say, “I Told You So!”

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