google-site-verification: google4283fb30fde0af74.html
top of page

Knowing Doing Gap

Part I:  Description

The Knowing Doing Gap: Why Knowledge Doesn't Equal Action

The knowing-doing gap refers to the disconnect between what we know we should do and what we actually do. It's the frustrating space between understanding the concept or ideal, and consistently putting it into practice.

Examples of the Knowing Doing Gap

  • Healthy Habits: Knowing the importance of exercise, but struggling to make it a regular routine.

  • Productivity: Understanding time management principles, but still succumbing to procrastination.

  • Goal Setting: Having a clear plan, yet failing to take the first steps out of fear or lack of motivation.

  • Personal Growth: Reading self-help books or taking workshops, but reverting to old patterns.

Why Does The Knowing Doing Gap Exist?

  • Behavior Change Is Hard: Established habits are wired in, requiring more than just knowledge to change.

  • Emotional Barriers: Fear, self-doubt, or lack of enjoyment can hinder action, even with good intentions.

  • Competing Priorities: Life gets busy, making it easy for even important goals to fall to the wayside.

  • Lack of Accountability: It's easier to change with external support or clear, measurable goals.

Closing the Knowing Doing Gap

  • Small Steps: Instead of radical overhauls, focus on tiny, actionable steps.

  • Track Progress: Seeing even small wins creates motivation.

  • Anticipate Obstacles: Plan how to overcome potential setbacks in advance.

  • Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself when you slip up, recommit to the goal, it's part of the process.

Part II:  Common Questions

1. Is the knowing-doing gap a sign of laziness or lack of willpower?

  • Answer: Not inherently. While those can play a role, it's often more complex:

    • Deep-seated habits: Our brains favor the familiar, even when less beneficial.

    • Conflicting desires: Part of us wants change, another fears it or prefers immediate gratification.

    • Skills gap: Sometimes we lack the practical HOW, not just the theoretical knowledge.

2. Why is it important to address the knowing-doing gap?

  • Answer: It impacts various life areas:

    • Goal achievement: Stagnation leads to frustration, eroding self-trust.

    • Missed opportunities: Staying stuck prevents growth in work, relationships, etc.

    • Well-being: Discrepancy between values and actions can decrease mental health.

3. Does everyone experience the knowing-doing gap?

  • Answer: Yes! It's part of being human. The degree varies, but everyone has areas where their intentions don't perfectly align with actions.

4. Can the knowing-doing gap be completely eliminated?

  • Answer: Likely not. Life is dynamic, and there will always be new things to learn and master. The goal is to:

    • Minimize the gap: Make the lag between knowledge and action smaller.

    • More forgiving process: View setbacks as learning, not signs of failure.

5. What's one simple strategy to start closing the knowing-doing gap?

  • Answer: Break it down ridiculously small! Instead of "eat healthier," your first step might be "add one vegetable into today's lunch." Tiny actions build momentum.

Part III:  Additional Resources

Books about the Knowing Doing Gap

"The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt: 

  • Explores the inner conflict between our rational understanding and the pull of emotions and habits.

"Atomic Habits" by James Clear 

  • Provides a framework for building sustainable behavior change, addressing the gap between aspirations and action.

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg: 

  • Explains the neuroscience behind habits and provides strategies for rewiring the ingrained patterns that contribute to the knowing-doing gap.

Websites about the Knowing Doing Gap

  • The Knowledge-Action Gap (Stanford Social Innovation Review): ( Offers insights into bridging the gap for social sector work.

  • James Clear's Website: ( Search his blog for articles on habit formation and closing the gap between intention and execution.

  • Farnam Street Blog: ( Features articles on decision-making, behavior change, and mental models, relevant to the knowing-doing gap.

Other Resources about the Knowing Doing Gap

  • Podcasts on Productivity & Habit Building: Many podcasts delve into the practical strategies for bridging the gap between what you know and what you consistently do.

  • Behavioral Science Articles: Search online for articles like "knowing-doing gap in behavioral science" for research-backed insights.

  • Accountability Partners/Groups: Finding support from others working on similar goals helps with bridging the gap.

  • Online Courses on Behavior Change: Platforms like Coursera or Udemy may offer courses focused on understanding habit formation and building action-oriented mindsets.

Part IV:  Disclaimer

These results were highly selected, curated, and edited by The Nexus Inititiative. To make this amount of complimentary content available at a cost-effective level for our site visitors and clients, we have to rely on, and use, resources like Google Gemini and other similar services.

bottom of page