You don’t have to be “right” all the time in order to live a fun, fulfilling life.
You don’t even have to be right MOST of the time.
You don’t need to have all the answers; you don’t need to know the “truth” on a spiritual or metaphysical level; and you certainly don’t need to follow just the right guru, regardless of what some gurus might want you to believe.
You can be wrong most of the time and still have an awesome life.
IF you’re open to course correcting.
IF you’re willing to acknowledge and admit when you’re wrong.
IF you have the courage to sometimes look a little silly.
IF you don’t have too much of your self-image wrapped up in being “right.”
So much of our time and energy is expended on worrying whether we’re right— either literally, or spiritually, or in principle, or morally, or practically.
Hours and hours and HOURS we waste, worrying about being “wrong.”
It’s no sin or crime to be wrong— despite what our upbringing might have taught us.
It is maladaptive as hell, however, to remain inflexible in wrongness once it’s realized.
Do you have any idea how many people persist in an error or a misperception or mistake JUST because they’ve spent so much time being wrong?
It’s called the “sunk cost fallacy.” People figure that they’ve made so much time and invested so much energy (and sometimes money) making a mistake, that they “should” see it through…even if they’ve realized that they’re on the wrong track.
For some people it’s a matter of pride. Their ego can’t sustain the blow it would take if they owned up to how wrong they’ve been.
For others it’s a social thing. They don’t want to deal with the prospect of ridicule from their friends or social circle if they admit to being wrong.
Look, everybody’s wrong sometimes. It’s part of life. It’s even a part of SCIENCE— in fact, being wrong is kind fo the part of science that makes science valuable as a way of arriving at knowledge.
If we were never wrong, we’d never have to do the work of reexamining our assumptions.
If we were never wrong, we’d never have to think deeply about our processes and needs.
If we were never wrong, we’d never need or find value in other peoples’ input— why would we want to hear what OTHER people have to say, if we were never wrong?
Don’t be afraid to be wrong— even very publicly.
Don’t be afraid to look silly— even among your friends.
Developing a sense of humor and a sense of perspective about being wrong and looking silly are among the most important emotional tools that emotionally mature people will develop.
Put another way: would YOU trust a leader, a mentor, a therapist, or a sponsor who simply couldn’t admit that they were ever wrong?
Because when people can’t admit they’re wrong, it means they haven’t developed the emotional maturity and resilience required of leaders, mentors, therapists, or sponsors.
We can take the subjects with which we deal seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.
We can even take our lives, our values, and our goals seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.
Get out there and be wrong. Make mistakes. Generate some hilarious stories you can laugh about later.
But more importantly— get out there and develop the skill of not freaking out when you’re wrong. Develop the skill of not being in denial when you’re wrong. Develop the skill of pivoting, intentionally and self-compassionately, when you discover you’re wrong.
Don’t be that person who refuses, over and over again, to admit when things have gone awry.
Live in the real world with me— where we generate real results, because we’re not afraid to admit that we’re not perfect.
What a concept, no?
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2 thoughts on “Being “right” is overrated.”
Something i need to work on.
YES. One of the most important Lesson in Life! To be able to put aside pride and admit being wrong and even laugh at oneself