Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong. ― Kathryn Schulz.
We live in a screwed up generation. Politicians are lying to us, half the world has plastic surgery, and everyone else is just caught up in trying to live the flashy life somebody else is leading.
Yet, we think we’re always right – even when we have no idea what we’re up to.
Why? Because we always have this fear of losing an argument over a pointless conversation. Fear of not being able to achieve impractical goals the society has set forth. Fear of being wrong. A subliminal fear of the fear itself.
Let’s face it. Such kind of fear isn’t healthy. It holds us back from making improvements in our lives and reaching the things we truly desire. Letting go of the fear of being wrong can improve our lives, and teach us to value every experience as a point of growth.
1. Being wrong encourages learning and growth. The fear of being wrong often stems from pride. Nobody wants to provide the wrong answer, or suggest the wrong idea in a conversation, meeting, or in a classroom. Do you find yourself withholding your own ideas in situations like this? The truth is – you will tend to learn more when you get something wrong, than you will when you get a pat on the back for being right.
By engaging with different ideas, answers, or even mindsets, you are given the opportunity to challenge your own answers and ideas. On the path to self-improvement, it is important to be able to accept being wrong, in order to learn more and grow as an open-minded individual.
2. Making the leap on a tough decision will lead to new opportunities. Imagine a sliding scale, with fear on one end, and opportunity on the other. The further you get from fear, the closer you are to reaching opportunity. Holding on to the fear of making the wrong decision produces doubt, and may prevent you from new experiences that could else have a profound impact on your life.
When making decisions that will affect your life in some large way, taking a risk is okay. Even when there is a chance that the decision you make might actually be wrong, you will experience circumstances that you might not have otherwise. Without making the leap, you are stripped of the lessons learned in this process.
To be wrong, and to find a new footing and move upward with the lesson you have learned, is an opportunity in and of itself.
3. Abandoning the fear of being wrong allows you to make decisions through other emotions. Consider how different the decisions you made would be if you made them through the channel of joy, rather than fear! If the fear of being wrong controls your decision making process, then the outcomes of your decisions will often turn out the same. This not only prevents growth, but creates a life of monotony and often leaves a longing for more.
When you aren’t afraid of being wrong, you make space for new emotions to influence your thinking. Rather than allowing the fear that you might end up being wrong to create inaction, you are afforded the opportunity to be in the present moment. Being in the present moment allows you to become more in tune with yourself and what you truly feel.
This self-awareness allows for a more fulfilled life, in which you make decisions based on your passions and true emotions rather than through the fear of being wrong.
4. Learn to look through a more positive lens. Life is about how you look at the everyday situations that you encounter. If you go about your day with a positive attitude, then your negative encounters will seem less… well, negative. Similarly, if you view being wrong as an acceptable and normal occurrence, then the times in which you are wrong about something will feel less significant. Only when you embrace being wrong as something that you can benefit from, will you truly benefit from it. Being wrong is stigmatized as something negative when it is a feared outcome.
By making a conscious decision to view the act of being wrong as something positive, you might find yourself approaching other issues in your life with a similar mindset. Through this conscious decision to adjust your outlook, you are putting to use the powerful act of mindfulness.
When you are mindful of your emotions, and question why you feel the way you feel, you are able to adjust your way of being to embrace a more positive mindset. This practice promotes a way of thinking which enables you to find the positive side to any situation.
5. See a new side of yourself when you embrace the prospect of being wrong. Saying goodbye to the fear of being wrong requires an acknowledgement that you will be wrong at times. You will be wrong often! But you are okay with this thought, because it no longer indicates that you are bad, lesser, or incapable. You begin to trust that eventually, being wrong leads to the right answer or decision.
Staying in the same place in life often seems like the safe and easy thing to do. This changes when you learn to take risk, and to appreciate the knowledge gained through being wrong. When you stop letting the fear of being wrong influence your actions, you become open to a new avenue of possibilities. To live the life that you want to live – be it creative, adventurous, fulfilling, spiritual, or however you imagine it – you must gain the confidence to embrace being wrong, rather than fearing it.