This might sound counterintuitive so bare with me.
Since people love lists, I decided to make a bit of a compilation of reasons why being wrong is a good thing. Of course, this means the recognition of the mistake; given that if you are wrong, but you don’t know you are wrong… well that is a whole other subject, and not a productive one.
- Realizing we are wrong opens us up for the possibility of change
- Limiting beliefs give us comfort but are terrible long term strategies
- Some of the most difficult moments end up being the most formative and motivating
- Backwards Law: the more you try to be certain about something, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel
- The more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel knowing what you don’t know
- Uncertainty removes our judgements of others
- Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth -> The man who believes he knows everything learns nothing
- The more we are wrong and recognize it, the more we gain to learn
- Manson’s Law: The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.
- The more something threatens to change how you view yourself, the more you will avoid getting around to doing it
This is why people are so afraid of success – for the exact same reason they are afraid of failure: it threatens who they believe themselves to be. Now we go on to the second part.
why being wrong helps you get there, and what is holding you back from it:
- Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures
- If we are unwilling to fail, then we are unwilling to succeed
- We can be truly successful only at something we are unwilling to fail at
- It’s growth that generates happiness, not a long list of arbitrary achievements
- One must suffer pain to develop greater resilience, a stronger sense of self, increased compassion, and a generally happier life.
When you were a child you weren’t afraid of failure. Think about it. How many babies fail over and over again at something (ex: walking), yet they try again. They are not embarrassed. They are not afraid of “what mom and dad” might think. No. Avoiding failure is something we learn at some later point in life. Most of us reach a point where we are afraid to fail, and we stick only to what we’re already good at; which only confines us and stifles us.
Think about it, and I will repeat myself:
Certainty is the enemy of growth. We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. It’s scary right? Tell me about it. I’m afraid all the time. I write this because I want to remind myself of these principles, but also you. So take note, and remind yourself of that thing that scares you. Do it. Remind yourself of these principles yet again. Do that thing that scares you*.
*Not suggesting anything illegal here.