How many times have you found yourself arguing a point just to prove that you were right and the other person was wrong? It’s an easy situation to get into, and one that most of us fall into more than we’d like to admit. It can be so easy to start off with a discussion and then before you know it you find yourself saying anything at all to prove that you were right. The very thing that you began discussing can even get lost in this desire to be right.
What is it about ‘being right’ that’s so appealing? Because let’s face it – no one wants to be wrong. The thing is, I’ve discovered that being right is actually over-rated. If you think about it, being right is about ownership of knowledge; we prove ourselves to be right by using supporting evidence or knowledge.
Usually this evidence is based on experience. We might say “I know that this is right because I’ve experienced it.” Or “this fact proves the point.” But existing knowledge can actually hinder our creative process. When we feel like we’re right, we become narrow minded because we close off our mind to other options. This can lead to a stubbornness that’s not rally that helpful in any kind of discussion.
In my opinion, being right can also at times block our creativity and how open we are to new solutions. If we are so focussed on being right then it leaves no room for other creative ideas to flow in – it brings our creative expression to a halt. Plus, no one really likes a know it all because they can come across as arrogant, stubborn and superior. Really – it’s actually impossible for someone to be right all of the time. And why would they even want to be?
Being wrong, however is just perfect. Once you allow yourself to be wrong, you stop striving for perfection and the irony is that through the process you find an imperfect perfection. This is a perfection where you ultimately free yourself from the rigid boundaries of ‘being right’. Anything is possible when it’s OK to be wrong.
What this approach does is open us up to infinite possibilities and this is where our true inner genius can really flourish. We are no longer wasting energy trying to be right because we have shifted our attention to what matters – to finding a solution. Sometimes knowledge can weigh us down like a lead balloon. Sometimes we just need to let go of being right and open our minds to what is truly possible.
Here are 5 reasons why being right is overrated:
1. When you focus only on being right your attention is solely on your opinion. This intent focus can cause a narrow-minded attitude that will block potential solutions.
2. When you give yourself permission to be wrong you literally open your mind. Instead of just focussing on one thing (your opinion) your mind is open to receiving new solutions inspired by the views of others. This is where creativity and solutions can flourish.
3. While knowledge and past experiences can be helpful, it’s important not to rely on this too much. Excessive knowledge can confuse instead of provide clarity. Sometimes a clear head is what’s needed instead of a head full of knowledge.
4. By allowing yourself to be wrong you’re no longer striving for perfection. When you let go of perfection, it’s easier to try new things because you have let go of a fear of failure. And if you’re willing to try then who knows what might happen!
5. No-one likes a know it all. You will gain more respect from others by admitting when you’re in the wrong than by always trying to be right.
Life is full of hard choices, and the bigger they are and the more options we have, the harder they get: How to Make the Right Choice
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