I’ve been fighting my whole life. That’s what it feels like. I’ve been in a fist fight to be right. Now I’m wondering, what did I ever have against being wrong?
It’s not that I wanted to be more right than anyone else, I just wanted to know I was doing the right thing. It’s peace of mind, you know? Here is my personal story of how I changed course (for the better) by embracing being wrong.
This has been a big year of change. One of the most noteworthy shifts, for me, was dropping my defences surrounding having my sh*t together & stuff figured out. This year’s punches seemed to come so fast that I didn’t even have the opportunity to put up my dukes – they came from every angle, challenged every thing I was identified with and I had zero recourse but to roll with them. This year, I stopped fighting to feel ‘right’. What I found was authenticity, wonder & connection; I found the biggest right I’ve ever known and it was waiting for me inside the willingness to be wrong.
The Science of Being Wrong
We always want to be right. It’s been suggested by academics that we (all) always think we’re right. It gives us strength & forbearance. When we’re at our most insecure, it becomes all the more necessary. We see it all of the time (there are probably some statistics on it somewhere), when people are most insecure about their beliefs – they will become the most dogmatic. That is the gravest danger of needing to be right, and without permission to be wrong, we could not only be on a less joyous road but a deadly dangerous one too. Even if we’re not dogmatic, even if we actually know sh*t – even if we actually are right – we could be making really significant sacrifices to remain that way.
First off, a disclaimer: we know very little about the universe, so the chances that you genuinely know sh*t are actually pretty slim in the grand scheme of things, but that aside – there is still a world of use I’ve found in letting myself the privilege of being wrong. For instance:
1. I left home really young to travel. The universe was calling me to come gather some of her sweet knowledge nectar. I studied philosophy, wrote almost everyday, did yoga, lived on 4 continents, got a degree & thought I knew sh*t. This year showed me I still don’t even know myself. This year I learned I will probably never truly know myself and it will be a life’s journey just figuring some of it out.
When I’m open to being wrong, I’m prepared to get to know my authentic self, my highest path & nurturing growth.
2. Relationships don’t benefit from dictation. Trust me. Sometimes, they don’t even benefit from advice. People have to go through their own experiences. Even if myself and a close comrade are going through an area of Asia I’ve been to 3 times, it’s a new experience and one that they’re a part of. It doesn’t make a person ‘right’ even if they know.
What’s right in a certain situation is contextual and caring about a relationship is caring about a person: being ready to be wrong creates an open space between you to meet, connect & discover what’s up.
3. You have a relationship with the world. There’s a sense of wonder in not knowing whether you’re going to be right about something or not. Thinking this way made me almost fall out of yoga poses that I definitely had down for 10+ years, but it’s also made me easily flow into one that has challenged me for that long too! We don’t really know what’s going on. No matter what we say or think. Scientists at the brink of discovery are probably the most reverent people – totally in awe of how much more there is to discover in this big beautiful universe made up of star dust & running on quantum magic.
If we open up to the probability of being wrong: the whole world of possibility realistically opens up to be our oyster.
How many of us are walking around being right? About ourselves, about our partners, friends, colleagues, about life? And how little are we actually learning when we’re there? How much discovery are we sacrificing by already being decided? I, for one, am opening up to being wrong. I’m giving myself that opportunity. This kind of vulnerability holds pure potential & it makes me feel alive to literally set the possibility gauge at ‘infinite’. There’s a whole world of adventure just waiting to be discovered by people who’ve given themselves leave to be totally blown away & unabashedly mistaken.
Happy New Year, Folks!