Why it's right to be wrong
I like to be right. I admit it. I bet you do as well?
So it caught my attention when I saw "wrongologist" (I didn't know there was such a word - always being right n'all ;-)) Kathryn Schulz doing a TED Talk on being wrong.
It's right to be wrong! I won't lie to you, I had to watch it a couple of times to get it ;-)
This is what she says:
"In the bigger picture, we know we as human beings sometimes get things wrong.
But when I look at myself in the present moment, I can't actually think of a single thing I'm wrong about."
So why do we get stuck in this bubble of being right (why it's a problem) and what happens when we step out of it?
How does it feel to be wrong?
My own answer: embarrassing, uncomfortable, confusing, scary.
No, she says. What I react to is realizing I'm wrong! Not actually the being wrong
"Being wrong doesn't feel like anything", she says, but then she reveals the twist:
"No actually, being wrong does feel like something, it feels like being right!"
We are taught as young kids that being wrong is bad and to succeed in life, we're never to make any mistakes.
So we do everything we can to be right. We become perfect little overachievers.
With nice homes, the right diet, perfect kids, a meaningful job that changes the world and makes us rich. __________ you fill in the blank.
This is why we panic at being wrong:
We think that being wrong means that there's something wrong with us.
And this is why thinking we're right is a problem:
"Trusting too much in the feeling of being on the right side of anything, can be a very dangerous."
Just think of conflicts of any kind to know that statement is true.
This I what Kathryn's research and Talk has taught me:
It's brave and liberating to say I'm wrong when I know I am.
Why brave? Because it doesn't come easy to me.
The day after I had watched Kathryn's TED Talk I went into work and said to a colleague I had had a "moment" with the day before, that she had been right. I was wrong. And it felt liberating.
Am I wrong when I think I'm right? Probably a lot of the time.
Being wrong is ok. It's even right to be wrong. It means I'm human.