I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
–Thomas A. Edison
It’s such a shame that so many people feel extremely uncomfortable when they make an error in judgement or come up with an incorrect answer. I find people either scrambling for an excuse or looking to justify their decisions. It’s pretty alarming, but understandable. Growing up in our school setting, it’s common to be put down for being “Wrong”.
When people are incorrect, they feel almost as if they “lost” in a race or something. It’s probably because school gives kids grades and they compare it to each other. Growing up in that kind of environment can only ingrain these autonomic reflexes from those children as they become adults. It’s hard to break out from the paradigm of feeling inferior or “less” for not knowing something or making a mistake. Feelings always interfere with decision making, so often times those feelings influence actions. People find themselves arguing with friends or getting aggressive/defensive in interactions because of these reflexes.
Craving to be Incorrect
It’s easier to start within your personal circle. Instead of getting defensive, practice asking people who correct you to further explain their point of view. It’s hard at first because your reflex is to get defensive and heated.
If you can keep your composure every time these circumstances come up, your act will become a habit and you’ll eventually find yourself more understanding to different point of views.
The positives of being incorrect is that more likely than not, you’ve been corrected by a reliable source or a body of evidence presented by someone. Values and emotions aside, the correction should be accepted as it is and not interpreted as anything personal. Once you can disconnect yourself from that, it’ll be addicting to go out there and challenge your own views and values.
Then you’ll start correcting yourself and not fearing opposing views. It only makes life a lot easier when we disconnect from emotional boundaries and accept the truth for what it is. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The Real Shame
The real shame comes from being hard headed because of ego or falling victim to the uncomfortable feelings of being incorrect. Taking a correction as a failure is something all of us should sit back and reflect on.