Top 5 Reasons You Want To Be Wrong

Top 5 Reasons You Want To Be Wrong
Photo by DISRUPTIVO / Unsplash

I don't know how you deal with failure, but I am incredibly hard on myself regarding blunders and mistakes. It's my default mode. 

  • When my first few significant relationships collapsed, I thought I was doomed to be alone. I couldn't imagine a committed relationship that went both ways.
  • Sometimes, I slog through my work day, feeling unfulfilled, unfocused, and unmotivated. Invasive thoughts of wasting years and money on a degree bounce around in my mind.
  • I dreamed of one day writing a book, but multiple setbacks, blank pages, and pathetic excuses kept it at arm's length. Learn more about the book I did actually write here.

But here is something I am learning: one failure at a time. 

Being wrong is actually a sign that you're doing something right. 

Let me explain.

For too long, I believed the myth that my first choice had to be my optimal choice. Meaning the first time I was in a committed relationship, had a bad week at work, or sat down to write a book needed to end with fireworks and a washed-over feeling of accomplishment. 

But think about it. 

  • Finding the right person to marry is hard work. It's important work. Think back to your first committed relationship and your first crush. There is no chance my 12-year-old self knew what I needed in a life partner. 
  • Consider everything you have learned about yourself by staying committed to a job even when things get tough. There are no bad days, only wasted days. My goal every day is to not waste this one on things that are not important. 
  • Starting a business, writing a book, or picking up a new hobby are all trial-and-error endeavors. I don't have the expectation that I will go out to a golf course and hit an Eagle on any hole. Why do I expect my first attempt at a book to go over without a hitch? 

An optimal start is not the goal.

Starting is the goal, even though you know failure is likely

The Top 5 Reasons You Want To Be Wrong

  1. Failure is a sign of potential and growth. If you only do things where you know you can't mess up, you'll never be able to reach your full potential. If you know enough about something to make the best choice on the first try, you need to give yourself more of a challenge.
  2. Since your first pick is probably wrong, the best thing to do is to get started. The sooner you figure out what's right, the sooner you can learn from your mistakes. When it comes to complicated things like relationships or sharing your faith, you have to start before you feel ready. No one can be truly ready. The best way to learn something is to try it out.
  3. You know how to break down large goals into smaller goals you can demolish. When failure hits, it's a unique opportunity to step back from the problem, see it from a different angle, and leverage the setback as a small goal toward your bigger goal. 
  4. The best time to trust your gut is when you have built of experience. Give me a surgeon with years of experience (through failures and successes) over someone who has never failed because they have never tried. 
  5. Failure will happen, but that's not a reason to expect to fail. There's no reason to feel down or give up because you made a few bad decisions. Even more important, you have to do your best every time because work and practice help you learn. Even if you fail, you need them. Realize that no single choice is doomed to fail, but that if you want to be right, you will have to fail sometimes. Play like you want to win from the start.

Learn to leverage failure to work for you, not against you.