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It’s Okay To Be Wrong

June 7, 2023 By The Siren Of Support Leave a comment

“You gotta be able to be wrong, before you can be right. And even then you might need some help.” 

Maybe not one for the wall, but awfully insightful words from a ten year old boy. 

Xander, the astute author of the above statement, tends to get frustrated by failure rather easily. Historically, he has equated not being naturally good at something to something that didn’t deserve his time or effort. Either he’s growing up or he just really likes the rubix cube. 

He fiddles with the mind boggling cube, usually as a fidget toy. However, recently he has shown interest in solving the puzzle. After what felt like hours, watching him struggle, grumble and groan, give up and restart, he decided he needed help. He discovered an app with tutorials, based on the current position of the tiles to guide him. He may not yet be the master, and he still gets frustrated when puzzled by his puzzle. He still makes mistakes but he now has more right moves than wrong. 

I would bet it’s safe to say that we have all encountered a problem that we couldn’t easily solve. Whether it be standing in your bay after replacing exactly what you thought was the issue. Or sitting in your office staring at a screen unable to make the numbers make sense. Our minds get so focused on the final outcome that we become blind to the path we just took. Somewhere along the way there was a wrong turn, a failure to math, or even an entire missed step. 

Once the wrongness settles in, you can start making it right. 

Short of brain surgeons, rocket scientists, and hostage negotiators, most of us have the ability to have a margin of error in our day to day work lives. Acknowledging that something didn’t go as planned is the first step to succeeding. Send the part back, fix the count in column A, row 112, hit the backspace, ask for help. 

Being wrong is okay.

It’s actually a good thing. Being wrong opens the door to innovation. What can we do better? What can we do differently to avoid making a mistake? How can we be better at what we do, even if we’ve done it this way for thirty years? 

You learn more from being wrong, than being right. 

We discover what will work, by trying approaches that didn’t. By being okay with being wrong the door of innovation that opens allows you to uncover options that may have previously been buried. We learn from our mistakes, and if we share our tribulations with those performing the same jobs as us, we all benefit. 

Only if we choose to ignore or conceal our miscalculations do they become wasted. Embrace every tile put out of place. Learn and teach others from your misguided spins. Be okay with being wrong. 

I’m still working on admitting when I’m wrong. But at least I’m okay with it.

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