It’s Okay to be Wrong and Learn From It

Nobody likes to lose. As people, we gravitate towards positive outcomes. So, it makes sense that few of us believe it’s okay to be wrong.

However, humility is a crucial aspect of personal and professional growth. By acknowledging our mistakes, we allow ourselves to learn and improve.

Moreover, being open to admitting our errors can also enhance relationships with others. A recent study showed that humility was a key aspect of leadership. Leaders who were humble and admitted to their mistakes were viewed as more trustworthy, approachable, and effective by their team members.

It’s important to find the lesson in making mistakes, no matter how big or small. So, let’s dismantle those fears and start growing.

Why Are We Afraid to be Wrong?

Our fear of being wrong is deeply rooted in societal norms and expectations. From a young age, we are taught that success equates to being right and that failure, or being wrong, is a negative outcome that should be avoided.

This mindset is further reinforced by educational systems where scores and grades are based on ‘correct’ answers. In professional settings, we fear that being wrong will lead to judgement, rejection, or even job loss.

Moreover, we tend to associate being wrong with a lack of knowledge or competence, creating a self-imposed pressure to always be right. All these factors cumulatively instil a deep-seated fear of being wrong.

Why It’s Okay to be Wrong

First and foremost, being wrong does not equate to failure. In fact, it’s often through making mistakes that we learn the most valuable lessons.

It Doesn’t Mean You’re Unintelligent

There is no one person on earth who knows everything. At some point, you’ll make a mistake. You’ll say the wrong thing or take the wrong course of action. It’s inevitable.

Gaining knowledge can’t happen without fumbling something up. We only managed to get as far as we have as a species because of trial and error. So, give yourself a break! You’re doing fine.

It Doesn’t Make You a Failure

You’re not a failure because you get it wrong sometimes. Everyone “fails” at some point, even the people you look up to. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job. Now, she’s a household name.

It’s all about perception.

Yoda said it best: “The best teacher, failure is.” You can let the setback destroy you, or you can find the opportunity in it. Being wrong allows us to reassess our approach and make necessary improvements, ultimately leading to growth and success.

It Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Worth Listening To

Just because you’ve been wrong before doesn’t mean your ideas or opinions are any less valuable. In fact, being able to admit when you are wrong shows a level of self-awareness and humility that is often lacking in others. It also opens up the opportunity for discussions and learning from others, making you a more well-rounded individual.

It Doesn’t Make You Less Capable

Being wrong is not a reflection of your capabilities or intelligence. It simply means that in that particular situation, you did not have all the necessary information or made a mistake in judgment.

This does not define who you are as a person and should not diminish your self-worth. Instead, view it as a chance to learn and improve for future situations.

It Demonstrates Your Capacity to Grow & Learn

Think about it. If you knew everything, wouldn’t life be boring? Thankfully, there’s still so much we don’t know. You live in a universe with endless possibilities. As a result, your capacity to learn is infinite.

You can grow from being wrong. In fact, admitting you’re wrong is one of the main contributors of growth. Stop being afraid of making mistakes. You’re only stunting your growth by doing so.

Humility & Self-Esteem

Handling being wrong with grace and humility can significantly bolster one’s self-esteem. When we accept our mistakes with dignity, we come to understand that making errors is an inevitable part of life and learning, not a reflection of our worth or competency.

This acceptance helps eliminate unnecessary self-criticism and fosters a healthier self-image. Additionally, when we approach our missteps humbly, we open ourselves to constructive criticism and new perspectives, which can stimulate personal growth and self-improvement.

Still, I know it’s not an easy task to take on. Some of us may need a confidence boost, or you may be struggling with self-doubt. 

I also encourage you to read my bookLife After Low Self-Esteem. If you or anyone you know struggles with feelings of low self-worth, please read and recommend it!