Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Activity 17 - 30 days of being wrong
This activity is based on two TED talks from Kathryn Schulz, On being wrong and Don't regret, regret. In the first of these talks Kathryn explains how being wrong is something that we learn from a young age is a bad thing and yet it is something we should be more open to acknowledging in ourselves. The second talk is a plea to be kinder to ourselves when dealing with our regrets, and learn to live with them as they remind us that we can do better.
There are two aspects to this challenge: being more open to the prospect of being wrong and trying to better accept my regrets and the lessons that they are there to teach me. Now, if you have been reading any of this blog you should be aware that I am a bit of a perfectionist, alright I am an atrocious perfectionist. So you can imagine how problematic this challenge might be for me. Having said that, I think that you would have to agree that at times I am also willing to be quite open about some of the mistakes I've made.
The thing is that being a perfectionist means that I am not very good at accepting my mistakes, so whilst I might admit them I am certain to punish myself for them. But the interesting thing is that professionally I am usually quite quick to acknowledge when I am wrong. This wasn't always the case, but my military career and the leadership role I had, really helped instill in me the value of admitting mistakes early and working on correcting the error.
Overall the challenge is that I need to embrace my imperfections as that is how I learn and grow. I need to challenge my feeling of being right if people are questioning my opinion or comments, allowing me to be more open to the prospect that I am wrong. Along with this I need to work on my regrets and not punishing myself for having them. Rather, identifying what I need to learn from the regret and then learning to live with them in a more manageable way.
This activity aligns quite well with 30 days of choice. Being about acknowledging how fallible I am and trying to better deal with regrets in my life. The activity itself is another internally focused one, another awareness and focus activity.
So over the 30 days I will focus on the possibility of being wrong and be more open to admitting my mistakes to the people around me. What I would like to do is try to adjust the way that I think of being wrong, move it out of the realm of a criticism about my intelligence or capacity and realise that everyone gets things wrong and they are opportunities to grow and learn. This should include reducing my judgement of others when they get things wrong, we'll see how that goes.
The other thing I will do is look at the regrets that I am holding onto in my life and see if I can find a way to live with them in a more beneficial way. This means that you guys might get a chance to view a little more of the train wreck that has been my life, surely that's worth hanging around for :-)