Let us dive into the topic of today which is the question, what if you’re wrong?
I think this is a critical question and, quite honestly, it’s one that doesn’t get asked or even answered a whole lot.
Look around for a minute and see if you can recognize very many people who would be willing to admit they’re wrong. Ask yourself truthfully if you’re willing to be wrong. I’d bet that it’s significantly easier to say that you aren’t.
The problem with that – believing you’re never wrong – is that it creates and exposes blind spots in your life, in your relationships, your health and fitness, politics, your business.
What ends up happening more often than not is that our egos prevent us from seeing that maybe we don’t have this thing figured out as much as we’d like, maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do, and maybe there’s a new way of looking at this thing that you have not considered.
But look, are you more interested in being right all the time (you aren’t) or getting the job done?
Sometimes getting the job done requires you to be humble and say “I don’t know.” Sometimes it requires you to raise your hand and ask for help. Sometimes it requires you to question what you might believe.
This isn’t a new concept. It’s not even a difficult one to grasp. Every single person listening to this podcast right now knows, deep in their heart when they’re wrong but letting those words pass by your lips is so difficult to do.
So, I want to reframe this a little so that it becomes easier for you to recognize when you fall short, apologize if needed, and fix the problem.
Consider in the military for example. Some of the greatest military commanders the world has ever known ask themselves, “what if I’m wrong?” after drafting up a battle plan. They’re actually looking to prove themselves wrong. If they can, they’ve recognized a weak spot and they can address it before they put lives on the line.
Successful CEOs of companies do this all the time as well. They hire teams and consultants. They run beta test. They “red team.” They are actively looking for flaws in their products, services, and launches. If they can recognize them, they could potentially save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost or potential revenue.
Trial lawyers understand this concept very well. When crafting open remarks or defense or prosecution strategies, they don’t just consider their client’s perspective – they also consider the opposing side’s perspective. If they can anticipate weaknesses in their strategy, they can adjust as necessary for the success they’re after.
And, this is the beauty of playing devil’s advocate with yourself, of being your best critic, of a humble heart and mind. You become stronger because you see where you’re weak and you give yourself the opportunity to actually do something about it.
But considering those examples I just gave you, military strategists, successful CEOs, and trial lawyers, consider how often you actually do this in your ordinary, everyday life.
Consider the argument you just got in with your wife. Was what she was mad about actually your fault?
Consider the disagreement you got in on Facebook. You were so busy trying to prove that you know it all that you missed the opportunity to learn something new.
Consider that project at work. You were so worried about impressing your boss that you neglected to include a critical component or even person that would have ensured the project’s success.
Let me tell you again why approaching situations from the position of being wrong is so valuable.
Only one of two outcomes will take place. The first outcome, is that you recognize you are actually wrong and you learn something new that will help you enhance your life. The second outcome is that you find out you’re not wrong and you solidify your belief in that thing, whatever that thing is.
One thing I want to be clear on though – approaching your life from the perspective that you might be wrong is not a permission slip for you to lose confidence. It’s not a permission slip for you to overthink and over scrutinize your work.
This is about a healthy level of skepticism in how good you are but it should come from the position of making you a more productive, more effective man. And beating yourself up and questioning your intelligence will obviously not do that.
Alright, so you now you get it. You know why it’s important to approach your life this way, but how do we actually do it?
First, it’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. But don’t get roped into believing that you don’t have to ask the same questions you ask others to yourself. It’s easy to buy your own B.S. but, at the end of the day, that B.S. is still worthless, regardless of how tightly you cling on to it.
LOSE THE EMOTION
Second, get your emotions out of the way! I’m not saying emotions are bad. There are times when they serve us well but when it comes to the things we do and the projects that we create, those emotions tend to cloud our judgement. We think more highly of ourselves that we ought to at times. I’d argue that if we all learned to use logic and reason a bit more effectively, we’d all be more successful.
BE A MAN OF SUBSTANCE
Third, be a man of substance. What do I mean by this? I mean that, if you’re wrong, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Don’t sulk, don’t pout, don’t throw a temper tantrum. Just recognize you didn’t get it right and make the correction.
Too many men compound their problems because they’re rather double down on the lies they tell themselves that face the reality of the situation. If you make a mistake, MAKE IT FAST, learn from it, and don’t do it again. It really is that simple.
It’s okay to be wrong now and again. It’s not okay to keep being wrong on the same subject over and over and over again.
On that note, if you want to learn the truth about how you show up and how effective you are, there’s nothing that can replace a group of men who have your back. That’s where The Iron Council comes in. This is an exclusive society of men who are having the conversations that need to be had and having them in the way most of society is willing to have them in.
You’re going to get the guidance, the tools, the resources, and the accountability from 270 brothers from all over the globe to help you see things more clearly and use that clarity to improve your life.
If you’re interested in learning more about us and claim your seat at the table, you can do so at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.