Getting Wrong Right!

By , August 14, 2010 1:57 pm

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”

B C Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine

There are many times in my life when I’ve believed I got it wrong. Here are a few of them:

  • I didn’t prepare for something as I should have done.
  • I made a decision and the outcome was much less than I expected.
  • I misunderstood a situation and responded in an inappropriate way.
  • I got a different reaction to what I’d expected.
  • I felt that I could have done much better.
  • I didn’t listen to and be guided by my intuitive self

In others words – I screwed up.

If you allow feedback from others to compound the situation, you hastily retreat into shame and self-pity. The committee in your head continues to re-run the situation over and over: “If only I’d…” as if this might change the outcome! Instead it magnifies the pain and makes you feel smaller and even more of an idiot! We invent stories of what people might be saying or how they might be reacting as part of this internal beating.

We doubt our abilities and motives. This alone can be enough to kill our dreams.

Shame and self-pity makes you want to lock all the doors, pull down the shutters and never show your face again.

“How stupid am I for even trying in the first place? I should have known…

  1. …better to have challenged things.”
  2. …that I wasn’t really all that good.”
  3. …that people would have reacted the way they did.”
  4. …that they wouldn’t listen to me.”
  5. …how stupid my idea was.”

We can all add more to this list from our own experiences!

Here’s the thing…

Your ego hates you for getting it wrong!

It tries to punish you for not listening, for daring to be different and for taking a risk. “I told you so!” Shame enters your head and takes over the show. When this happens there is no room for confidence or self-belief and they sneak out of the back door while shame is dancing centre stage to your ego’s tune. All the attention that shame is getting just helps to magnify and intensify the pain.

Here’s another way of looking at getting it wrong:

You did it!

You stepped into your power and took a risk for something you were passionate about and believed in.

You may not have done something perfectly, but you took action and did it. You went for it!

Remember the following:

  1. You were brave enough to try and to step up – this is great!
  2. We ALL get things wrong and make mistakes because we’re human. Humans are naturally imperfect!
  3. Sometimes when you try new things you face ridicule and opposition from others. This often comes before acceptance. Your ideas might be seen as a threat to other people’s comfort zones.
  4. Sometimes getting it wrong is an essential part of the journey to getting it right. Without the wrong, you’d never have stumbled upon the right. How many of us actually were able to ride a bicycle perfectly the first time we rode it? I remember falling off many times but I was determined to do it!
  5. Wrong is a rich source of learning. Growth happens when things go wrong. New shoots form. Learning is like a light that restores energy, allows growth and helps your confidence and belief to return through the front door!
  6. EVERY successful person screws things up and gets things wrong from time to time. It’s okay…it helps you to be more successful. Success is all about persistence, taking some risks and trying things out.

Here’s how to get wrong right:

  1. Take the ownership and responsibility to learn from any situation. What have I learned here? What would I do differently next time?
  2. Choose not to listen to your ego because it’s not telling the truth.
  3. Embrace the humility of being human – sometimes we screw up – it’s okay!
  4. Shame will pass – Allow some time to wallow in the emotion. Give it a time limit. Then stop and allow time for learning and growth. Choose to step into your power again.
  5. Continue to believe in yourself even though you may feel doubt and confusion. Go back to your intention and get clear again.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back in the saddle again knowing that you are bigger, bolder and wiser.

Getting it wrong can be quite liberating if you allow it as part of the natural process of success.

“Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping-stones to greater experience….When one door closes, another always opens; as a natural law it has to, to balance.”

Brian Adams

6 Responses to “Getting Wrong Right!”

  1. Elysia C. says:

    Such a wonderful post…Thank you! Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded that it’s okay for things to go wrong. How else would we grow?

  2. You must be reading my mail, dear friend! This is all so true. I’ve been thinking about this theme, and a lot of times when we get things “wrong” — it’s because we’re tying to get approval, or to fit in where we’re really not meant to be. Then, we also make mistakes trying to find the right place for us. But that’s the only way to live. Thanks for the awesome encouragement!

  3. Lance says:

    Elaine,
    I have something coming up that has me (or more likely – my ego) telling me to play it safe – so I don’t screw up. The thing is though – if I do that – I’m only limiting myself.

    So…this is such a good message for me to read today and let soak into my soul…as I “dig deep” and speak authentically…

  4. elaine says:

    Thanks for the awesome comments!
    Elysia – you’re absolutely right – yet we are conditioned into the fear of never trying anything out because we might fail and failing or getting it wrong is bad! Mistakes and getting things wrong are all part of learning. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    Laura – spooky we’re in each other’s heads just now! You’re so right we can spend a lot of time trying to be something we are not to please others but we are not being authentic to ourselves. I’ve certainly allowed this to happen in my own life in the past.

    Lance – Yay! to authentic speaking. And I love the ‘let soak into my soul…’Stretching ourselves is all about growth. It’s always easier to play it safe – but we often stay small as a result.

    Sending you some extra light and clarity for that thing that is coming up for you just now.

  5. Steve says:

    Thanks Elaine.
    So its not just me then!
    Thank you for turning my beliefs upside-down.
    Looking forward to our next coaching session.

  6. elaine says:

    Hi Steve – nope it’s not just you 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and I can’t wait for our next session.

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