My Fear of Being Wrong


Let’s chalk this up to: lessons I thought I already learned but oh! look! here I am having to learn them all over again!

I am terrified of being wrong.

I’m not in love with the idea of being right; I really get very little satisfaction at this point in my life from the act of winning an argument or scoring imaginary points. Being right holds little appeal for me.

But being wrong carries with it a world’s weight of shame. I anticipate mocking and tongue-clucking, both disappointment and smug satisfaction from those who watch from the sidelines of my life. Although I know the reality of how little time anyone else in the world devotes to my rightness or wrongness, I get tangled up in the fear and misperception of the importance of my success or failure.

The truth is that no one else cares if I’m wrong.

The truth is that almost nothing is permanently wrong and almost everything is temporary, the best we can do right now.

But those simple truths are so easy to lose sight of amidst an inherent fear of looking foolish.

That fear can keep me stuck, stuck in truly foolish places, like holding on to a closet full of clothes that I’m actually not wearing and refusing to buy new ones to replace some I gave away – because doing so would be admitting I was wrong in choosing what stayed and what went.

Or staying in friendships that don’t work. Or jobs that aren’t a good fit. Or in any number of situations that are clearly wrong if looked at carefully, and so are best to not be scrutinized if at all possible. Because isn’t being stuck better than being wrong?

No, no it is not.

The truth is that being wrong is almost never that big of a damn deal at all.

Are you afraid of being wrong?

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