How to get better at admitting you’re wrong

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  • Post last modified:September 1, 2020
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admit you're wrong

You have made something wrong or you are simply wrong, but it is so difficult for you to admit it.

It is like it is hurting you. Like if you had to lose a part of you.

You can get mad at someone who tells you are wrong. Really mad. And hurt, deeply hurt.

Why is that?


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Why is it so hard to admit to yourself or others that you were wrong

In my opinion, it all comes down to the ego.

There are many to say about the ego but I will address them in other articles.

With time, your ego leads you to build up a mindset. A fixed mindset as named by the psychologist Carol S. Dweck in her book Mindset.

I already wrote about the fixed mindset elsewhere, but let’s remind the basics here.

When you use this mindset, you believe that you cannot improve, that your abilities are like “fixed”. You are like you are forever.

Thus, when you make a mistake, if you admit that you are wrong, it means that you are globally incompetent, incapable.

Forever.

Your ego cannot accept that.

Your whole ‘identity’ would be ruined. Even if it is a fake identity were you would be always competent and right.

Since it is dangerous for your ego, it will fight against the reality to make it “right”. Admitting your mistake is thus something to avoid at all costs. Even if you have to modify or hide the truth for that. You “have” to be right.

That’s why it can be so hard to admit that you were wrong.

So can it be changed? Or do you have to live with that forever?

Well, again, with a fixed mindset you might think that it can’t be changed.

But since you are reading this, I guess that you are using a different mindset right now. You are using a growth mindset, where you believe you can change. Even partially.

And you are right, you can change!

It won’t happen in a day. Not even in months. But eventually you will improve. Really improve.

And you will feel free.

You might even cry when you will feel this freedom.

So where to start?

How to get better at admitting that you’re wrong?

I want here to help you to start getting better.

And the starting point is to make the effort to see the reality of the situation.

Not so easy, but you have to do this.

You can start to do this exercise after the “crisis”, when you are back to a calm state of mind.

Analyze the situation that just occurred.

And force yourself to see it as an objective observer.

Maybe do that alone, because you are probably not ready yet to do this with the person who mentioned your mistake.

Or you can try with someone neutral to the situation who can help you to see it like it is.

You have to say to yourself, if possible out loud. “Yes I am bad at this (for now)” or “I don’t know how to do this” or “I was wrong”.

What happens when you start to see the reality? And not the fiction that your ego has created to save face?

You will be able to disidentify from your thought, from your ego. And see that you have made something wrong, but that this doesn’t make you an incapable, a bad person.

You have made a mistake. You are not the mistake.

This is absolutely crucial to start to make this difference.

What will really help you to do this, is to change your mindset for a growth mindset.

Convince yourself that you can improve, get better.

Because then, it is not your whole identity that is in danger when you are in such a situation. You have made something wrong but you can change to avoid this mistake. You are not good yet, but you can become good.

This hurtful feeling of being wrong will start to disappear.

Your ego won’t be anymore in control of your mind, or at least a bit less.

You will feel relieved, free.

I know what it is. I had this ego, this mindset issue all my life. And I still have.

But I feel that it gets easier and easier. It does take control less and less often.

That’s why I want to help you now to deal with this big issue.

Conclusion

The only question you should ask yourself when you do something wrong is: how can I do this better? How can I improve this situation?

Start now.

Choose a situation where you were wrong or have made a mistake in the past. And say to yourself: “I have made a mistake” or “this was stupid”. And not “I am a mistake” or “I am stupid”.

You won’t be the same.

You will grow and feel much better.

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