I, personally, would rather do a host of undesirable things - the dishes immediately comes to mind - than be publicly exposed as wrong about something. To avoid that sucker-punch-to-the-gut feeling that comes with error, I've developed a list of go-to preventative measures:
1. do copious research
2. have sources on lock
3. "when-in-doubt, shut-yo-mouth"
But even this is not a no-fail system.
So, inevitably, I'm wrong sometimes.
And it sticks in my craw - no lie - for years.
While I wish I were kidding, I still remember math problems I missed on high school exams.
The self-flogging over decades-old mistakes is ludicrous.
And so... I plan to stop. Or - let's be real here - at least change the way I respond to being wrong.
Yesterday, I was objectively and publicly wrong about something.
I've mentally harped on it incessantly, and, in doing so have noticed two things:
1. This has drained my energy, and made me feel bad.
2. I will not make that same mistake again, so help me God.
My epiphany lies in 2.
Because I think it's the remedy to the mental masochism that is 1.
I - and dare I say WE, as the human race - learn. from. mistakes.
Indeed, historically, mistakes are the greatest of teachers.
Through mistakes we learn how to adjust course and avoid similar, future pitfalls.
Y'all - mistakes are blessings in disguise!
(I mean, ya know, sorta. There are extreme examples but we're talking day-to-day wrongness here, not nuclear code wrongness.)
My most profound growth has always come from making mistakes. Generally, the bigger the mistake, the bigger the growth.
Armed with this Christopher-Columbus-esque "discovery," I plan on handling mistakes differently going forward.
While I likely cannot control the sour-gut feeling, I CAN control what I do about it.
I can DECIDE to make each mistake a learning opp. I can CHOOSE to see each misstep as a "discovery" of the Americas, even though I was aiming for Asia.
In short, I can learn from the mistake of beating myself up for making mistakes!
I feel better already.