Hello, everyone, this is Gail Kraft from The Empowering Process podcast. And I’m here today to talk about the fear of being wrong. So, we’re going to discover or examine, if you will, how this fear impacts your ability to be in your moment, to find your purpose, to be present, and to tap into your power. How this fear of potentially being wrong can hold you back. And, arguably, this is a learned fear. So as a child, either you didn’t get good grades or you were ridiculed, or something happened, maybe consistently that instilled this fear in you.
And so, when we talk about the fear of being wrong, we’re talking about the fear of being judged, the fear of being socially accepted, the fear that someone is going to measure you against some arbitrary criteria that you don’t even know is there, and therefore, you’re not going to reach. And so, you might get frozen and not even try. This fear of being judged is something that we all face, from time to time, not all of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes. And sometimes, when we have experienced making a mistake, missing the mark, if you will, the response from our peers, from our parents, from our society, from our bosses, from our clients, the response is that of judgment, and actually not a very good response.
Let’s just say, maybe sarcasm, right? We’ve all faced this type of thing at some point in our life. And some of us have gotten over it, and some of us have hung on to it, the fear of being judged. Now, our subconscious mind… and I’m going to talk about this a lot, I think, as we move on, but your subconscious mind has a job to do, and the job is to keep you safe. And part of keeping you safe means that you are always right and that you are always in a good, positive position. And so, this fear of being judged is preventing you from stepping into a possibility of being wrong, right?
And so, I would suggest to you, be wrong from time to time and see what happens, small wrongs, get accustomed with it, know who you are. And that’s just one piece is the fear of being socially accepted because you’re being judged. A part of that result, if you will, that you might foresee is that in being judged, you’re going to be no longer respected. Respect for some people is very, very important. Right? Especially for, you know, a parent or a leader, or an owner of an organization, having respect might be a top priority for them. Right? And so, the fear of making a mistake, of erring, if you will, might actually prevent that person from making choices that are good or important, or needed, because of what’s going on in the business, in your life choices.
When you’re coming from a position of fear, of any fear, are always the wrong choices. They’re never the best potential choice for you at the time. So, let’s talk a little bit about the loss of respect. Now, if you work on yourself, personal development, self-development is so, so important. If you know your purpose, if you work on understanding what drives you, where are you going, why you’re going there, why it’s so important to you… why, why, why? Dig deep into your why that pulls you. You then step into a power that is yours alone. And you can take that moment when you might feel a little bit concerned about respect and remember that in the present moment of knowing your purpose, the respect that you have is your own self-respect.
What other people think may not matter anymore, because you know who you are. What a wonderful thing to know who you are. Losing respect, a huge concern for some people, and for others, the fear of being wrong is tied into preventing you from changing. So, the fear of change is very rooted in the fear of being wrong. “What if I take the wrong route? What if I make a decision, and it’s the wrong decision?” Right? “I’m not qualified to make this decision, or I’ll make a decision and it’s wrong, and you’re going to think that I’m not qualified.” But actually, it’s you who may feel that you’re not qualified.
So, let’s think a little bit about my perspective of change. It doesn’t matter if the step you take is right or wrong, the fact that you took a step, the fact that you moved at all is momentum. And if you just take one step, and then another step, and when you see that the road is not leading where you want it to or thought it would, because you have momentum, it is easier to shift. I’d like to use… I want to use the dancing analogy, guys, because dancing is all centrifugal force and momentum, right? Lead and follow dancing is all energy and momentum.
And if you’re doing an Argentine Tango, where you are literally leaning at a certain angle within each other, it’s very easy for the leader to create movement and shift the movement, and make a change in a second, in a nanosecond, and it’s very, very easy for the follower to respond to that change. It’s responding to the change because there’s momentum, there’s this energy that’s built and it makes it so much easier to navigate change. So, think of that for a moment because what happens otherwise, is that you get stuck and frozen in the fear of being wrong. And in order to be sure you’re not wrong, you might be the person who does analysis.
Let’s just research this a little bit. Let’s research the research results and let’s dig a little deeper into the research and dig a little deeper. And there’s a phrase called analysis paralysis. And that is a fact because there’s always more data, there’s always more information, there’s always more to know out there. And you can choose to just continue the research without drawing any conclusions or making any movement because you really are concerned that it’s still not going to be right. And so, I want to tell you, when it comes to making mistakes, when it comes to being wrong, when it comes to, I guess, the fear of being wrong, it’s something that I dealt with a lot in my life.
Because I will go forward, knowing I don’t have all the information, I definitely am a planner, I definitely do want to map things out. But then I don’t live and die by the plan. Once I set things into motion, I just keep my eyes on the goal, keep my eyes on the prize and just keep on shifting, and adjusting. Because once the momentum gets going, it’s easier and easier, and easier to shift, shift, shift. The first time that you have to shift, you may get into, “See? I knew. I knew,” but you may have known but don’t take this as evidence that you’re right. Take it as evidence that there were opportunities to change and shift just a little bit and see how that works. And then shift just a little bit and see how that works.
It becomes less painful each and every time and honestly, get yourself a coach. Get someone who is willing to sit there and work with you, and help you learn how to make those small adjustments. Help you learn how to have the right perspective as to where you’re going. To help you learn the value that’s you. To help you identify, what is your purpose? Many of us don’t know. I happened to fall into my purpose, I certainly did not go through a process of discovering it. But when I fell into it, I learned about processes and I checked, because I do want to analyze. So, I did check to see how that was going to validate, if you will, that I was going down the right road.
So, find your purpose. And when you find your purpose, there’s power and energy behind that, right? And then when you are present to the moment as to what’s going on, you are less likely to be fearful of a potential failure, fearful of being wrong, of being found out. Oh, my God, found out that you don’t have all the answers. Welcome to the world of reality. None of us, I don’t care who you are, has all the answers. But many of us have the willingness to find out, have the willingness to give it a shot. And so, you just take a moment and think of that one thing.
If you’re one of these people or if you know someone who is stuck, because they’re afraid of being wrong, work diligently to write out moments when you were absolutely correct. Work with them, your friends, or yourself, to journal and have the journal’s sole purpose, “Is to log three things I did right today. Three things I did right today. Three things I did right today,” day after day after day. And after a while, you’ll start to see there’s a trend.
There’s power in knowing that you actually are probably most likely right way more often than you are most likely probably wrong. And if you are wrong, maybe one of those three things that you did right today was, “I discovered I needed to change my course of action and I did.” Three things every day that you did right. And watch your world slowly start to change.
Gail Kraft here from The Empowering Process podcast. I certainly hope that there was some value in this discussion today. And if you liked it, let me know, comment below. If you know somebody who might want to hear this, absolutely share it out. And if you have something that came up because of this podcast, let me know, and I’d be happy to do another podcast, addressing whatever that is that came up for you. Gail Kraft, The Empowering Process podcast. Thank you very much and have a fabulous day.