On being wrong.

These TED talks make a great back-to-back mini lecture on the emotional response to decision-making errors, the feeling of “realizing” we’re wrong.

Self-esteem is such an interesting construct.  It’s a lot like a big, fat, blown up balloon: the more you have and begin to feel full, the more you push the limit.  And like a balloon, one’s inflated self-esteem becomes a liability which must be protected from being deflated.  Ultimately, the ballon’s surface stretches out so far that it weakens to a thin skin which pops at the slightest pinch.

“Being wrong doesn’t feel like anything”, says Kathryn Schulz, “it actually feels like being right”.

This circular logic is true, and we all bring something slightly unique in the way we process the information around us.  Although there’s obviously a lot of consistency in how people perceive the world, we shouldn’t rely too much on this confidence.

First, we might be utterly incorrect in a way that deflates us completely.  And second, having a growth mindset allows us to accept being wrong, and embracing this humility attenuates the negative feelings we reflexively experience… upon being wrong.

 

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