Why is it so important to be right?
“I’ve been seeing it a certain way all along, and I never even considered it could be viewed in a different way.”
This was the mic-drop moment in my session today with Marie*. And it was the moment when weeks of work actually started to come together to help her shift her mindset.
See, Marie suffers from an extreme need to be right. She believes that she’s the one who has rigorously thought through all of the facets of a complicated problem and has the perfect solution. She is a big-picture thinker who runs everything through a strategic filter.
So when she shows up at the table with someone who is more powerful than her and won’t consider her POV, who makes decisions seemingly irrespective of her thoughtful analysis and spot-on solution, and then those decisions impact her, her team, and possibly even her customers, she shuts down.
She becomes disgruntled. Demotivated. Even a little resentful.
And that makes a ton of sense, because what’s really going on is that she is tying all of her value and self worth to her “rightness” in these situations.
If Marie's solution isn’t accepted as the right one, then to her, it means she isn’t valued. Or it means she hasn’t done a good enough job of conveying the value of her solution so that it’s accepted as the right one.
Either way, she takes it to mean she’s not good enough.
Can you see that her need to be right is actually getting in her way of being effective? Can you also see that this need to be right is ultimately going to result in her being labeled as “difficult,” “inflexible,” maybe even a “bully”?
Can you? Sometimes it’s easier to see these things when you’re looking at them objectively than when you’re in the vortex yourself.
Here’s the thing. Her solution may actually be the best one. But her approach shuts people down before she can get her idea across the finish line. Her sense that she’s the only one who is right will effectively dismantle collaboration.
And the truth is, way deep down, behind all her research and rigorous thought processes, there’s really a deep-seeded notion that she has to prove her value to others.
If she believes that the only way she can be seen as valuable is for her ideas and solutions to be accepted, then it makes sense she’ll always dig in her heels to force her point of view. And then walk away wounded if she doesn’t succeed.
So what’s really happening? Ultimately, it comes down to relying on the opinions of others to tell you if you’re valuable or effective. This is why it’s so important to be right. Because if you’re not right, then you’re expendable.
So you push and push and push. And in so doing, you simply turn everyone off. And that’s when you manifest the thing you fear the most: Being cast aside, seen as invaluable.
The only way to reverse this destructive trend is to develop the practice of self validation. Relying on your inner knowledge that you bring value. That you're smart. You have good ideas. You don't need this validation from anyone else; you just know. When you just know that you are valuable, that you have the goods, that you are a total freaking badass, then it no longer truly matters what anyone else thinks.
And then, you know what? Everyone thinks you’re a total freaking badass!
Can you just close your eyes for a minute and imagine that?
How amazing would it feel to just know that you have the goods? Wouldn’t it change everything?
So of course, you want to know how to work this magic, don’t you? Of course you do! Who wouldn't?
It’s ridiculously simple. So simple, you’ll probably think it doesn’t work. But, after my own experience and seeing that of countless clients, I can tell you that it does work.
I call it Success Journaling. Every day, write down a list of everything that makes you valuable. Good at what you do. Amazing in every way. Every attribute, skill, strength you can think of. Every compliment you receive, whether you believe it or not.
Write it down. Every day. Revisit your list as it grows. Feel into it. Keep adding to it. This doesn't need to take a lot of time. Even five minutes a day makes a difference.
Over time, you’ll start to internalize it all. You’ll start to realize all your gifts and what makes you a valuable contributor to whatever you set your hand to. You'll start to see the one-in-4-billion amazing you that you actually are.
And then, you won’t need others to tell you. You’ll just know.