Are You Afraid of Being Wrong Again?

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I never raised my hand in school unless I absolutely knew the right answer.

I never spoke up about my opinion in a conversation unless I was absolutely the most well-informed.

I lay low and let superiors speak over me, even when I knew more, so as not to rock the boat.

I kept quiet—a lot. Even when I had something to say. Even when I had ideas to contribute.

Because I couldn’t bear being wrong. I couldn’t take chances or risks unless I knew the right answer with absolute certainty.

I had lived a life where I was wrong a lot. Where I was “too much” in most situations. And “not enough” in others.

I was always too excited, too loud, too passionate, too sensitive, too emotional. I flung glasses over the table while telling stories, and my voice got really loud when I got excited.

And I was always wrong already.

I already felt like I never fit in quite perfectly. Like I was always “too much” or “not enough” for every box in my life.

So, I couldn’t add weight to the burden. If I was going to say something, it had to be right.

And I didn’t realize, for a long time, just how much this pattern permeated every aspect of my life. Because, when you always feel wrong, and when you can’t take chances unless you know you’re right, you can never risk anything.

And that’s impossible for a visionary—a romantic who’s all about big gestures and big risks.

Love demands we risk everything. And yet I couldn’t possibly risk anything.

Rejection stung deeper. The voices of criticism spoke louder. And any “failure” felt colossal.

When you’ve felt wrong for much of your life, you want to control everything. Because that’s the only way to keep yourself safe.

You become a control freak. A rule-follower. Someone really, really good at learning how to stay in those boxes, even if you have to cram yourself in.

You try to do it all yourself. You don’t take the risks you know your heart really wants. Sometimes you even shut down those desires before they reach your brain. And you try to convince yourself that settling is the same thing as happiness.

And the sad irony is that the rules don’t work for visionaries. The only way to ever realize your vision is to take a chance. Risk failing. Risk falling down hard. And then still get back up and do it again.

It took a debilitating illness for me to question the rules. That maybe I wasn’t wrong; maybe the rules were just wrong for me.

And, through that process, I took the first major risk in my life. I told Garrett I loved him.

It was maybe the biggest risk. And scariest thing I’d ever done. But it opened the door for me to realize I’m not broken or wrong or fucked up. I’m okay as I am.

And that let me leave my PR company and start a solo business doing—well, I had no idea. But it was a risk I could take now. Because I didn’t have to be right or perfect.

Once I had even the slightest hint that I wasn’t wrong—that maybe some spaces were just wrong fits for me—then I could start breaking the rules.

I could experiment and explore. It wasn’t all about being right or wrong, because that’s always centering someone else. Centering the rules.

It was about each action I took teaching me about myself, regardless of the results I got. Because, for maybe the first time in my life, I mattered most to myself.

And I knew someone deep down that I was okay. That, in the right circumstances, I could be a genius.

And my only job in life was to find those circumstances. In every single aspect of life.

We visionaries have spent much of our time feeling “too much” or “not enough.” Feeling wrong.

And it’s really, really hard to take chances when we assume our default is wrong. So we have to over-prepare, over-plan, or just assume it’ll never work for us.

We don’t take a lot of major chances in life—in love, in business, in bold fashion and speaking our mind—because we fear that we’re going to be wrong. And we can’t take that personal level of rejection.

So we follow the rules. We tone ourselves down. And we wonder why it never ever works out for us.

It seems to be working for everyone else. And we determine that maybe we are, in fact, just wrong.

Because, for visionaries, trying to fit into the boxes and follow the rules is a sure-fire way to fail—or end up settling. It was the rules of those very boxes that told us we were wrong in the first place.

What if we swung big? I’m talking really fucking big. I’m talking about doing what we’ve always wanted to do. I’m talking about knowing that we’ve never been wrong or broken or fucked up.

That it’s okay to take a chance. That it’s safe to take a risk. That there are people, places, communities out there of other visionaries who get us. Who see us. Who can hold us while we swing for the goddamn fences.

We can really go for it. Go for the romance. The cheesy holiday movie kind. Big, bold gestures. Big, bold risks.

Fight for love, for once. I mean, really, truly fight for it.

For the people we care about and want to help in this world. For the work we want to do. For those we love. For the words that need to be spoken—messy and imperfect and all.

See, the thing is—feeling wrong has kept us in tiny boxes. Boxes that don’t fit us. Boxes that are too small for us.

And tiny boxes leave no room for magic to enter. We’re gripping on too tightly and controlling too much for any magic to happen.

But jumping out of those boxes and into the air, that’s the only time we’ll ever be able to fly. It’s a risk. A big fucking risk.

And it’s terrifying. Beyond belief.

I can still feel my heart pounding, telling Garrett I loved him.

But, fuck, if I wasn’t flying.

Jumping out of the boxes and taking the big risks is the only way I’ve ever gotten anything I truly wanted in the world. It takes courage. It takes conviction. It takes commitment.

But isn’t that what love always demands from us?

What would happen if you knew on a deep level that you weren’t wrong—and then you took a giant chance from that place?


Questions for Reflection:

*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:

Are you afraid of being wrong again?

Have ever you felt “too much” or “not enough” in your life? Have you felt like people didn’t really understand you, or that you somehow just didn’t fit in as well as others?

— Do you not like taking chances in case you might be wrong again? Do you like to know the answer or be able to control the situation to make sure it works out and you’re safe?

— What if love requires us to let go of control? What if the things really worth having take big risks? What if you knew you weren’t wrong or “too much” or “not enough”? What if you took a giant leap and finally let yourself fly?

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