Self-Improvement vs. Self-Correction
Many people in this world proclaim to be very passionate about growth and self-improvement. However, there is another common theme with many of those same people: they HATE being wrong (guilty!). If we are reluctant to admit we are wrong then we must always be right...right? And if we are always right, then what would there be for us to improve on?
In "The Secret to Letting Go" by Guy Finley, which I posted about a few weeks ago, there is a great section about self-correction that really resonated with me. If you have the book it's on pages 68-70.
As Finely describes, self-improvement is the lessons that we choose to teach ourselves. These are ideas, principles and behaviors that we believe we must learn in order to grow and eliminate the negative. However, self-correction is where we learn what we have been teaching ourselves incorrectly. This will allow us to let go of our incorrect (or unproductive) ways of thinking.
In order to embrace self-correction, you must embrace that what you are doing needs correcting. More bluntly put, you're thinking is wrong. That is OK though. We must embrace the idea that it is ok to be wrong. Repeat that in your head five times. By just accepting that, you are on your way! You may think that you have no issue with being wrong, but anything that you "resist" correcting needs to be corrected.
One reason that we resist correction is because of pride. Our pride will always leap to defend ourselves. Swallow it and remember it's ok to be wrong. Being wrong is not the problem. Defending the mental patterns that resist letting go of our wrong ideas is the problem. By holding on to these ideas we take what could be one simple thought, and turn it into a permanent, negative state.
Your subconscious will fight you tooth and nail on this one. Guilt and anxiety are the subconscious' top two deceptions.
Just keep going.
Very recently I was playing this "victim" attitude by taking on all of these things, I'm guessing, in order to gain some sort of sympathy from Eric. I had to give the dog a bath, go to the grocery store, clean the apartment, etc. etc. Eric offered to help out with some of these things, and I refused saying that I was able to handle these tasks, when deep down, I really did want help. He totally called me out and said, "It seems like you are listing out all of these things you have to do so I'll feel bad for you. Let me help you out with some of these things that need to get done." Ouch. Nail on the head. For some reason I just did NOT want him to be right and me be wrong. I denied it and said I was doing it so he could have more time to do what he needed to do that morning. This turned into a 15 minute discussion that resulted in him helping me out with the chores. WTF, Holly??? How hard would it have been to just admit being wrong, accept the help and move the freak on. Apparently, still difficult for me after knowing this concept! Haha.
Anyways, after reflecting on the situation it was so very clear to me that I was resisting self-correction. That little scenario above inspired me to go back to those pages, refresh myself on that principle and share it with all of you. The good news is I recognized it and am now focusing more energy on having awareness around self-correction. It is OK to be wrong. I was wrong, I reacted poorly, but I forgive myself, and I've moved on. You can too.
Take a few minutes to think back on a time that you have been wrong recently. Re-play the situation in your mind and think how things may have been different if you would have accepted the self-correction. Take this new mentality with you moving forward and give yourself a huge pat on the back the next time you are able to admit being wrong. Seeing it as an opportunity to learn for the future will be a great service to your overall mental wellbeing!