John Mayers Keynes once said: “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do sir?”
Which brings me back to another saying of John H. Patterson : “Only fools or dead men don’t change their minds. Fools don’t and dead men can’t.”. And recalling my memories of back then I remember saying: “Then obviously I’m dead!” as much as funny it may sound, it also brings to the surface some of my mindsets.
Changing our minds leads to thinking “I was wrong.” , which leads to our egos backfiring to us “How could I possibly be wrong in the first place? ”
Did you notice that the title is in passive? That it’s not “I make mistakes” or “We make mistakes” or “Everybody makes mistakes” and so on..?
Exactly, that’s the thing. My first urge was “Mistakes are made…” and I wrote it down then I thought about it and made the attempt to change it. Why? Well, I was trying to be rational and making an attempt to admit it. In my current emotional state I am very much able to say “I make mistakes as well, that’s what also means being a human being”. (As you can see, I changed my mind again and let it be just as how my original thought popped in my mind)
What happens when I am not that “cool”? It turns out not to be that cool right as for quite a lot of us.
Now hang on, I am going to say something no one knows… this will make your day: No one likes to make mistakes or no one likes mistakes.
Ha-Ha-Ha… Well definitely it is not a discovery. Consciously or not no one does.
What would be a discovery is finding a way to accept and cope with mistakes. Be them our own, be them of others.
There are a lot of books that suggest that, ways and strategies to handle ego, denial and all sort of negative emotions that emerge, when dealing with mistakes. These are general guidelines, you can find and adopt your own ways, which actually work. It needs time, practice and lots of persistence. It may not work in the beginning, it may not work at all but you have to put all your effort in it and try with all your might. Only then, if no results are achieved, switch strategy and try something different. Remember, everyone of us is a different person with a unique personality and set of features, so what works for one of us does not necessarily mean it will work for the rest.
However in front of evidence we can’t just cover up, find a cave and hide for the rest of our lives… Weeell we could, but let’s say it’s bad for the skin and for lots of other reasons. Or maybe we don’t literally speaking, but sometimes when mistakes lead to failures and the stakes are high, it’s true that we might need to escape and cover, to comfort ourselves.
I do lots of crying on my own and then I look in the mirror. Trust me, it’ s not something you would want to see. Point is that little or big mistakes make us frustrated which is also a normal reaction. I mean, if you are attending a meeting in the office and your action plan for some other wordly reason (God, forbid I am not saying it’s your mistake… not yet :D) doesn’ t work out that well, don’ t worry no one expects you to be running around emitting sounds of joy, unless you are embracing certain trends of being fashionably out of your mind.
Sooooooo, are we done already with licking our wounds?
I will stop now on the thing that lurks under the “I want it to be flawless-mistakes not admitted”. Perfectionism!
It derives from :
- More you think about the problems to handle, more difficult it becomes. That’s why sharing and having feedback gives insight and other important data on how to deal with not just problems but also demands, what the mass is really looking for.
- Insecurities. Fearing a possible failure. Scared of making mistakes and not succeeding, scared of being called incompetent. Scared of being object of mockery or laughs…
I find myself very much attached to the second one. I am a perfectionist. I am obsessed to make things right and make them work properly, right from the start. I am obsessed that everything that surrounds me, has to be perfect! (with my own perception of “perfectionism” that is).
That’s what has always put me under a lot of pressure and tiresome efforts to do everything right. Scared of not disappointing my parents, my friends, my colleagues, my boss, scared of letting people down. I do realize now that, it’s not about being perfect, that’s not where the real task should aim. I realize that we have to be fully responsible of our actions and be careful with our planning and decision making which eventually means being able to also face the consequences. I understand that I will genuinely try my best and invest my effort, by giving my full attention towards my projects, till I am fully satisfied that I fulfilled whatever I had in my power to. However that doesn’t mean that I would retreat in my cave, if things do not go how I expect to. It is my duty to test myself, my ideas, my plans and to learn. I own it to myself.
(I will probably do lots of crying in the process though…)
So coming to: “Do I change my mind?” or “Am I obviously dead?”; (I could choose to say: “I am not dead, nor fool…”) But in order to be fully honest I shall be straight and forward, I change my mind, which means I was mistaken in the first place, despite eventual misleading data in my possession. After all, data assessment is up to me as well.
Find out in part II my own experiences.