Consider the Possibility That You Might Be Wrong
By: Andee Scarantino
(4 min read)
I made a Facebook post some months back about some “hard truths,” all based on personal development concepts.
The first was, “you are responsible for it, even if it wasn’t your fault.”
This one rarely sits well with people at the outset, so I expected that this audience (my Facebook at that time was the dusty collection of “people I knew once”) probably either would not see it, would not pay attention, or say something to argue it.
The first comment I got was from a friend of mine.
He said the first two bullet points didn’t sit well with him.
As he asked me for some context for the bullet points, I explained that these were concepts in personal development.
I said that I’d provide him a reading list.
True to my word, I compiled a list of books and audio recordings for him.
I must have provided about 100 hours of reading and listening- stuff that I had to find on my own, or through communities of self-improvement junkies and coaches. There probably were close to 15 hours of material from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer alone, who was just a sage in my opinion.
(And someone who most adequately explains the bullet point on responsibility.)
I also included some Tony Robbins, Byron Katie, Ram Dass, Lao Tzu, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and a few others. This was an EPIC LIST.
And do you want to know what this person responded with? TWO. SENTENCES.
“So basically there [sic] are for interpersonal relationships
Just a hodge podge of what works for you and such.”
I sent about a hundred hours of material that took me months to read and digest, and I received two dismissive sentences as a reply. My ego loved that one.
But I get it. I was that guy once.
I was a person who “knew everything already.” Everything; Already knows the way. Already knows what these great thinkers and scholars have said. Already knows everything about everything and can’t be bothered to listen to even ten minutes, never mind 100 hours of stuff, to learn something new and try on a different perspective.
That was me.
In order for me to get unstuck in my life, I had first to admit I didn’t know jack shit about anything. What if my life continued to go as it went, every day, for years, it was because of something I was doing? It was a reality I created based on my limited knowledge of myself and the world.
But see, I’m really fucking smart. I’m often the smartest person in the room, and always have been. That’s an aggressively hard truth for an intelligent person to accept: that they actually know nothing.
In the beginning, my ego was tied in knots. My upset was bursting. I was “offended.” I was overloaded with “I am upset because.” I was just raging with the feeling that it all was a personal attack when anyone tried to lead me.
That’s a pretty common place to start when you’re stuck and you’re just getting into undoing your bullshit.
I started practicing having a “Beginner’s Mind” going into situations, a concept I learned from my friend Andy. Andy didn’t actively tell me I needed to do this. Although, I do recall one time him saying, “Get your big fat ego out of the way,” which was entertaining. He led by example.
He was easily one of the most accomplished people I knew, and he never entered any room thinking he knew everything, even when it was a situation where he likely did.
It led me to pose the question, “What do I do differently from Andy,” because truly, I wanted to be like him. What I did differently was what my friend did when I sent that list of material- I thought I already knew the shit and didn’t need to be taught. When I got into situations, I would use my hyper-rational brain to hear “cues” to things I did know and then actively block out everything else.
Your brain seeks confirmation, not truth. So, you’re not really learning if you’re just waiting to tell everyone how you’re already right.
That was a major shift I had to make- from knowing to embracing that I “didn’t know.” From saying, “This is why I’m doing it right already,” to saying, “Things aren’t going well. How am I responsible?”
Shit. started. to. happen. so. fast. I. couldn’t. see. straight. I figured out that my “knowing everything” was exactly why I was getting what I was getting; because I “already knew.” How does this look in real life?
- You “know everything about weight loss” but you’re still overweight.
- You “know everything about business” but you don’t make any money.
- You “know everything about relationships” but your love life consists of dating apps and a box of tissues.
- You “know everything about why you drink” but you’re at the bar five nights a week and having Pedialyte for breakfast on Saturday afternoon.
Blah blah. It’s time to level up.
What you always do gets you what you have. So, if you haven’t changed what you do lately, expect that what you’re getting will also not change. To move forward at all, you have to concede to the fact that baby, you don’t know jack shit. It’s time to do something different than what you’ve always done. It’s time to admit that you’re actually not the smartest person in the room.
Get your ego out of the way. Your life is limitless potential.
All Things Wellness, LLC
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