I got an email a few months back from a woman on my ezine list who
shared a great saying that she loves – “If it’s worth doing, it’s even
worth doing wrong.” I laughed out loud when I got it and have been
thinking about it ever since. What a great message. A little
different than the idea many of us have been told, “If it’s worth
doing, it’s worth doing right.” While I actually agree with both of
these statements, being okay with doing things “wrong” is something
that would make a profound difference in most of our lives.
Many of us, myself included, get so obsessed with doing things “right,”
or at the very least not doing anything that could be perceived as
“wrong,” we organize much of what we say and do to avoid ever being
“wrong.” While this makes sense and is quite normal, think of how much
of our power we give away to our fear of doing something wrong or
looking “bad” in the eyes of “them” (whomever “they” may be).
There are so many things I have not said or done in my life, personally
and professionally, because I was worried I might do it “wrong.” Even
right now in my life as I consider my next book idea, think about some
new stuff I want to try in my business, and even as I interact with my
wife and my girls, my fear of being or doing something “wrong” shows up
all the time.
What if we were able to make peace with this and let go of our
attachment to always doing things “right.” The concept of “right vs.
wrong” is one that creates a great deal of stress in our lives and
relationships to begin with. But think of the freedom, peace and
power that would be available to us if we didn’t avoid being wrong so
We’ve all done lots of things “wrong” in our life and in the process of
our mistakes and failures, we’ve learned so many important lessons and
been able to gain skill, awareness and insight necessary to take us to
the next level of development.
baby girl, Annarose, who is now 14 months old, is teaching us a
wonderful lesson about this as she learns to walk. She has taken some
steps, but is not quite “walking” yet. When she does take some steps
and falls down, she is fine, doesn’t seem bothered by it and simply
keeps going. She clearly isn’t worried that she is doing something
“wrong.” Imagine if you and I had to learn how to walk now in our
lives. We’d probably make a few attempts, but after falling down and
feeling embarrassed a couple of times, we’d quit, give up, and decide,
“You know what, maybe I’m just not cut out for this walking thing after
We’ve all had this experience in our lives, many times (in addition to
learning how to walk, assuming we are fortunate enough to have that
ability). Thank goodness we have some capacity to do things wrong and
be okay with it. Failing doesn’t make us a failure. Making mistakes
doesn’t mean we’re a mistake. If we could make peace with failure,
mistakes, and outright doing and saying things “wrong,” we’d be
empowered to take more risks, speak our truth and go for what we truly
want in life with a real sense of passion and joy, and a lot less fear
This is all much easier said than done for me and most people I know.
Here are three specific things we can do to expand and enhance our
capacity to do things “wrong” in a conscious and healthy way:
1) Take inventory.
Look in your life, your relationships, and your work right now and see
where you’re holding yourself back because you’re worried about doing
or saying something “wrong.” Make an honest assessment of where your
fear of doing it “wrong” is getting in your way.
2) Admit your real fear.
What is it that you are really scared of? What are you worried that
you will lose if you do or say something that might be considered
“wrong?” See if you can get underneath the superficial fears and dig
down into the real stuff. The more willing you are to be honest and
vulnerable, the more likely you are to break free (with this and
anything else in life).
3) Seek out support and accountability.
Reach out to some of the people in your life who you trust and are
close to – ask them to support you and hold you accountable to go for
it. We all need people around us to have our back and kick is the
behind when necessary – with love, honesty, and kindness. Let people
know where you’re stuck, what you are scared of, what your ultimate
goal or intention is (in regards to one or more of these places where
you’re worried about doing something “wrong”). Having this support and
accountability is what we all need to push past our limits and step
outside of our comfort zones.
we’re willing to be honest about where we get stuck, express our real
fears and feelings, and get the support we need from those around us –
we absolutely can expand our capacity for doing things “wrong,” which
in turn will give us the freedom and confidence to do, say, and go for
the things that matter most to us in life! Doing this is the
foundation for living a life of authenticity, appreciation and
Remember to be kind to yourself in this process, and ask
yourself this important and inspiring question that Robert H. Schuller
made famous, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Go
for it! And, even if you end up doing it “wrong,” it’s okay.
Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote
speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else
is Already Taken (Wiley). More info - www.Mike-Robbins.com