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It’s a pretty obvious statement, but few people really enjoy being wrong. When a fear of “being wrong” begins to interfere with our personal and professional lives, it’s usually time to make some changes. Knowing how to start making those changes can often make all the difference in overcoming our anxiety.

Lower Your Expectations

In a 2009 Psychology Today article, Michael J. Formica wrote that “if we are constantly focused on making the right decision, we will sometimes find ourselves in a place ranging from morbid indecision to outright fear.” To overcome these fears, the most obvious answer is simply to lower our expectations. Formica also suggests that, rather than seeing mistakes as devastating, we should look at them as opportunities for personal growth. After all, in noting and analyzing our mistakes, we often learn more than we would with mere success.

Surround Yourself–And Your Mistakes–With Comfort

In many cases, you can isilate a fear of being wrong to a particular person or location where we feel especially self-conscious. If these places are locations for recreation or leisure, it might be time to consider alternatives. Try to surround yourself with people who you’re less likely to feel anxious around. In his 2004 Psychology Today article, Neil Parmar notes that even if you do “find yourself at the tail end of an embarrassing situation, you can still avoid that feeling of shame by recovering gracefully.” By embracing uncomfortable times with a quick recovery to your normal self, you may reduce your fear of repeating a mistake.

Practice Makes Perfect

Sometimes a fear of being wrong can propel us to making productive decisions. Debates, for instance, can push us to learning more about an issue and help keep us informed. By harnessing our anxiety in a positive way, we can reduce its negatives and promote positive lifestyle choices. Each of us needs to decide how much fear is healthy for our own lives, then make decisions accordingly.

Focus On The Positive

Anxiety can feed on itself to form loops; often we’ll find ourselves focusing on our fears of becoming afraid. To combat this problem, try to keep yourself in the moment. Concentrate on the reality of your position (e.g. sitting at work) rather than the negative potential (making a mistake). Take a few deep breaths and concentrate on the task at hand.

On August - 21 - 2012

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