The purpose of this post is to introduce a new way of thinking about problematic behavior. Many of us struggle to curb thoughts or behaviors that are ineffective at best and destructively corrosive at worst. We try and try again, only to meet with failure. Most of us throw our hands up and either set about resigning ourselves to the seemingly inevitable disappointing outcome of our existence, or continue to push against the same brick wall, using the same approach that has already proven so ineffective. This is the cycle of pain. Kathryn Schulz, journalist and author spoke at a TED conference about the experience of being wrong. She asked participants in the audience to describe how it felt to be wrong. Predictable answers ensued, focusing on the theme of embarrassment or similar emotions. She then pointed out that this was the experience of discovering that you have made a mistake, not the experience of actually making the mistake. She stated that the actual act of being wrong carries with it no emotion of its own; it only carries the emotion and meaning that we give to it. I would take Schulz’s idea a step further and point out that […]