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  • ben26023

No One Likes to be Wrong

I don’t know about you, but I used to hate to admit when I was wrong. To me it used to be a sign of weakness, that I was backing down from my beliefs. That was until my accident when all of a sudden I was forced to confront my long held assumptions.

No one likes to be wrong. Not just being wrong, but having your foundations shaken to the core. It’s honestly a gut-wrenching moment when you can identify a mistake in your beliefs, and that can be especially true when it is something deeply ingrained.

I was brought up in a culture where disability was seen as a negative thing. The ultimate bogey prize for when you did something wrong, your life was ultimately over should you end up in a wheelchair, were incapacitated from mental illness or doomed to a life of misery caring for a child with a disability.

Now I know that to be completely, 100% untrue. I AM one of those people living with a disability and, if you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know I’m quite vocal that my life is better now than it ever was before my accident.

But had you asked me that in the moments after my accident, I wouldn’t have believed you. Because society had driven home the negative narrative. It was one of my core beliefs and believing otherwise shook me to my core.

For a lot of people, when they have their core beliefs challenged, it’s not done in such a sudden way. In fact, you could say I was one of the lucky ones because I was forced to confront my narrative head on without warning.

But for many, they’re only given small bits of evidence and it’s very easy to sweep them under the carpet to ignore. People will often stick to their core values and hold onto them because no one likes to be wrong.

Imagine: if you’re wrong about one of your core beliefs, what else could you be wrong about? What does that say about the culture you were brought up in? What does it say about the people you’re surrounded by? They’re all very confronting questions...

My experience really challenged my pre-conceived notions about what it’s like to live with a disability. But it’s also expanded my mind to challenge other things in my life. Assumptions around gender, race, sexuality – it’s helped me challenge all the social ‘norms’.

I look back and I’m gobsmacked by some of my thoughts, actions and assumptions over the years. In fact, I’m downright embarassed. But that realisation has led me to be able to have an open mind and to adapt a growth mindset. To have a growth mindset is to absorb new information and be willing to face your assumptions.

It didn’t happen immediately for me. It started off with confronting my pre-conceived notions on what living with a disability was really like. Once I figured out how wrong I was, it challenged me to look at the other assumptions I’d made. Just like disability, some of those assumptions had been ingrained in me by society – what else could I be wrong about? I made a promise to myself to always check my bias before reacting.

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