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Admitting That You Are Wrong – Part 3

Jul 15, 2020

Do Confident People Admit That They Are Wrong?

Is Confidence the same Thing?

You’ve probably seen this happen. A co-worker, friend, or family member has an idea that they say will work great. But when you try it out, it falls flat. Instead of acknowledging failure, your friend or co-worker insists that the problem was the implementation. The people who carried it out didn’t do it right.

Some people simply won’t admit they made a mistake, instead insisting on their own brilliance.

Someone with that kind of certainty can be very convincing. You might agree that their idea deserves yet another chance because, after all, how could someone so smart and self-assured be wrong? The problem is, they’re not self-assured at all. They’re the opposite–so insecure they simply can’t bear to admit, even to themselves, that they made a mistake.

What truly confident people do

The most genuinely confident people are also some of the quickest to admit their errors. Why? Because they are so confident with themselves that they see no need to impress others. It doesn’t matter to confident people who sees them as wrong and weak.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

And he did. He abandoned many products and product ideas that weren’t working. Perhaps the most noteworthy was the NeXT computer, which was high-end in every way, its first model sold for $10,000. Jobs had intended it for the education market, but the price tag was too much of a deterrent. After seven years of weak sales, Jobs admitted his mistake and turned NeXT into a software-only company instead. The following year, NeXT became profitable for the first time. The result:  many of Apple’s products, including the App Store and OSX, were built using NeXT software.

That shows genuine emotional security. Insisting that you’re right in the face of evidence shows anything but confidence. So don’t be taken in by people who never back down and never admit they were wrong. It might look like extreme confidence, but it’s actually just the opposite.

The same goes for us as well. We might fool ourselves thinking that we are confident, but if we not ready to admit mistakes, we probably very far away from being confident.

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