The High Price Of Being Right About The Wrong Things…John Page Burton

Most of us have heard it said that “success at anything comes with a price”. The price we pay may be financial, emotional, our time or in extreme cases dismemberment or death. During the course of our nations history, countless men and women have traded their lives and limbs for our freedom. This is the ultimate price! Many of the luxuries we enjoy today were born from the financial, emotional and time sacrifices made by inventors and entrepreneurs. We spend our money enjoying the performances of athletes and entertainers, people who have paid a price to hone their skills and master their craft. Success at anything does include a price.

As a peak performance strategist I routinely see another price many of us are paying, a price that may be much steeper than our price for success. It is the price we pay to “be right”. Wars are fought, marriages dissolve, families are separated, friendships end, business’s fail, careers die, crimes are committed and when the dust settles many of us are left scratching our heads wondering what in the heck just happened? The answer is really quite simple…we had to satisfy our insatiable need to be right!

My clients hire me because they desire to experience a significant breakthrough in a specific area of their life. Regardless of whether it is a life or business challenge my job is to identify what is holding them back and begin moving them toward a solution. I have found that the vast majority of our emotional discomfort comes from the “death grip” we hold on our need to “be right”. I encourage you to examine areas in your life where you may be holding a “death grip” on your need to “be right”. Once we let go of this unhealthy need we can begin LIVING a rich, rewarding life.

Three common examples of our need to “be right”, the truth, and the price we may be paying for holding onto this belief.

*Relationships. “Nobody want’s to date someone who has been divorced twice”. We may go out of our way to avoid social situations and if we eventually do go out on a date we may unconsciously sabotage any chance for a second date. The truth is, our first two marriages were not with the right person or we would still be married. The right person will show up at the right time. Focus on becoming the type of person you desire to attract. As long as we remain in a defeated mindset we will continue to pay the price of loneliness, despair, anxiety, guilt and shame. We are also robbing others of the opportunity to meet an awesome person.

*Career. “I don’t have a degree (or a high enough degree) therefore I can only go so far”. This belief may hold us back from putting our hat in the ring for promotions, applying for more challenging positions or thinking outside the box and starting our own company. The truth is, a person’s “I WILL” trumps a person’s I.Q. every time. Steve Jobs didn’t have a college education yet created Apple Computer. A close friend of mine only attended high school yet commands a six figure salary in a Fortune 100 company. When we come from this mindset we may continue to pay the price of dissatisfaction, inferiority, economic woes, low self esteem and the feeling of never being challenged .

*Health. “Everyone in my family is obese, it’s genetic”. We may adopt a significant aversion to health and wellness. The truth is, with few exceptions people who are obese simply don’t place a high priority on diet and exercise. As long as someone remains in this dangerous mindset they are paying the potential price of disease, lack of intimacy, low self esteem, anger, guilt, embarrassment, bias in the workplace, challenged relationships and possibly death.

We all tell ourselves stories. Once we have told a story long enough it tends to become how we view ourselves. We validate our beliefs through our action. If I believe I deserve happiness and success I will take action that supports this belief. If I believe that I don’t deserve to be loved I will take action (or lack of) that supports this belief. In either instance I have the ability to convince myself that I am RIGHT. The key is not to fight to be right about the wrong things.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.


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