Only You Make Make Yourself Wrong

What is it that has us determine who is right or wrong?

Is it a set of cultural norms that we all agree to like ‘the golden rule’? Who or what gets to decide what is right for us or what is wrong with others? What if our fixed ideas of right and wrong keep us stuck in polarized thinking that limits our potential and joy? Some of us feel we need to earn our right to get our needs met. If we are wrong, then we lose the right to get what we want/need. We need to BE right to HAVE a right from this perspective. Some of us feel that we are always wrong if we want different things than another. We need to AGREE with them to be right so we can BELONG from this perspective. Some of us try to take care of the needs of others, and when those needs are not being met, we make ourselves wrong as if it was our responsibility to make them feel better. We need to be RESPONSIBLE for others to be right. When we feel anger or hurt from another’s accusation that we are wrong/bad/not enough, we fear that their accusations could be true. In this way, we make ourselves wrong, so others can be right.

None of these strategies work to support us to expand and evolve into our highest joyful expression of ourselves. Deciding that you know what is right or wrong for anyone else, or that anyone else knows what is right or wrong for you, restricts and limits the energy and potential in everything we do and in every relationship we have. A different approach is to step away from the idea of right vs. wrong to instead focus on what works and doesn’t work for you. What is ‘right’ for you in other words. Focusing here and taking action on what works best for you it is a clear path forward that lets you be fully responsible for yourself, and you can do it without making yourself or anyone else wrong.

It’s time for us to take our power back by deciding what is and isn’t OK for us instead of justifying ourselves and others with the idea of who is right and who is wrong. We can do this by focusing instead on what works and doesn’t work for us so we can feel good inside ourselves. What is it that allows us to feel, be and give our best? Saying yes? Saying no? Asking for help? Asking to be left alone? What works best for us changes in each moment and situation and it’s up to us to pay attention to what feels best to us and honor ourselves in each circumstance that presents itself. When we honor what feels best for us, without making ourselves (or anyone else) wrong about it, we are free – regardless of what others think.

For example, when my mother tells me, she is upset that I don’t call her as frequently as she would like, I have a choice to make myself (or her) wrong about the situation. If I believed that I was not being a ‘good enough’ daughter, then I might make myself wrong for how often I call her when I compare myself to what she thinks a ‘good’ daughter would do (e.g. call twice a week instead of twice a month). If I believed she was being too needy and demanding given our different lives, then I would make her wrong for wanting more than I want to give.

What if no one needs to be right or wrong? What if both of our wants and needs matter and it is up to each of us to take care of ourselves instead of trying to take care of the needs of each other?

When I remember that it is my job to honor and take care of my own needs, and my mother has the same responsibility to herself, I see the situation from a different vantage point. Taking care of myself means that I call her when it feels good to me and am fully present during those conversations. If my mother is disappointed and feels she is only truly loved when I call more often, she can have those feelings, yet it’s not my job to make her feel better about the story she is telling herself about the situation. Even if she feels I am ‘wrong’ for calling twice a month, I do not have to make myself wrong by agreeing with her and not taking care of myself. This gets me off the hook inside and allows me to remember it is up to me to do what is ‘right’ for me and it’s up to her to do what is ‘right’ for her – no one needs to be wrong.

How can you release right and wrong for today?  


Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
WENDY is passionate about enabling individuals, organizations and communities to value themselves and each other in the ongoing process of change. Wendy has guided hundreds of individuals and over 750+ public and private sector organizations to achieve tangible increases in impact and performance. Her successful practice in mentoring and coaching has led to authorship of the book, ‘Live a Life You Love and Make a Living Doing It’. Over the last 30 years, Wendy’s skills have been honed in leadership roles at MTV Networks, The Rensselaerville Institute, and a variety of community based projects in her town. In 2015 she launched BeliefWorks and offers Belief Coaching as a way to address the root cause of what limits the results we can achieve both personally and professionally. This is an 'upstream' solution to change. Instead of changing limiting behavior, she focuses on changing the limiting beliefs that drive that behavior. In all cases, her clients and partners speak to the specific increases in achievement that her consulting, coaching and partnership roles make possible.

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