I'm Probably Wrong
There is a reason why public speaking is a fear worse than death for most people. The human ego can rarely stand being judged and picked apart for all of its alleged flaws (not pretty enough, not charismatic enough, not smart enough, etc.) Given enough eyeballs and enough opinionated outsiders, they'll surely find something wrong. The pressure is increased with the quantity of eyeballs in the audience just waiting to catch us make a gaff.
The effect is magnified by our memories. Not only do we remember everything we apparently did wrong (my most embarrassing moment was that time I forgot to put my swimsuit on for open swim), but we also get to experience everyone else reminding us. So we don't just experience the mistake once, we get to experience it 1000's of times!
And the digital age and media explosion has amplified it even more. Before we could get away with people eventually forgetting and forgiving. Now we have the way back machine, google caching, and any thought we ever had stored digitally. We also have seen all the political talking head shows where a video from 20 years ago can be accessed and taken out of context or used to show we are a 'flip flopper'.
The demands of 'perfection' have grown to an almost unachievable level. Not only do our opinions have to be correct in todays' context... but they have to be correct for all eternity lest someone point back to a single post from 5 years ago to show how 'wrong' we were!
There has got to be a better way...
Let's start off with the premise that I'm probably wrong, you're probably wrong, and everyone is probably wrong. Or better yet, that it's ok to have a childlike fascination and allow oneself to learn through experience. There is simply too much information in a rapidly changing world for anyone to have cornered the market on 'truth' or what's right.
So I'm probably wrong. I probably could have written a better post. You probably have a better way of articulating my message. This is probably not that original. You probably already thought of it. I probably am not as creative as I think I am. And so on and so on.
I admit, I'm probably wrong. But at least I'm not afraid to say it anymore... and now I can at least say something.
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About Rick Manelius
Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.