For most of us, being wrong feels like a threat. If we are wrong, what does it mean about us, our judgement, and our ability to make wise choices in the future? In this episode, you’ll learn why it’s actually good news that you could be wrong.
When we give ourselves permission to be wrong about our assumptions of ourselves and others, it makes space for other thoughts and emotions. We can get curious about new possibilities. We can challenge thoughts we’ve had about ourselves that feel factual but cause a lot of pain.
In this episode, you’ll hear various examples of how allowing yourself to be wrong can be the tool that helps you move forward. From thoughts about yourself, thoughts about others and what you are capable of achieving, you’ll learn how to talk to yourself in a way that allows for error and helps you change the narrative.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to The Heal from Infidelity podcast
episode number 23, Allowing Yourself to Be Wrong.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast, where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more freedom than the life you’re currently
living but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hey everybody. Happy New Year. This is my first episode that I’m recording
here in 2021. I hope everybody had a good holiday, Christmas, New Year’s,
all the things. I hope that you’re doing well. I know for a lot of people
that I’ve spoken to, they’re not quite feeling revved up for the new year.
Are you one of those? Can you raise your hand? Maybe kind of tired, maybe
un-rested, not as rested as you thought you would be over the holidays.
Maybe some dread about this year of, well, what’s coming next? Is it really
going to lift? Are we really going to be able to move freely and go to
places freely and see people and all the things that we miss so much in
2021, or is it going to be more of the same? If you’re one of those people
that might feel that way, just give yourself the biggest hug. It’s okay.
It’s okay. This whole thing has been a collective experience of growth and
I think there’s been a lot of grief. A lot of just uncertainty collectively
for everyone. And if you’re feeling that way, I’m reaching out to you and
giving you a big hug as well.
So, today I’m going to talk about something that I have really enjoyed
working on myself, something that’s made a huge difference for myself and
that I want to share with you today. In part, I decided to do this because
I was reflecting on my year last year and really diving in and assessing my
year and where I want to grow, areas that I did well, that I’m really happy
about, and areas that I want to change up for this coming year. And just
really doing some reflections. And this concept that I’m about to dive in
is one that I really used this last year myself, and it made a huge, huge
difference in my growth. So I want to give it to you today, allowing
yourself to be wrong.
So first of all, I want to talk about last year. Like I said, I think that
collectively we were all given a lot of things to think more critically
about than maybe we had before. We had many opportunities to see things in
a way that maybe we hadn’t before, taking a different look at them, a
different approach. Many of these things were handed to us not by choice
that we had to consider differently, that maybe we hadn’t ever considered
before. We might have had assumptions about things that were challenged.
I’m going to go over a couple of those.
One, you might have thought, I can only be spiritual and practice my
religion by going to church every week. All of us had to reevaluate how we
practice our faith, how we practice spirituality. For some of you, it might
have been going to church every week and then suddenly you couldn’t go to
church. What then? This is where this thought, maybe I’m wrong. I thought I
had to go to church every week to really feel spiritual and to feed my
spirit. Turns out I was wrong. Maybe I was wrong. How about this one? How
are my kids going to get educated if they’re not going to school? I thought
they needed to go to school to get educated. Turns out I was wrong. Or, I
thought that I was incapable of being like a homeschool mom where I’m
taking over their education, making sure they’re learning what they need,
making sure they are where they need to be at different times. There might
have been a thought before of, I cannot do that. Turns out I was wrong.
What about this one? Connecting with people. What’s an assumption you had
about how connections happen? Are they in meetings, group settings where
you go out, where you meet up with people? What about things like church
meetings? There might have been an assumption that we need to meet in
person for all of these different things, to connect, to have the great
discussions to make the decisions. What if we’re wrong? It’s amazing to me
to see how collectively we have adapted. How now Zoom meetings are
happening everywhere all the time. How things are probably changed that
won’t go back to how they were, that maybe there’s things that have changed
that maybe are better than they were before. I’m thinking specifically of a
friend of mine whose husband is in a leadership position at church and he
has hours of meetings every week, and they’ve all been on Zoom. And if it
weren’t for Zoom, he would be away from his family at all of these
And so the question is, what if we are wrong that we have to actually be in
person to connect? What if there’s other ways of connect? We’ve all been
given all these different things to look at, not only with the practical
day to day things, but even how we view our country, our politics with an
election year, with some of the political things that have come up, some of
the discussions around race and equality. All of these things have been
brought out in 2020 in a way that I have never experienced and have forced
me to think about things differently.
And so again, back to the title of this podcast, Allowing Yourself to Be
Wrong, I want to talk about why it’s such a gift to allow yourself to be
wrong. Many of us are afraid of being wrong. We want to be right so help
me. I have learned that it’s the greatest gift to give myself that I
actually can be wrong and it’s not a problem. So I want to talk a little
bit about what that has looked like for me personally this year. I’m going
to get personal, you know that I do that. I get personal. I tell you what’s
really going on with me. So here we go. I’m going to tell you a little bit
about what happened this year.
So first, some history. I grew up in a home where I had three brothers and
three sisters, and I was the first one to go to college. I was the fifth of
seven and I was the first one to go. Neither of my parents finished college
degrees. My mother has gone back and gotten her nursing degree, which is
awesome. She did that in her 50s. But neither of them finished like
traditional bachelor’s degrees. I knew that I wanted to go to college, and
I made it happen, and I went. But then I got married and wanted to be a mom
and didn’t know that I could really truly pursue both, schooling and being
a mom. I didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t know how to give myself
So I stopped going to school and I followed my first husband all over. We
went, lived in the UK, we lived in Michigan, we lived in several places in
Texas. We lived in the Bay Area for his career, for his schooling. I put
myself and my desire secondary to him because I felt like that was the
right thing to do. I felt like that he was the smarter one, he was the more
capable one. That I was a little bit less important because I didn’t have
the fancy degrees, I wasn’t making the income. He was things like that. And
I definitely had a story about what I was capable of. I carried around a
story for so long that I’m too insecure to really do anything really
significant, just too insecure. Those exact words, insecure.
Where that comes from is, I think I’ve spoken about this before, but when I
was pretty young, I think I was 19 a well-meaning person said to me, Do you
know what your greatest weakness is, Andrea? I said, what? How insecure you
are. And I think in hindsight, it was intended to be a compliment, but it
felt really, really crushing because it was telling me the news, This is
how tall you are. This is your label, you’re insecure. And it was followed
up with, you don’t need to be. But I heard the label like it was imprinted
on my forehead and it hurt. And so for years, I carried that around of this
is just who you are. You don’t get to have what you want. You don’t get to
really bust through this because this is actually who you are.
And this past year, I got some really good coaching around this from great
coaches, and I learned to allow myself to be wrong. And how I allowed
myself to be wrong is not what you think. It’s not that I was trying to
say, Oh no, you’re not insecure at all. And trying to talk myself out of
that story. Actually, where I allowed myself to be wrong is in thinking
that I could not be somebody who sometimes experienced insecurity and do
amazing things. That’s where I was wrong. I carried around for years that I
was too uneducated, that I was too dingy. I space things out a lot. I
missed details sometimes. I forget things. Too unorganized, I’m not
somebody that’s just super organized and super tidy. And I thought, well, I
can’t do these things that I really want because of these other pieces. I
allowed myself this past year to really lean into what if I’m wrong? What
if I can be all of those things and still do exceptional things with my
life? And so I challenged that.
Instead of fighting with insecurity and feeling like I was in this prison
of insecurity with this sentence going, you can’t get out of this jail
until you’re somebody who doesn’t feel insecure ever. And so I’d fight with
that. I’d fight with it and try to talk myself out of feeling insecure and
give myself pep talks. And instead, what I did is I learned to hang out
with those things and actually be friends with them. My experience before
was I thought that I couldn’t have these breakthroughs. I couldn’t really
have the life I wanted until those things just went away. And so I went
from therapist to therapist for years that trying to make those things go
away, trying to feel better, trying to be the person that never feels
insecure, who is organized, who has it all put together, and then I can
dot, dot, dot. Then I will be worthy of dot, dot, dot. Then I can lead.
Then I can have the business I want. Then I can be the mom that I want.
Then I can be the wife that I want to be.
And when I’ve learned to just set that all down and go, what if I can be
all of those things and still be an amazing wife, an amazing business
owner, an amazing coach, all the things, an amazing leader? That has just
been the best gift that I have given myself in this last year. I never
needed to fix anything and neither do you. I never needed to fix them. They
did not need to go away. I needed to learn to embrace them. To say, hey,
first of all, I know where this insecurity comes from. Understanding that
the feeling of insecurity is created in my brain. It’s created by thoughts
that I think. And as I continue to grow, I do challenge those thoughts that
are creating the insecurity in the first place, but I can become the person
that can handle feeling insecure and not obey it. I can handle feeling bad
sometimes and still move forward. I didn’t need to fix them, I didn’t need
to eradicate them for me to feel loving towards myself, for me to feel
whole, for me to feel like where I am today is good enough. That’s a
miracle for me. That’s the biggest shift that I’ve experienced in this past
Some other shifts that I’ve seen in this past year are, I’ve gained some
weight This past year. I remember when COVID first hit and I was working
out every day. I had a good routine. I would get up and work out, get the
kids out the door to school, go do my own personal journaling and coaching
myself, and then I’d get ready for the day and get to work. And then the
kids all came home and something like shifted in my brain and I kind of a
little bit went into survival mode. And it’s so interesting that even
though I teach these things I have a very human brain that acts like a
human brain. And I remember just feeling like, nope, I’ve got to hunker
down and I don’t want to make myself too tired and I need to just focus on
getting the kids situated. And I stopped working out. And little by little
over the year, I have eaten and felt the stress of different things and
eaten my way through it. Even though intellectually I know better. But
guess what? I have a human brain and human brains act like human brains.
So now what’s been different about that experience for me though, as
opposed to years past, is that in the past I would make myself so wrong for
that and be like, you’re so weak. What’s wrong with you? You should know
better. You know how to lose weight. You know how to do these things. Did
you know that I even in my certification to become a coach, I also learned
a lot about weight loss coaching. I’m actually certified to help people
lose weight. So I could be saying to myself, look at you, you call yourself
a coach yet you’ve gained weight and you’re heavier than you want to be.
And guess what? I don’t do that. And I’m willing to let myself be wrong
about that. I am exactly where I need to be. It’s not a problem. I’m not
hating on my body. I’m not mad at myself. I’m to a spot now where I’m ready
to do something about it because I want a different experience for myself.
That’s not coming from any kind of graspiness to prove anything to anybody.
Same with some of the goals that I set for myself last year. It wasn’t to
show how awesome I am or to outdo anybody, things like that. It’s from a
place of just wanting to grow myself and wanting to have a different
experience. I prefer to have this experience instead of this experience. So
right now, I’m like, I prefer having my clothes fit really well. I prefer
having more energy. I prefer being a person who has less headaches and
migraines. I want to make the shifts so that I can feel more comfortable in
my body. And that is coming from a place of love and not lack not needing
to prove anything to anybody.
Another area that I’ve grown in this last year is many of us think that we
know what’s best for our kids. We think that they should be doing things in
a certain way and that they should make certain choices for them to be
happy, for them to have the best life. Well, guess what? This past year
some of my kids have made choices that I thought that I used to think would
be wrong choices. That would be the label, no they’re making the wrong
choices. What if I’m wrong about that? What if I’m wrong? I was wrong. How
do I know that I was wrong? Because some of them are making different
choices than what I thought were best for them, and who am I to know what
journey they need? They might need to go through some of the experiences
they’re going through for their good. For their good. Maybe those are the
best choices for them. I’m willing to be wrong. I thought that it would
look a certain way, turns out I was wrong, and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I
haven’t had to experience some grief, allowing myself some room to feel
some disappointment. I can totally do disappointment and sadness and feel
all of those things and also allow myself to be wrong about what I thought
it would look like, how I thought it would be, and what I thought would be
best. Turns out I was wrong.
One more thing. I have lots of kids, I have lots of teenagers, and I have
some teenagers who sometimes come and take stuff from my room. I have a
daughter who’s 17, and sometimes I’ll find items missing like makeup or my
hair things or a brush or things like that. And my mind will immediately go
to, ah, she took it and I’ll get annoyed and feel frustrated. And this
thought, maybe I’m wrong, I could be wrong, has really, really helped to
diffuse some of that instant frustration, some of that instant annoyance.
God, I could be wrong. And the thing that’s amazing is that most of the
time I am wrong. Most of the time it’s me that put it somewhere else or
most of the time it’s me that I’m not seeing it immediately and so I make
this assumption. Even in times that I’m right, I’m creating that emotional
response for myself. So for me to say, I could be wrong, maybe I’m wrong,
that immediately brings me down and then I can go find it. I can ask the
questions. I can look for it and find it without being so ready to be
annoyed and pouncy.
So now let’s talk about you. Are you willing to be wrong? Are you willing
to be wrong? And where can you try this on? I’m going to give you some
suggestions. Okay? I hear a lot of thoughts from my clients about things
that they have believed are true, and I want you to hear these and see if
you have done the same thing. Sometimes my clients think that it’s weak,
that they’re staying in a marriage where infidelity took place. Sometimes
they think that they’re weak for leaving. What does it mean about me that
I’m leaving? What does it mean about me if I’m staying? I hear those from
pretty much everybody I talk to. One version or the other of that. If I
leave, what does it mean? If I stay am I just weak? Am I just not standing
up for myself? Part of this comes from cultural things that we have heard
such as you can’t really recover from it. You can’t really ever trust
again. You can’t ever have your marriage really be whole. You’ll always
just wonder, you’ll always have doubt in the back of your mind. You should
just leave if your husband has an affair. That’s how you show yourself love
and support and stand up for yourself.
Here’s the problem with these things, none of them are true. How do I know
that none of them are true? Because we have choice, because we decide in
our minds what is right for us. We get to decide if staying in our marriage
or leaving our marriage is the best thing for us, and we make it right or
wrong with the way that we choose to think about it. So if we’re willing to
be wrong. For example, let’s say you decide to stay in your marriage. Are
you willing to be wrong that you can’t ever have it be amazing, that you’ll
always doubt? You might still have that thought there going, I don’t know.
I don’t know, Andrea, I still have my doubts that we can ever really,
really be happy, but I’m willing to be wrong. That little sentence at the
end will open you up to ways that you might be wrong. Are you willing?
What about this? I don’t know that I can ever trust again, but I’m willing
to be wrong. Prove me wrong. I’m willing to be wrong, and your brain will
start looking for ways that you might be wrong. What about this one? I can
be a confident woman and still feel shaky sometimes. You might have thought
that confidence means just always feeling in control and like a boss, and
you know what you’re doing and have the answer to everything. What if that
is wrong? Are you willing to be wrong about what confidence means? What if
confidence actually means you’re willing to be shaky and show up anyway?
Are you willing to challenge your assumptions? What about this one? There’s
no good men out there. They’re all taken. Are you willing to be wrong about
that? Are you willing to believe that there are good men out there and that
one of them is waiting to meet you? Are you willing? Isn’t that fun?
What about this one? I’m willing to be wrong about somebody wanting to take
on being the father to my children. I remember thinking that. I remember
thinking who in our right mind would want to take on six more kids on
purpose? And turns out I was wrong. I was willing to be wrong. I was
willing to dip a toe out and date and talk to people. Turned out I was
wrong. I met lots of great guys. And the man that I married is an excellent
father to my kids and he loves them, and it’s genuine and real. He wants to
be their dad.
What else can you question? What else can you ask yourself? Are you willing
to feel terrible and move forward anyway? What about this one? Can you be
messy and still heal? Often, we think that we have to just feel good all
the time as our meter that we’re like moving forward and healing. Are you
willing to be wrong about that? What if you feeling messy is the healing?
What if you not numbing it out? What if you not running from it and keeping
yourself so busy that you can’t even feel it is the proof that you’re
healing? Are you willing to be wrong? Did you know that you can feel
terrible and move forward?
What about assumptions about the person who broke your trust? What are you
assuming about them that you could be wrong about? Are you assuming that
they’re bad? Are you assuming that they’re perverted? Are you assuming that
they can never recover, that you can never trust them again? For some of
you, there is judgment. There’s good judgment involved in not handing over
trust. If there’s somebody who does not want to get better, who has no
intention of trying to heal, of trying to address their own issues, it
might be in your best interest to not hand over trust, right? But I’m
talking about the general assumptions around pornography, around sex
addiction, around affairs, all of those things. Are you willing to be
wrong? There will be so much freedom in this. This is what will allow you
if you choose to step back into the relationship and give over some trust,
trying to build trust again.
The other thing with this thought I’m willing to be wrong is that it opens
you up to curiosity. If he’s not a terrible person, what else could be
happening? If he’s not just perverted, what else could be going on? That
opens your brain up to new ways of looking at things and new ways of
getting answers, asking yourself good questions.
To wrap it up, I just want to tell you something that I have been
contemplating sharing or not, but I’m going to go ahead and share because
it’s made such a difference for me. So this was my second full year as a
coach, 2020 was, I got certified in at the end of 2018. 2019 was my first
full year as a coach, and then 2020 was my second full year as a coach. And
I set a money goal for myself for 2020 that felt really scary to me and I
didn’t know how I was going to do it. But I knew that that money goal meant
that I would be helping a certain number of people, and that’s why I’m in
this is to help people. And so I thought, Okay, I’m going to just keep
growing, keep showing up, keep putting things out there, and it felt really
terrible. I think I’ve mentioned before the day that this podcast was
released, I cried. I felt so vulnerable. So like I’m standing naked in
front of the world. I also felt proud of myself for doing it in the very
same moment. But I knew that to hold onto that goal of helping people, that
I was willing to feel that discomfort and move forward.
I thought that I had to feel a certain way to be really successful, that I
had to stop feeling insecure. I had to stop feeling shaky. I had to stop
feeling scared. And what actually has happened this past year is I doubled
my goal. I doubled it. This past year I became a six figure earning coach.
And please know I’m not telling you this to brag or to pat myself on the
back, but to say, if I can do that as a woman who often feels insecure
about things, who often wonders about things, who sometimes is just really
tired, who’s sometimes grumpy, who sometimes does not follow a super strict
schedule, if I can do that, what can I do if I decide to have a different
experience? If I decided to get up an hour earlier than I do or if I
decided to do my journaling every day without fail and never missing a day,
what could I do then? This has really blown up my brain to look at all of
this and to see how this past year went even when I know very clearly what
my flaws are. I thought that it had to look a certain way for me to have
the success that I want, it turns out I was wrong. I was just wrong. And
that is the best news.
It gives me space and freedom to continue to move forward even with the
flaws, even with the thought errors. It means I get to help people. I get
to serve people. I get to talk to you here, even when on my end I don’t
have every answer. I don’t have it all put together. Just like you I’m
working and growing. But that gift I’ve given myself of allowing myself to
be wrong has been the thing that is propelled me forward and helped me to
grow so quickly in my business. Is allowing myself to be wrong about me.
What if I’m wrong? What if I’m just wrong? And now I’m looking at some of
the other things that I have just assumed like that I’m not good at
organizing and going, maybe I’m wrong about that. I thought that I wasn’t
capable of having a really successful, thriving business. I’ve never done
it before. I’ve always been a stay-at-home mom. Gosh, turns out I was
wrong. What else could I be wrong about?
What else could you be wrong about? What can you do that you are currently
thinking you can’t do? Are you willing to be wrong? Are you willing to
challenge it? There’s so much freedom in this. I encourage you to try it
out. I encourage you to practice. I encourage you to really look at the
thoughts that you’re taking at face value and throwing in there and I’m
willing to be wrong. What if I’m wrong?
All right. That’s all I have for you today, my friends. I just love you. I
appreciate you being here so much. I love hearing from you. And I hope that
you go out and have a wonderful 2021 and challenge those beliefs my
friends. You have so much in front of you. You have so many good things to
look forward to. They’re not far away. You don’t have to wait years and
years, they’re literally a thought away. You can have a different
experience for yourself by shifting one thought. I promise you that that is
available to you.
If you want more help from me, you can find me on social media. If you go
to my website, andreagiles.com, you can find me there. You can always
schedule a one on one call with me. This next year I’m going to be doing
some things. Right now, I’m just working one on one with people, which I
love. But I’ve gotten pretty full and so I’m going to be adding some
things, like I’m going to be doing some group programs where my people, my
clients, get to learn from each other, still get coaching from me but also
be in a setting where you can learn from each other and grow together. And
that is so helpful in healing, in knowing that you’re not alone in your
experience. So keep your eye out for that. Reach out. Let me know what
you’re looking for. Come talk to me and sending you all the love. Thank you
so much, and I’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to The Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
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it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.