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I Was ‘Wrong’ (And Why That’s Okay)

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Back when I was a teenager, I remember giving my mum a LOT of lectures on why she should buy margarine instead of butter. I couldn’t understand why she was so resistant to making the switch – Didn’t she realise that margarine lowered cholesterol? That it was better for your heart? That so many TV ads, newspapers, and magazine articles said it was the superior choice?

…Ha! My how things change!

You can probably imagine how embarrassed I felt a few years later, during my holistic nutrition and health coach training, when I learned that margarine is, like, the devil of fake foods, and that butter – especially if it’s grass-fed and organic – is not only a million times tastier, but also a million times healthier than its chemical-infused counterpart.

I remember ringing up my mum one day to sheepishly tell her that she was right and that I had been wrong on the whole issue: butter was, in fact, better. (My mum, of course, being one of the best humans on the planet, didn’t skip a beat or rub it in; she just continued to ask what else I was learning in my course. #MumsAreTheBest)

Her gracious reaction didn’t change the fact that I was embarrassed though: I had so firmly (and so loudly!) believed I was right, only to find myself doing a complete 180 degree spin on the issue. It was a humbling experience, to say the least.

Of course, admitting you were wrong about something as trivial as which spread to use on your morning toast is one thing…

What happens when you have to change your mind and admit you were wrong on something that’s ACTUALLY important?

What if you’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on education and worked your tushie to the bone in order to land your ‘dream job’… only to realise 6-months later that it’s not right for you?

What if you’ve relocated your entire family to a new city (after years of convincing your husband it was the right move)… only to discover that you’re desperately unhappy in your new life and want to go back?

What if you spent your whole life loudly and proudly declaring that you NEVER want to be a stay-at-home mama / have a corporate job / live in the suburbs … only to wake up one morning and find that that’s exactly what you want more than anything in the world?

What should you do when you realise you were ‘wrong’ about a big life decision, but there’s a giant part of you that doesn’t want to admit it?

For starters, let’s reframe the whole situation.

It might sound trite but it’s 100% true, beautiful – You made the best decision you could with the information and tools you had at the time. Now that you know better, you can choose again. You’re simply making a new choice.

And let’s be real: There are so many things in life that you can’t possibly know until you’ve actually experienced them. It’s like a scientific experiment: though you might have a hypothesis, how can you ever truly know how Chemical A will react with Chemical B until you’ve shoved them in a beaker together?

Likewise, how can you know how you’ll fare in a particular job environment or relationship until you’ve given it a go?

You weren’t ‘wrong’ – you made the best decision with the information you had at the time.

In these circumstances, changing your mind about something isn’t ‘failure’; it’s simply learning more about yourself and what’s best (and NOT best) for you. Just like Thomas Edison’s experiments helped him rule out thousands of different options until he finally hit upon one that worked, you’re simply trying out different options for yourself until you finally hone in on your own light-bulb moment… You’ve made a discovery, not a mistake.

Don’t Let Your Mean Girl Keep You Trapped In A Position You Don’t Want To Be In

‘You’re so flaky and unreliable.’

‘How could you have been so stupid?’

‘People will think you’re an idiot if you change your mind now.’

Admitting that you need to make a change is a fertile feeding ground for your Mean Girl. She’ll take it as permission to beat you up and rub in just how worthless you really are… So don’t let her!

Whenever she pipes up, gently remind her (and yourself!) that you’re doing the very best you can, and just like everyone else, you deserve love and the chance to choose again: ‘I did the best that I could with the information I had. Now I’m standing in my power and making a new choice that’s more aligned with my truth.’

Don’t Stick With A Bad Decision Just To Prove Others Wrong

Ages ago, I dated a guy who I knew one of my friends didn’t like. She was always polite to him when we all went out, but I could tell that she had reservations. Then one day, she came to me in private and told me that she was worried about me – that I wasn’t myself when I was with him, and she was concerned that he didn’t have my best interests at heart.

… I was furious at her. How could she doubt my judgment? She didn’t know him like I did! How could she be so RUDE?!

A few months later, when her premonitions came true and he betrayed me, I was devastated. But I was also extremely reluctant to break up with him. Why? Because I didn’t want my friend to have been right about him… How insanely cray cray is that?!

This kind of faulty thinking is actually way more common than you’d think. All too often we stay in jobs / relationships / situations longer than we should, simply to prove our friends / parents / partners wrong… But of course, the truth is, when we do this, the only person we’re hurting is ourselves.

The Buddha said ‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’ The same applies to sticking out a crappy decision just to spite others… So don’t stand for it, beautiful – you deserve so much better than that.

Pivot Quickly

As soon as you know you’re in a situation that’s not aligned with your truth, take swift action to change it. I know it can be tough when it feels like you’re in too deep, or you’ve got too much to lose, but it’s amazing how a few swift choices can turn everything around and make you feel empowered and motivated again. (Not to mention, the longer you wait around and wallow in that crappy feeling of ‘out-of-alignment-ness’, the harder it will be to climb out of your inertia and get your momentum back.)

Look for small shifts and quick wins that you can take action on TODAY. Even if it’s as simple as making one phone call or sending one email, it will restore your sense of self-worth and help you feel like you’re taking charge of your own future.

Forgive Yourself And Move On

In five years, ten years, twenty years’ time, this will all seem like a tiny blip on the radar of your rich, layered, meaningful life. Even though it might feel all-consuming right now, know that this too shall pass. The Universe is sending you an amazing lesson so that you can grow and expand in the exact ways you need to… So soak up that goodness, step into your true power, and stand tall as the goddess you truly are.

So there you have it, beautiful — those are my top tips for reframing ‘being wrong’ and allowing yourself to change your mind.

Does this resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts — What’s your one big takeaway from today’s article? And how are you going to put it into action in your own life? Share with me in the comments below. Remember, thousands of soul-seekers will be reading your words. Your comment might be the ONE THING they need to read to spark serious change deep inside them. So open up, share from your heart, and let’s start a love-fuelled conversation.

As always, you inspire the heck out me. I adore you to the moon and back.

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  1. Tash Brown says:

    What a fabulous article to read this morning.
    Thanks once again Melissa xxx

  2. YES! I struggle daily with regret for not listening to the inner voices when I was just out of school and starting down a path. Instead I stayed with the safe desk job ripe with benefits, to please my parents. And quite frankly, it was comfortable. I stayed for a really long time. I am now building the life I was meant for, and every day I move past the regret and look only forward. All I can say is, no time like the present. Do it NOW. Your life depends on it.

  3. Jess says:

    Thank you it was just what i needed to hear. The backlash i have received since i told everyone that i was closing down my small business at the end of this year and moving away, has been horrible. I was going to change my mind but this timely reminder has reminded me to do what i need to do not what everyone else wants me to do.

  4. Jessie says:

    I feel like you’ve plucked these thoughts right out of my own head!
    I made a decision towards the end of last year to withdraw from a course I had spent a lot of money, time and energy on. It was something that I was most definitely interested in and passionate about at the time of enrollment and I was beyond excited to start this next chapter of my life. Fast forward 4 months and almost halfway into the course and I couldn’t shake a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach that I wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing as well as thoughts of “what will people think if I drop out”, “this person will be disappointed”, “how will I explain this to people”, “I’m nearly 30 years old and don’t have a career”, you know how the rest goes.
    Well long story short I had to drop out of that course after a lot of soul searching and silencing of my mean girl. It just wasn’t right for me anymore and guess what? The world is still spinning, I didn’t hurt anyone with my decision and I’m much better off for it.
    The next chapter of my life has started from the above experience and is something that excites and scares the crap out of me (so I must be onto something) and also something that I’ve decided to jump into head first without a parachute, not overthink it too much (because I realise there will never be a good time to start), listen to my gut and to say yes to opportunities that come my way. Will it work out? who knows, but I’m excited to find out.
    Thank you Melissa for giving me that last little push from reading your post and I hope that everyone else reading it has been as inspired as what I have.

  5. Katrin says:

    Thank you Melissa. Your messages always arrive in divine time.
    I am grappling with ‘love’ – being that I feel I deserve a deeper, more soulful connection. That connection is not present in my marriage, despite my husband being a good, solid, sweet and very wonderful man.
    So, while I am standing by him, I am being honest with him and we are working on things. Deep down I know though, that this relationship seems to be coming to a close.
    It is tough. We have been together for 17 years, have 3 incredible children together and have been great partners in life.
    Our careers are pulling us in different directions too. So in a couple of short years he may be in the eastern states while I am being called west.
    All I do, on a daily basis, is listen to my heart and walk this relationship journey with love, kindness and gentleness.
    It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.
    Thank you for your words – because they reminded me to not question that deep need for more from my relationship. You are a true gift from the universe. xox

    • Melissa says:

      As are you sista! Just make sure you are always listening to your heart and letting that lead the way and you can’t go wrong. Sending you so much love <3

  6. Maryanne says:

    Thanks for another GREAT post Melissa
    I am reading ‘Mastering Your Mean Girl’ now and am LOVING it!! Every word and thought sits so well with me and the giving me new inspiration to live my authentic truth (plus the all important tips on HOW to get to that place)
    Thanks again

  7. Katie says:

    Hi Melissa, thanks so much for this article… it is very timely for me. I have been trying to push down some niggling feelings about my study path because I am afraid of everyone thinking I’m flaky or stupid for spending so much time & money on something and then changing my mind. I’m also petrified to admit to myself that there may be a different way to get where I am supposed to be that would light up my soul more. I need to have a good feel into what’s going on inside and quieten that mean girl down who keeps piping up saying I’m a failure- and that I’m letting my hubby & little kiddies down. Thanks lovely xx

  8. Judith says:

    This inspired me beyond means I can not even explain, when I was younger from 12 – 17 years old I was obsessed with the idea that I was better than my parents (like any other teenager) and I knew everything. This put me into very dangerous situations that no girl at that age should experience, and it made me realize that yes my parents and other friends were right I was going down a very dangerous path. I had to much pride to admit it and stayed on that path till high school and it was beyond point of repair I though, anyway I had my mean girl in my head for so many years and it just seemed impossible to get her out till year 12 when I had to face myself and tell myself I am worth more than what I have been told and yes I have been distructive but I have time to change and I have the power to change I’m in charge of my own life. And today I’m now working in my dream field also due to the change in career choice 🙂

  9. Carole says:

    Love this Melissa, it’s something I have done in the last few years. Tried it, realised it wasn’t aligned with my truth, everyday was a struggle and I kept denying it to myself so as to avoid “what others would think.” Once I made the decision to let it go and apologise to myself first and then others if I needed to, the MAGIC happened and continues to happen. All lessons <3

  10. Georgie says:

    As a stylist who recently launched one on one styling services. This really kicks my butt into gear for the next stage – online services. Today I my goal is to do everything with a sense of urgency and must be some sort of action. I want to release my online program in less than 6 weeks.Thank you Melissa for knowing the right things to say at the right time. Xx

  11. Tanya says:

    Wow, just wow! That is one of best articles I’ve read for a long time and just I needed right now. Just yesterday I was telling my husband that it feels like I just can’t catch a break lately and everything seems to be going wrong. I’ve been blaming myself for career moves that haven’t worked out well. Time to pick myself up and move forward. Thank you so much Mellisa, you are an absolute angel xoxo

  12. Bec says:

    WHAT A GREAT READ!! I am so glad you posted this Melissa. I think it really resonates with a lot of people because we’ve all been there at some point. Thank you so much xx

  13. Cassie says:

    We find that we all make wrong decisions many times in our lives but it’s important as to what we learn from them. If you’re not willing to move on past your wrongdoings, then you won’t develop any character nor will you be able to make wiser decisions in the future.

  14. Nina says:

    Beautiful!Thank you!And so inspirational.And just what I needed to hear!
    I love the statement-
    ‘There are no mistakes-just discoveries!’
    It immediately creates kindness and takes away the fear of difficult choices and instead creates excitement and bravery.

    Thank you <3

  15. Gabbie says:

    This article is fantastic! And as always resonates one way or another. I made this discovery a couple months ago and it was hard telling my family and partner that the job I got after studying wasn’t my dream job. The article gives me that extra encouragement and support. I have no idea how to find out or start in the direction of what I really want to do. And I think that maybe it’s important and really great that we are identifying that we deserve more!

  16. Megane says:

    Thank you for another great post !!

    This one totally resonates with me because I was in this situation last year. I’ve always dreamed about going to the Unied States and live in this country by myself for my career. I was only thinking about career and responsabilities. I thought this would make me happy and feel good about myself.
    I had the chance to experiment that last year for my studies and these months spent over there were the most difficult of my life.
    I was always doubting about myself because I was realising that it wasn’t for me. But how could it be not for me ??? I was dreaming about it for years !!! At that time, I didn’t understand what I was going through !

    I took the decision to go back to my country sooner and start something new. This is only few months later that I understood. I understand now how great and enriching ths experience was.

    I realised that being alone wasn’t for me, that I was too close to my famiy and friends to leave them behind and that it was “not a life” to only thinking about career.
    There are so much great moments, simple moments of life that we are all living but we don’t even know how amazing they are !
    This experience abroad and alone totally made me understand how those moments are precious, how taking care of me, of my health and body, and my family is so much more important than only focusing on career (of course, I’m not saying career isn’t important, but just that it’s not the most important ! That life moments, family, friends, love are what make life happier). I am totaly grateful today for this tough time and I know now that I wasn’t wrong, I made the best decision I could with the information and tools I had at the time 😉

    I know you via your site and your social media for over a year now, and I just want to say thank you !
    You’re doing an amazing job and your work and passion for what you’re doing help me a lot in my life, help me passing through experiences and make me realise a lot of things.

    Have an amazing day !

    (I apologize for probably some english mistakes… I’m french :S)

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words honey. I am so glad you have come to find what’s truly important to you. Enjoy!

      xx

  17. Kate says:

    I love this Mel, especially the quote – YOU WEREN’T ‘WRONG’ – YOU MADE THE BEST DECISION YOU COULD WITH THE INFORMATION AND TOOLS YOU HAD AT THE TIME.
    This is what I need to tell myself instead of having regrets and being so hard on myself- really really hard on myself.
    Thank you for writing this to remind us all 🙂

  18. HELEN says:

    Hi , this is not in relation to this post but i can not find a customer service email on your site???

    I purchased your e book of the glow kitchen on the weekend and was really looking forward to reading it as i had a couple of days off but never recieved my instructions for downloading it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    H

  19. Carmel says:

    Great article Melissa. I think we should be brave to try new things and be strong when they may not have been the right decisions. I worry about kids heading towards their HSC with such a burden placed on them as to “what they are going to do with their future”. My Dad proudly told me that he has had over 25 jobs in his lifetime and each time was a great new opportunity to try something new. I entered into my adult life knowing this and am still trying to challenge myself and try something new without being tough on myself when it doesn’t work out exactly as I planned (although it’s not always easy to do). I hope that my kids face their years ahead with the courage to move on when things aren’t right. I just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more! Thank you.

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