Strong Opinions That Could Be Wrong

Having strong opinions can be a positive trait for successful people. The tricky part is that no one is right 100% of the time. No matter how strong your opinion is about something, you could still be wrong. Actually, depending on your line of work, you can be wrong a lot and still be successful. For example, if you’re an investor and wrong 50% of the time, you’ll be considered a great investor with a strong track record because you can make many times more than you invested on winners, while losses on losers are capped at the amount you invested.

If you have strong opinions, try to have the humility to recognize when you’re wrong. It’s easier said than done. One way to do it is to stay curious and keep learning about the topic you’re so confident about. Talk to people (ideally people whose perspectives differ) about it. Read about it. All while keeping an open mind. As you learn, your conviction will increase or decrease. If it decreases substantially, you should consider the possibility that you’re wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with having strong opinions about something and being wrong. It happens to everyone. Recognizing that your strong opinion is incorrect and course correcting quickly is what sets you apart and earns you respect.