Do You Always Have to Be Right? This Will Set You Free

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Note: I updated this blog post in 2019 for clarity and additional resources.

There’s one question I come back to again and again.

When a friend comes to me with a problem, when people ask for help during my lectures, when I’m all knotted up over some disagreement….

Whatever it is, this question solves so much. Here it is:

Would you rather be right or happy?

The need to be right blocks our happiness

Tweet: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? This will set you free… @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie

The need to be right can be one of the greatest blocks to your happiness, your flow, and your relationships with other people.

We all feel this from time to time. You don’t have to be a notoriously stubborn person to fall into the trap. In fact, it can be super subtle and really sneak up on us.

  • It comes up a lot when we think the people around us are wrong and we’re right. We know the truth, and they don’t.
  • It can also come up when we’re determined to prove ourselves to someone else (or to the world).
  • The need to be right can turn the tiniest misunderstanding into a huge fight. It can lead to all kinds of nasty things, from resentment to grudges to self-pity.

The truth is, we want to be happy! We want peace. The ego loves to block our flow with the insatiable need to be right, but we can CHOOSE happiness and let go of this need.

How let go of the need to be ‘right’

There’s a super simple way to clear the path for a better experience. You can choose to be happy and peaceful and free instead.

Watch the video or keep reading for my 3-step process to letting go of the need to be right.

Step 1: See your part

We always have our part, which could be as simple as the fact that we’re holding on to the need to be right. How have you been carrying your resentment? What is your part in this situation, and why do you need to prove that you are right?

Seeing your side of the street and taking ownership of it is the first step in getting back to peace. Once you start to take that ownership, you can say, “Okay. There’s a few parties involved. It’s not just me as the victim.”

Even if someone has seriously hurt you, staying stuck in a victim mentality does not serve you. It disempowers you and keeps you chained to judgment and anger. (For more guidance on this, see this blog post on how to release the story of victim as well as this post where I bust some myths about forgiveness.)

Step 2: Choose to be happy

Choosing happiness doesn’t mean you have to magically become happy right away. It means you’re willing to be happy. Choosing happiness is the biggest step in this process, because it’s the moment that you choose again. The moment that you choose to see the experience through the lens of happiness is the moment that you choose the right mind and you release the ego’s wrong-minded approach.

When you choose the right mind, you start to create infinite possibilities for healing, and you open up your subconscious to receive inspired guidance and intuitive ideas, which can help you release the need to be right and embrace the desire to be happy.

Step 3: Practice forgiveness daily

Forgiveness is a constant releasing of resistance | Judgment Detox by Gabby BernsteinBe religious about this. Get into the practice of daily commitment, daily desire and daily devotion to forgiving yourself and forgiving others. Forgiveness is the pathway out of the need to be right and back to the place of happiness and peace.

A lot of times people get hung up about how to forgive. The simplicity is to want to forgive. To want to forgive the resentment you’re carrying, to want to forgive yourself for holding on, to want to forgive the experience that you’ve been replaying for months or years. The simple, sincere desire to forgive is all that you need to clear the path to set the experience in motion.

Forgiveness is a blessing for you

When you’re judging someone, no matter how justified that judgment may feel, you’re also stuck in a low-level vibration. That vibration attracts negativity into your life and limits your capacity for peace and joy. When you let go of judgment and forgive, you release yourself of that tension and trauma. You free your energy field to create a new and miraculous life.

I cannot stress this enough. Forgiveness offers YOU freedom from the bondage of judgment and hate. By unloading this emotional burden you feel lighter, happier and more peaceful. You begin vibrating at a higher frequency and attract all you want into your life.

I also want to emphasize that forgiving someone doesn’t mean you stay silent, accept abuse or keep that person in your life. Read more about forgiveness here.

Feel better fast with my FREE Judgment Detox Mini Course

Free Judgment Detox Mini Course by Gabby Bernstein

In my free Judgment Detox Mini Course, I guide you through 3 core practices from my book Judgment Detox.

These video and audio lessons will help you begin to let go of judgment and find fast relief. The mini course is delivered via email and takes just a few minutes a day!

Click here for your free Judgment Detox Mini Course.

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  1. Hi All!

    I struggle with forgiveness vs. taking a stand for what is “fairness.” I guess I’m just confused. Am I supposed to let someone run all over me, rip me off, or abuse me for the sake of forgiveness? Should I give up what I feel to be truth and honesty and the “legal” way a situation should be dealt with and ask myself “do I want to be right or happy?” Am I taking this all too literally?

    Clarification appreciated!

    Sat Nam, and thank you Gabby for all you share,

    1. From my understanding of life as I know it, standing up for myself, honoring myself and not allowing others to violate my soul is emotionally healthy & I’m happy when I’m taking good care of myself. I’m aware of my weaknesses & gracefully accept that part of myself & others. However living a life of love, intentionally, means that I will do my best not to cause harm. So when someone is not living in love, this emotionally/spiritually/physically harming other people, I have the strength to reflect their energy back to them and protect myself. I choose happiness. I don’t have to be right, that in & of itself, has no power. The power comes from trusting yourself to nurture and protect your soul. God is Love. Go where the love is. You deserve it, we all do. At least in my world and life as I know it. XO

  2. I heard the ” rather be right or happy” on Oprah over 10 yrs ago and I always try to recall it, especially if in a disagreement. It has saved many disagreements from escalating.

  3. This has been the perfect suggestion right at the time for answers I needed. Thankyou as always, Gabby x

  4. Hi Monika,
    I think the point is maybe not honkidori haha happiness, but simply being at peace with oneself and not be charged by events in the passed. Where I come from we call these type of children overcoming horrible events and yet turn well dandelion children. Being one we all now it doesnt vanish in one go and the road may be everything but straight, but that is also a sign of something else; that child holds a unique strength, otherwise it would not have made it to adulthood – period. It did what it did or had whatever thoughts it had to have to survive, now you can honor that strength instead. Call things with their right words and use the correct language to begin with. If someone takes away your peace of mind or makes you feel that you are betraying yourself – in whatever shape it comes in – you know what to do – the sooner you do what you have to do the more you will honor yourself and the less drama it will be. For me personally there are still good and less good days and if Im really worn down I made myself like a small checklist so I simply dont have to think what to say yes or no to But the peace also comes from knowing even the most harmful act – there is an innocence in that person too and by saying no as an adult you bounce them back on their own path and many times to deal with the “living hell” of their own. We know in our hearts what is right and wrong and there is a reason that it cant be captured in court rooms or political policies or shouted out on the news. Our hearts intelligence is bigger than that and we know it when we see it or feel it if nothing else.

  5. I am so unlucky and very sad about that my daughter gets Tatoos to her whole body. It doesen’t look nice and I Avery scared that seh will have no many chances in her life If she doesen’t stop it.

  6. Hi Gabby,

    What about when this process is applied to another person (e.g. childhood caregivers) who have abused you physically/emotionally or sexually? Surely it’s self-protective to know that their behaviour is wrong?

    For example, I was profoundly abused from birth up until being a teenager…I’m aware of my part- I unconsciously manifested the situation (not blaming myself) and there is the victim-perpetrator entanglement- but on some level the ongoing abuse was still wrong…? The problem is I’m afraid that if I don’t stay with the idea that what was done to me was ‘wrong’ I will continue to feed the huge part of me that believes I deserved the abuse and I was the ‘wrong one.’ And I could potentially put myself back into abusive situations…

    I guess I should try the process above to see how it works (although I’m not sure if I’m ready yet…)but I’m interested to hear what your thoughts are on this.

    Monika x

    1. Hi Monika,

      I was moved by your comment and noticed that Gabby hadn’t responded yet. I hope it is ok if I share my perspective with you?

      I empathize with your conundrum. This is what has served me:

      I work to resolve the issues on a higher level, a spiritual plane, with the person’s higher self. (In meditation, cutting negative energy cords, etc.) That gives me a sense of connection and love. Then, in this mortal space, I love myself first and create healthy boundaries that reflect my “limitations” as a human being. For example, the same way that I can only stretch my body so far, I can only handle so much emotionally, etc. Once I know that I am safe and trust myself to take care of myself, it is easier to forgive.

      Forgiving, to me, is removing the metaphorical bulletproof glass and the defense weaponry around myself, but the healthy boundaries always remain with everyone, period. These healthy boundaries let in love and happiness while still protecting me from the elements of other people’s energy that I don’t want to take on. (You can imagine this as a bubble around yourself with a filter. I know Gabby also has other vlogs/materials about boundary work if you search the site.) It is part of loving myself and loving/trusting the universe, which is the primary relationship that must be in tact for everything else to work.

      I also had to work to reframe what the word “love” means to me, since it had become so off-balance in my mind. If you are struggling with that at the moment, you are not alone. I would pick an alternate word for “love” for now when you do your spiritual practice, such as “peace” and/or “respect.” It is easier to go back to using “love” once you unpack that word and get back to its true meaning.

      If you enjoy Gabby’s perspective, I would recommend Melody Beattie for this particular work since her tone is similar. “The Language of Letting Go” is very good, simple, and digestible. Remember that it is ok to be discerning if it is in service of loving yourself. Discretion and judgment are not the same, and there are multiple steps/phases to the healing process to get you to where you want to be. For example, you may need a healthy sense of separateness for some time (e.g. frustration) to be able to readjust later to a healthy sense of connection later. The healing process should be done in a thoughtful way in order to serve your highest good, don’t rush thinking you have to be “perfect” or “perfectly spiritual” and love everyone perfectly right this instant. I personally find “codependency” tools to be helpful to my growth and wellbeing, but I don’t label myself or put myself in that box since it feels limiting and just causes more stress. I would also recommend Gabby’s video on “tapping” if you are working to release specific feelings.

      Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you find that you have significant trauma that is still unresolved (it sounds like you have done a ton of work on this already, but it is a beast of a project!) be sure to reach out to a professional you trust for support. Imagine that you are taking of a switch plate and doing some rewiring at your house. Maybe you feel comfortable doing the project by yourself, but maybe you want to hire an electrician because the electricity is exposed and you don’t want to accidentally get electrocuted in the process of reconnecting the wires in a different way, ha. You want the project to be safe and easy, not unnecessarily difficult and dangerous, and maybe you feel that paying someone who does it all of the time is worth saving yourself any risk and getting the project done efficiently. I personally had a great deal of luck with a very wise and positive hypnotherapist. For me that was exponentially more efficient than talk therapy, since I was ready to resolve issues on an emotional/subconscious level, rather than continue to talk about them on an intellectual/rational level. I would be discerning in interviewing any type of therapist and choosing the one who feels like they serve your highest good, both in spirit/intention as well as in the type of therapy/therapies they practice.

      Working on strengthening those “muscles” will allow you to practice Gabby’s philosophy in a way that feels more natural, healing, safe, and fun. I’ve noticed from her videos that Gabby appears loving but also strong and protected and at peace.

      Not sure if this is helpful, but I hope so. It sounds like you are already on a good path, and I bet you will be feeling better and more clear before you know it. All the best! – Elizabeth

    2. Hi Monika,
      Just a quick reply to your comment. I also experienced sexual misdoings from someone close to me who is still in my life and I find the relationship with this person is one of victim perpetrator and also odd manipulation- punishment. It’s all so enmeshed and difficult to make the cycle of not feeling deserving or worthy of blame or mistreatment and instead breaking free to speak out/up for what’s right and not be afraid of any “repercussions” I’ve stayed silent for most of my life out of fear of retribution but perhaps the freedom comes with putting a voice to the experience so it can be released and accepted and actually loved: like love the part of ourselves that feels that way and understand that it’s our inner child really scared and in need of our support and protection….

    3. <3
      Hey I know this was obviously not addressed to me, and I feel compassion for your situation.
      If I may offer a few words…?
      It's okay that it feels wrong and that you want that person to be in the wrong! It's okay to accept that that is how you feel! (seriously-it is okay. you are not a bad person or deserving of judgment for feeling that way)

      Let yourself feel that way without resenting yourself, or judging yourself.

      You are an extremely strong person.
      And you deserve all the self love in the world!!

      Your forgiveness will come with time, I am sure of that.

      I dealt with a very similar situation, and although I want to tell you my own experience and how I was able to forgive the other person,
      I know that you will figure that out on your own <3 (Sometimes it is best that way)

      It's not a secret. It's just a process.
      You're obviously on your through it. 🙂

      Wishing you much love!!

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