“I’ve done it so it works” and its close cousin “I’ve seen It so it works” are two arguments that often form the first line of defence from supporters of a particular approach to doing a thing. I appreciate people trying to help others with stories about what worked for them – although proselytising, not so much.
And as a defence, it bears little scrutiny, for the following reasons at least:
- Even if it worked for you, in your context, there’s no reason to suppose it will work for others, in their context.
- That was then, this is now. Time moves on, as does knowledge.
- The thing you were doing may have been a success despite the way you were doing it, not because of it. Can you really state cause and effect unequivocally? Especially in a Complex Adaptive System?
- You may not have been doing X at all, despite your belief that that was what you were doing.
And why be defensive anyways? It’s not like your ego or worth as a human being is on trial. Even though it can often feel like that.
“All defensiveness and emotional tumult is a fear response because of your need for acceptance and ruthless control of the territory of your safe fantasy world.”
~ Bryant McGill