The Ability to Change Your Mind Is the Key to Unlocking Your True Potential

Change Your Mind

Have you ever (re)read a book after several years – maybe one of those required reading classics from high school – and discovered that it was so much better (or worse) than you remembered?

The same could be said of favorite movies, places you’ve been, or even possessions that you once believed you could not live without. 

These things didn’t change, you did.

After all, life continually presents us with new information and experiences, so it makes sense that we wouldn’t have the same viewpoints at 18, 30, 40, or 70.

And yet, as a society, we regard those who stand unwavering in their beliefs and pursuits as heroes to be admired and emulated. 

But what happens if you change your mind?

What if you finally get that law degree you worked so hard for only to discover you hate practicing law?

Or, what happens if compelling new information or a personal experience causes you to change your thinking toward a social issue that you used to be so passionately vocal about?

I think we all know the answer; you risk ridicule by others for looking weak, indecisive, and lacking in character.

Then there is the inevitable wave of guilt, the feeling that had you been smarter, or better informed you’d have known and done better to begin with.

When you think about it, sometimes the simple act of changing your mind requires an enormous amount of courage.

Yet from a psychological standpoint, we are meant to question our thinking.

It is through the process of continual fine-tuning that we develop greater self-awareness, find new and better solutions to problems, and achieve more goals that matter.

The ability to change your mind is one of the most underrated keys to unlocking your true potential.

I believe there are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them that they’ve congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other keeps moving, changing, and making new trysts with life and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are truly alive.

~Gail Godwin

Learn to Change Your Mind

We all make decisions we regret, like buying something we didn’t need and couldn’t afford just because it was on sale, or honoring a commitment we don’t want or have time for to avoid letting a friend down.

Sometimes in the pursuit of one goal, we develop knowledge and skills that open a door to a new and more exciting pursuit.

Our priorities naturally evolve as we enter different phases of life, and in that process we sometimes find ourselves outgrowing relationships.

Such experiences are simply part of life, what matters most is how you choose to respond to them.

Some people are so vested in their opinions they resist any information that challenges their way of thinking because they interpret a threat to their beliefs as a threat to them.

For others, changing their mind comes easily. So easily in fact, that they flip flop on everything. We call these people fickle and once we identify them we know that they can’t be relied upon.

Then there are those few who have learned that the ability to change their mind in a healthy and productive way is the key to growth and greater life satisfaction. 

They can remain open to understanding different perspectives without feeling threatened, and to accept accountability for their choices without worrying about the opinion of others.  

The Takeaway

Growth requires change, and all change begins in your mind.  

I change my mind all the time, not always in ways you’d notice, and not about everything. Beliefs aligned with my core values such as equality, justice, and compassion, have remained relatively consistent over the years.

Everything else is fair game.

And why not, the world is constantly changing, new information is revealed, and new options become available, so why should our thinking be forever unchanged?

Without periodically challenging our beliefs, we risk becoming so biased that we filter out conflicting information and discount opposing views, becoming prisoners of our own opinions.

There will be times when we end up making mistakes, regret a decision, but even then, with an open mind, you may discover something else – a bit of understanding and compassion for others who change their minds.

Sometimes the smallest change in perspective can transform a life.

What tiny shift in thinking might turn your world around? 

Related reading:
Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, pathfinder, and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies, and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living Start Here.

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