How often do you change your mind?
There are some little things which you might flip-flop on every day. Perhaps you decide you want tacos for dinner, but when evening rolls around, you’re hankering for a pizza instead. Or you switch your usual latte for a cappuccino. Or you change your workout at the gym.
But when it comes to big issues – like your career plans, your beliefs and values, your hopes and aspirations – you probably change your mind rarely, if ever.
Usually, this is a good thing. You’re consistent and reliable, and you’re able to stand up for what you think.
But sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to change your mind – and perhaps even go against what you’ve said to friends, family or colleagues. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. In fact, being willing to change your mind – to be “open minded” – is hugely important in a world which changes fast.
Here are three situations where you’ll want to think about changing your mind…
When Reality Doesn’t Match Up to Your Expectations
Sometimes, you’ll have an idea which seems fine, but which doesn’t really work in the real world. When I was at college, I thought I’d enjoy an office job (because I’d done some office work in my vacations). After a month or two working a 9-5 job, though, I realized it wasn’t for me – I’d enjoyed it as a student because I knew it was only temporary.
Maybe you’ve had similar situations, where what you thought was right for you just didn’t work out in practice. This could be at work, or in your personal life. It’s okay to change your mind when reality makes you think again.
When You’ve Outgrown a Belief or Idea
I expect that you had strong beliefs as a teen or student which you don’t necessarily hold now. Perhaps you supported an extreme political party, had very firm religious views, or had a fixed idea on how the world should work.
Most of us are able to outgrow our rather juvenile beliefs – but we sometimes struggle to change our minds about things which we’ve subscribed to in adulthood. The truth is that we all continue to grow, change and learn – throughout our lives. Just because you were certain about something ten years ago doesn’t mean you need to believe it forever.
When the World has Changed Around You
We’re living in a time of incredibly rapid change. Fifteen years ago, dialup internet (or no internet at all) was the norm – now we’re used to wireless broadband not only at home but also in cafes and public spaces. New websites and applications like Facebook, Skype, Twitter and YouTube have only come into existence within the last decade.
It’s inevitable that some of our ideas and beliefs will need to change. As a writer, I’m keenly interested in the rapid changes in the world of publishing – and I’m recognizing that I may need to change my mind on some of the ideas which were perfectly sound a decade ago. For instance, with the advent of ebooks, self-published novelists finally stand a chance in the marketplace.
When have you had to change your mind in the past? And what changes to your ideas or beliefs look likely in the light of your development, and the development of the world around you?
Photo by Gibson Claire McGuire Regester