There is a lot of apprehension around changing your mind. Mostly because it can be viewed as a sign of weakness. But I want to challenge that assumption. I honestly think it takes a lot of balls to change your mind. I’m not talking about ordering the risotto for dinner and then flagging down the waiter and telling him you decided you’d rather have the scallops, although that does take some guts… it’s annoying, but ballsy. I’m talking more about life decisions, values, and lifestyle changes. Think about it, to change your mind:
1. You have to know what you think and why you think it in the first place.
2. You have to open yourself up to learning something new.
3. You have to admit that you were wrong.
Starting with the first one, how many of us can honestly say we know WHY we believe something? In many cases we believe something just because the people around us think it or we were never exposed to another way of thinking. If you cannot explain your side AND the other side then I challenge that you really don’t know 100% of what you are talking about.
Second, learning something new takes effort. And I’m not talking about reading an article in the newspaper and being able to quote a few statistics. Although, that is a great way to begin the process. But that is just the beginning of the process. Once you are curious, LEARN more about it or DO something new.
And the third point about admitting you were wrong? Big balls. And doing it in a way that doesn’t offend, patronize or condescend is really tough.
Personally, I have a lot of respect for people who change their mind and do it in a way that is constructive. I don’t want to believe things just because I should or just because other people do. I want to understand WHY I believe those things. I also have a lot of respect for people who can say, “I haven’t made up my mind about that yet”, which is something I do often. Trust me, after years of being asked when I’m going to have a kid and sticking by my “I haven’t made up my mind about that yet” answer I can tell you… THAT also takes balls.
So change your mind. But own it. It shows you are intelligent, thoughtful, progressive, and frankly, human. As humans we change our minds; the question is, do we have the balls to admit it?