Open mindedness is a concept that is talked about quite a lot lately. Successful people are naturally inclined to be more open minded, as it makes them more receptive to new ideas and possibilities. They tend to believe more in themselves and know that when they take on challenges, there is usually some level of risk. When they meet failure, they are not dissuaded from trying again, and that’s exactly the characteristic that fuels their success.
What exactly is open mindedness?
Most of us believe that we’re open-minded, but are we really?
Every person is born into a household, to parents who bring us up with a set of values and beliefs that are ingrained in us from a young age. We are usually surrounded by people who share those views.
Our choice of company can easily cause us to become less open-minded than we’d like to be. On top of that, we have very strong feelings around certain topics. Does that make us close-minded?
I’m a firm believer in the Malcolm X quote that says: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
You can be open-minded and still have strong feelings about things that are important to you, particularly when you have considered every aspect of the topic and you have embraced opposing opinions.
Some people confuse open-mindedness with political correctness. Unfortunately, that can easily ruin our integrity. The key to true open-mindedness is to know exactly what you stand for and what you don’t allow in your space.
Note that I never used the words “anti” or “against,” because when you are anti-anything, you are focusing on what you don’t like, instead of what you wish to see. The word anti insinuates a negative reaction, opposition, and certain hostility and we all know that we don’t want those feelings in our experiences.
Instead of being anti-bullying, it would be better to focus on pro-team or pro-friendship initiatives. That way, it provides a safe and inviting environment for bullies and victims alike, in which a mutually understanding bond can be formed. This type of environment can change attitudes and turn behaviors around.
Open-mindedness Opens You Up to a Better Life
Becoming more open-minded can be scary, as it requires that you let your thoughts go. Your mind may fill with thoughts you could never imagine. When new thoughts challenge your old beliefs, you will find it liberating and the experiences that stem from that could be exhilarating.
As you become vulnerable, you admit that you don’t have all the answers and that there are possibilities beyond your consciousness.
Most of us don’t give mistakes the credit they deserve for being incredible learning opportunities. When we become open-minded, we can see things from other people’s perspectives. We learn to make mistakes and to get back up, which strengthens us to learn about new things, and build on old ideas. As we gain personal strength, we gain confidence.
Finally, open-mindedness requires that we admit to not knowing everything. It means that there’s a truth beyond the little bit that we can see from our own perspective.
How Do You Become More Open-Minded?
If you want to become more open-minded, follow these steps:
1. Tune in to yourself
Stop living by prescribed stereotypes. Step out of your comfort zone and you will discover some amazing surprises. Open up to your undiscovered desires.
2. Let go of ego
Life is fraught with endless possibilities, including disappointment, hurt, or embarrassment. Some of us spend so much time playing games to save face and to preserve our pride, instead of being real. Game playing ruins relationships – exactly what we’re usually trying to prevent.
3. Take things at face value
Looking for something that’s not there in order to try and prevent getting hurt can make you miss out on great experiences in the moment.
4. Embrace weirdness
Nothing will ever be perfect, so you may as well take the weirdness with the good and make the whole experience awesome.
5. Be open to learning
New concepts become available every day and it is tough to keep up with everything, but if you have strong opinions on certain topics, it would be a great idea to keep learning about them.
We’d love to hear from you: Are you open-minded? What makes you stumble? Let us know in comments below.