I have sometimes found myself stuck with an opinion that I don’t fully believe any more. A position I’ve taken that I no longer agree with, or wanting to try something that I previously swore I’d never do. I want to change my mind but I’m scared: scared to tell people, scared to embarrass myself, and scared to be wrong.
Recently, I came across a blog article by Derek Sivers in which he talks about how he now loves things he previously hated, he now will only say ‘I hate that today‘ knowing that he might change his mind in the future. I can completely sympathise and I’ve come to the conclusion:
It’s ok, don’t be afraid to change your mind
Having beliefs and conviction
It is only natural for us to pursue things that make us happy, avoid those that make us sad, and to base previous experience on future decisions. It is this learning process that enables us to develop and grow as people, and to mature as adults. These experiences shape us as people and bond us with friends and family. However, they can also divide and separate us.
Maybe you don’t go to a gig with friends because you don’t like the one song you’ve heard of the band playing. Or, maybe you don’t try a food you disliked as a child and forever associate with a bad memory.
It is important to think about what you like and don’t like. It is also important to revisit past decisions and see if things have changed, to see if you have changed.
Change your mind sometimes, you might be pleasantly surprised.
As Derek Sivers found, his past experience with Indonesia and some dishonest people basing themselves there left him scarred and bitter towards the country, or, his association of weights and training with bullies and school jocks made him avoid getting fitter. Until one day he revisited his preconceptions, challenged them and discovered something incredible. He felt he was wrong and redressing his initial experiences opened up so much joy and pleasure.
Question everything, right or wrong.
I hated avocados. But I have recently discovered that I love them. They are awesome. I eat avocado nearly every day, mashed up with tomato, chillis, lime and onion for a refreshing guacamole; sliced up sandwiched between crispy bacon and a poached egg for a diving breakfast; or chopped in a salad to make it taste wonderful.
Passing things up or trying new things – give it a go.
In the other direction, I have started taking it easier on partying. I used to go out a lot. When I went out, I was always up for one more drink, keen to go onto one more bar, and had no problem wiping out a weekend with a stinking hangover. I loved it, I didn’t want to spend my time any other way. But now, my priorities have changed, I don’t want to waste a morning with a hangover, I’d rather spend it being outdoors or making the most of my mornings. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy a drink, just that I’m not up for letting those drinks dominate my free time.
Telling the world that you were wrong
It is hard to admit to everyone that you were wrong, no matter how positive the change may be. Standing up in front of your friends and saying ‘I’ve changed my mind’ can be embarrassing, intimidating, and difficult. Will they look at you differently? Will they wonder what has happened to make you have a complete u-turn? Will they talk about you behind your back? The answer is yes. Yes, to all of them and that is not a bad thing – in fact, it is an incredible thing.
Being wrong never felt so right
By questioning certainties, I have grown and discovered new joys and pleasures; I have stopped doing things that used to make me happy but no longer do; and, I have become a much more rounded, interesting person. I have made new, amazing friends; I have shared new skills and hobbies with old friends; and, felt like I have really grown as a person over the last 3 years.
What do I want to question next?
There is an elephant in the room for me and my dislikes – cycling. Some might be surprised, being married to uber-cyclist Challenge Sophie, but for a long time I’ve been quite anti-cycling. This stems from growing up in London where sometimes cyclists can be inconsiderate and reckless on the roads. This, unfairly, tars all of them with the same brush but, having made such a fuss over my stance years ago, I have struggled to shake the label.
I’m not going out to buy a bike tomorrow but…
I know I need to start confronting my demons. A little melodramatic but if I’m going to question the little things, I should stand up properly and question my bigger decisions. Could I be declaring I’m wanting to jumping on a bike for the Alpine Coast to Coast? No. But I might check out some of those famous alpine climbs in the area.
What do you like now you didn’t before?