There's an interesting thing I've observed over the years about humans. We tend to resist changing our minds--even when presented with new, verified information that indicates we should consider doing so.

I've done this a few times over the years. I've seen other people do it, too. When we've thought a certain way about something for many years, it seems to become part of our identity--part of what makes us, us. This is one of the reasons why some of us can become so indignant and emotional when talking with someone who thinks differently than we do.

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And so, even if on some level we realize that a point of view we've discounted for so long may be worthy of consideration, we "double-down." We intentionally "stubbornize" ourselves and go forth, with even more verve, down the path we've always trod.

Why? Perhaps because it's in our comfort zone. Maybe because the idea of having to change means we challenge ideas and lifestyle habits that, as aforementioned, *seem* to be a part of our core.

That's not true, though. You are more than your thoughts.

For the good of yourself, your family, your community, and the world--give yourself permission to change your mind. The fact that we can change our minds is freedom. It means we can change our lives. Learn to develop the capacity to hear new points of view without judgment. Once you've realized you are not your thoughts, it's easier to do so. You are dynamic. Always changing. And so can the way you look at things, when you've decided it is right to do so.

I would also add: Humans are social creatures. We have a longing to be part of a community. That's a good thing, inherently. It's a huge reason why we've been able to accomplish so much as a species. Feeling connected to others and to something bigger than just ourselves is a genuine human need.

At the same time, unchecked, this need can cause us to take on the opinions and views of those around us--often beginning in childhood, naturally. I love how writer Maria Popova puts it here:

"We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our 'opinions' based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality."

We'd often rather have a pre-agreed upon creed or set of ideas by which we can live amongst others who see life through a similar lens, rather than say, "I don't know." But I would argue that taking time to think your own thoughts, do some research, and be willing to listen to the ideas of others with whom you disagree is worth not having all the "right" answers.

Yes, it's harder. It is. Especially if you find your thoughts don't perfectly line up with the community around you. (And even if that is the case, we can always remain kind.) But I'd argue much more rewarding. There's something maturing and empowering about realizing you've cultivated your own thoughts, based on your own journey. And the journey continues...

And you may very well find that, after your searching, your previously held conclusions are your truest convictions. Or you may change your mind in ways you'd never thought possible. Either way--at least now you'll know they're yours.

And remember: It's perfectly ok, and sometimes appropriate, to be willing to change your mind.

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