Open Minded – The way to go and the way to grow!

April 5, 2016
open mind

open mind


This post is part of a 14 ways to help rebuild self-confidence series.  We are working our way through the letters of SELF CONFIDENCE with this week’s focus being on the O in Confidence.  Previously covered are Self Compassion & Self Care, 10 Ways to Enjoy your Life, Learning, Love & Laughter, Finding your passion & your happy place, and Clear your schedule of activities that don’t serve you.


 

One of the advantages of getting older is the wisdom that you pick up along the way.  One such wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way is this:

Don’t let being judgmental and stuck in your ways rob you of endless potential experiences and opportunities. Keep an open mind.

So what exactly does being open-minded mean?

To have an open mind is to have receptiveness to new ideas, concepts and people.

Being open-minded means being secure enough to consider new ideas is the mark of an open-minded person. It’s the willingness to consider that you might be wrong and that a new idea might be right.

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How can you start to develop a more open mind?

  • Meditate – it opens your mind
  • Go with your natural inquisitiveness
  • Challenge your thoughts. Be aware of quick judgments and conclusions.
  • Learn new things always

How to be Open Minded

[ from wikiHow – visit link for an expanded explanation of points below ]

Adjust your perspective

  1. Embrace the unknown
  2. Don’t knock it before you try it
  3. Say yes instead of no
  4. Learn to examine every situation from multiple angles
  5. Think of three positive things for every negative one
  6. Pick up a completely new hobby
  7. Mix up your routine

Broadening your horizons

  1. Educate yourself
  2. Read more
  3. Travel as much as you can
  4. Learn a foreign language
  5. Get out of your comfort zone
  6. Educate yourself when you watch TV
  7. Eat food from a cuisine you’ve never heard of
  8. Have dinner with your friends family
  9. If your friend’s family have different political or religious opinions, take it as an opportunity for an intellectually exchange, as long as it stays friendly.
  10. Listen to talk radio instead of pop music
  11. If you desperately need your music fix, try something new!
  12. You can also download podcasts on a variety of topics on the iTunes or Android stores.

Being more open-minded with others

  1. Don’t judge a person until you know his/her story
  2. Ask people lots of questions
  3. Be friends with people from different walks of life
  4. Let a friend introduce you to his/her favourite hobby
  5. Accept more invitations
  6. Engage in friendly debates
  7. Befriend a person who you don’t think you would ever like

What are some benefits of having an open mind?

If you have an open mind:

  1. You free yourself from the need to always be in control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge the beliefs you currently have.
  2. You open up your world to a whole new range of perspectives. It also allows you a chance to change what you think and how you view the world.
  3. You free your mind from your own self-limiting thoughts. Being open-minded means you allow yourself to think beyond the boundaries where you normally would have stopped yourself.
  4. You gain self-confidence. Being open-minded leads one to get more ideas, facts, knowledge and wisdom, all of which are necessary elements to living life in a confident manner. When you live with an open mind, you have a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor are you confined by the beliefs of others. Open-mindedness helps you to learn and grow, strengthening your belief in yourself.  
  5. You have more fun. You’re willing to try new, exciting things. You let go of whatever has held you back in the past and begin to embrace life. You experiment with different things and have more experiences.

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In order to have an open mind, it would also be helpful to approach life with the attitude of beginner’s mind. I wrote a post on The Attitude of Beginner’s Mind that explains this further.

So go forth with an open mind remembering what the Dalai Lama said “The mind is like a parachute. It works best when it is open.”

Ciao for now,

Min-Signature

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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24 Comments

  • Reply Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection April 5, 2016 at 8:11 am

    This is wonderful Min. You being to be open minded and I love the world opens up new perspectives. So very true.

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Natalie – being open-minded takes a little practice for some but gee it is worth it 🙂

  • Reply Eva @ The Multitasking Woman April 5, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I love this!!!! I have not always been open minded, but as your post suggests, it’s as I’ve grown older I have developed an open mind and boy does it open the door to new things, new people, new experiences which I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed. Now I tend to get frustrated with people (I’m pretty much relating to my dad here) that are not open minded and are so fickle because they don’t know what they’re missing out on!

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Eva! I haven’t always been open-minded either. I have even been quick to judge others before giving them a chance in the past. I feel way more open minded now that I’m older. Maybe it is the knowledge that life flies by way too fast that makes me super keen to experience the best of this world while I can 🙂

  • Reply Vanessa April 5, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Well you certainly can’t argue with that quote at the end! I think a lot of people take the fact that information (of varying quality) is available so readily to mean that they know everything, because (apart from very small areas) schools don’t teach people how to assess information and that causes people to be closed minded.
    The only area where I would say I am actively closed minded is other people’s advice on what I should do (or shouldn’t be doing) with my life. It’s my life, not theirs.

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      LOL – no you can’t! A closed parachute ain’t much good for anyone! I do agree that sometimes information is too readily available so that people don’t actually do their own research and form their own opinions – just accepting what they read or are told! I also agree it is our life to live as we please 🙂 xo

  • Reply Renee Wilson April 5, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Such great information in this post, Min. I like to consider myself open minded, but I’m aware that in certain work situations over the years I’ve been a bit of a control freak and find it not as easy to open myself up to other ideas or ways of doing things thinking that I know the best way lol. It’s something I’m working on in a work environment 🙂 #teamIBOT

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks Renee! You know what, you are being open-minded by recognising that in the work environment you could be more open to the ideas of others. 🙂 xo

  • Reply Hugzilla April 5, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Aaaah yes, with age comes wisdom… Still waiting here!! I like to think I’m open-minded, but it can be hard to step back and see yourself objectively.

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      LOL – I may have gained a few pearls of wisdom with age but I didn’t say I was wise! Always learning I am. I agree it can be hard to step back and see yourself objectively but by at least trying to do that well that’s a step in the right direction right there! 😉 xo

  • Reply Nicole @ The Builders Wife April 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Brilliant post Min! Being open minded is a skill we seem to be born with but quickly forget, well most of us anyway. It is something I try to do, but don’t always succeed. The older I am, the easier it is. xx

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks Nicole! I find it easier now I’m older too but I’m not perfectly open-minded – always a work in progress 🙂 xo

  • Reply EssentiallyJess April 5, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I think it’s important to be open minded with people, but convinced of your own beliefs. I think sometimes open-mindedness can be confusing if we are too much that way. What’s the saying? Be open-minded but not so much that your brain falls out. 🙂

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Totally agree Jess. We all have our own beliefs and values. I think we can still be open minded but be guided by those beliefs and values in whatever decisions and choices we make. We don’t want our brains falling out! lol 😉 xo

  • Reply Janet aka Middle Aged Mama April 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I definitely think most of us mellow and grow more open minded as we get older. That’s probably why I’m having my little “crisis of faith” which I blogged about last week. All of a sudden I’m asking a lot more questions … and guess what, there aren’t any quick and easy answers.

    • Reply Min April 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      I haven’t read your little crisis of faith post Janet – must go have a look! Yes I’ve certainly become a lot more open minded as I’ve got older and a lot less afraid to be myself without worrying what people think. I too ask a lot of questions and you’re right the answers are not always quick and easy! xo

  • Reply Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life April 5, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I think the universe is trying to tell me something! this is the third post I’ve randomly read that’s offering me useful advice on increasing my self-confidence!

    Thank you for the post. I’m taking your advice on board!

    • Reply Min April 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      So glad you found the post useful Ingrid! xo

  • Reply JF Gibson April 5, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Nailed it. I’ve learned so much through being open minded over the past few years, and happier too.

    • Reply Min April 6, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Jodie and that is awesome to hear. Same for me! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Kit@lifethroughthehaze April 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I try really hard to keep an open mind with everyone. The truth is we are all walking different paths and we can never ever understand unless we have walked that path too. As humans we are terrible at judging others and in at least 99% of cases we are in no position to judge anyone.
    Life can be tough enough without great support and true support can only come without judgement.
    xoxo

    • Reply Min April 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      I’ve become much better at being open minded with everyone. I don’t tend to judge before getting to know someone – like I used to quite often. It’s so true that unless you’ve walked in someone’s shoes, you don’t ever truly understand their story or current predicament etc. However, you can be a good listener…and that I am. You can also have a caring heart … and I have that too, and you can be a good friend … and I’m pretty good at that also. It’s true that way too many humans are judgemental of others. It makes me sad. xoxo

  • Reply Kathy April 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Min – I’m late to read this – but with an open mind. I wonder whether it is truly possible to be open-minded, once we pass early childhood. But if you can be open, with a conscious decision to be compassionate, then maybe it is possible to suspend those judgments that seem to crop up automatically. It is humbly to know that the smartest people (Albert Einstein) are open-minded and non-judgmental (even if they have every reason to think they are right – that’s what makes them smart in the first place)!

    • Reply Min April 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Kathy! I don’t think we’re ever as wholly open minded as we were as a child, but I do think we can be open-minded if we want to be. I was a lot less open minded in my 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s than I am now. I’m not sure exactly what has changed but I’m guessing it is that I have realised that life is a challenge at times to us all and that we all basically want the same thing (to be happy!) but go about life often in very different ways. I’m fascinated in people that are a little different to me or live differently to me. I’m fascinated by different perspectives and opinions and cultures and ways and it’s for this reason that I choose to be open-minded … because I do believe that will help me learn and grow and be a happier person. It IS amazing that people like Albert Einstein who are incredibly smart are willing to be open-minded and non judgemental even though they know so much but as you say – that is what makes them smart in the first place! 😉 xo

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