Change my mind? Oh, no! That would make me seem indecisive as if I don’t know what I want. Plus, I’ve invested too much already to change direction now! Sound familiar?
Don’t get me wrong; being decisive and knowing what you want isn’t a bad thing.
That is until it stops you from being happy or satisfied. A choice you made last week or last year may have been a good one at the time but, when it no longer feels good, it may be hard to accept that you need a new solution.
You may dig in your heels and be inflexible about changing anything. As things change around you, you may find it hard to go with the flow. Old beliefs about who you are or how you do things may keep you stuck, and it’s hard to let go.
Perhaps it’s time to give yourself permission to change your mind. Maybe it’s time to make the impossible possible.
The World Changes—Why Can’t You Change Your Mind?
Everything in our world evolves, day-by-day, minute-by-minute—and you can’t stop it! So, if that’s true, why on earth would we humans be expected to make up our minds and never change it?
It’s not logical, and it’s not a reasonable expectation. And, I submit that it’s a bit crazy. So, let’s let ourselves off the hook!
Change Your Mind Because You’ve Changed
Here’s a concept: You didn’t know then what you know now.
You are growing and evolving, just like the world around you, and everyone in it. If you can’t stop it, why not go with the flow of it? Why not accept the fact that you have learned something new since you made that decision that’s got you stuck now? Could it be that, with this new information, a different decision would serve you better?
What if you gave yourself permission to change your mind?
RELATED VIDEO: Permission Granted with Dr. Nadia Brown
The Cost of Staying the Course
Another concept to consider: Letting go does not mean you failed.
Many of us learn from our parents, teachers, and role models that, when we spend a lot of time, energy, and money to support a choice we made, it is best to stay the course. It’s better not to rock the boat. It’s a sign of weakness and failure.
The choice might have been to get married and stay married, no matter what. You have invested a lot in that marriage—yet you’re unhappy. Things have changed; you’ve changed; your partner has changed. What does it cost you to stay the course when everyone and everything has changed?
Or, who do you know in this situation? Great paycheck & benefits. Work from home. Four or more weeks of vacation. She seems to have it all. But, she is dissatisfied, frustrated, and uninspired. There are a lot of good things about sticking around in a job like that. But, at what cost?
Just because you chose to do something at one time, does not mean that it always and forever remains your choice. When things change, give yourself permission to change your mind. Making a different choice, based on how things are today, can mitigate the cost to you for staying the course instead. And, since it’s okay to change your mind, there is no need to feel like a failure.
Permission to Change and to Make Mistakes
Another thing you may have learned when you were young is to avoid making mistakes. And when you do make them, to hide them, so others won’t think you’re stupid or incompetent.
The truth is no one on the planet hasn’t made a mistake. It’s part of our DNA. Everyone got a ‘mistake gene.’ And most of us put it to abundant use. If we didn’t, how would we grow? Without making mistakes, how would we learn what not to do next time?
On the other side of that coin, how would we learn what worked so we could do more of that?
As you move through your day, a little misstep here, a mistake there, and several moves in the right direction, you learn to pivot. Opportunities abound within the bob-and-weave of daily life to give yourself permission to change.
The next opportunity might include permission to change your perspective so that you can see things from a different angle. You might even want to change your mind about something to which you were firmly committed. You can always say, I didn’t know then what I know now, so I changed my mind!
Resistance to Change
Change rarely comes easily. And, you may feel some resistance to the idea of changing.
To help you with that, let me remind you that everything in your world is constantly changing—you may need to stop and truly notice that. Take a few moments and look around you. Be mindful of things like a clock ticking time away, a plant growing slowly on the window sill, the leaves on the trees starting to bud. Change is everywhere.
When you accept that fact, the idea of giving yourself permission to change, too, won’t feel so strange. But it might be hard.
Here’s why. You are feeling resistance, which may be fear-based. What if this next decision doesn’t work out any better? I’m afraid to make another mistake. I don’t know what the next step is or how to take it.
If it is fear that holds you back, think about this question: in the past, have you allowed your fear of making a mistake or changing your mind to keep you from achieving success or happiness? Describe the situation—write it down.
Where did you feel the fear? How might you reframe the fear, so the new feelings allow you to see the situation from a different perspective? It helps to journal about these situations, so you become aware of how you could make a different choice the next time.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why the Most Stressful Events Create the Most Lasting Change
Breaking Old Patterns
The more you understand about how you respond to change, the easier it will be to approach change from a different perspective in the future.
If you are the stubborn type, examine your pattern to react this way. From where does it stem? Who were your role models for stubbornness? Does this behavior serve you today? Is there a cost to remaining stubborn? Do you want to change it? Are you ready?
Then, the next time you want to dig in your heels, think about how you could change your mind and be flexible instead. This approach can apply to any behavior you want to change. Identify it, explore its value to you now, and decide that you want to change your mind.
Take the First Step
If you are facing more change in your life than you know what to do with, it may feel as if changing your mind is impossible. Making different choices that move you forward, instead of keeping you stuck, can be hard, and getting some guidance may be just what you need. Turn the impossible into possible. Start by exploring how change can impact you? And learn how to move through it with more dignity and grace by reading my free ebook, then let’s have a chat. Click here to take the first step: From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.