“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof”. — John Kenneth Galbraith
After years of chasing a promotion I really wanted, I finally got the opportunity. About 5 months into the role, I did something I never thought I would do.
I changed my mind.
I’ve been a committed worker bee my entire career, spending at least 3 years at each of the companies I worked for. Now I was finally into upper management, but it just didn’t feel right.
I struggled with the decision from the first month, searching for all the reasons why I should stay and power through. Growing pains, maybe? Give it a year, I told myself. More importantly, I didn’t want to be a flake, look way over my head, or uncommitted. I didn’t want my mom to worry. The excuses piled up.
But I knew it wasn’t the right fit.
So I resigned.
We’ve been conditioned to feel bad about changing our minds. If we start a book, we must finish it, even if it sucks. We got invited out by friends and it’s uncool to cancel at the last minute. Lord knows how we’ll be treated by our circle if we change our religious beliefs, political affiliations, or decide to go vegan.
Or like me, we got a job and we’re expected to stay a respectable period of time by conventional standards. After all, we spent time preparing for this stage.
I’ve been going through the stages of self-doubt, fear, and anxiety about the future that comes with decision changes. At the same time, I know I’ll have all these powerful benefits of changing my mind.
1. Saving precious time
Time is our most precious resource. And we should not feel bad if we believe our time will be better served elsewhere. If you take too long to change your mind, you could be further behind than you need to be. Taking too long also eats away at your soul and festers negative beliefs and self-talk. Not only can you start working on your new direction faster, but you can also do it with peace of mind.
2. Getting closer to our purpose
Sometimes you have to give up the good to go for the great.
Changing your mind will help you get closer to the person you were meant to be. Deep down, we know what our purpose is. Life beats it down into submission. The day we change our minds could be the first of a life we never imagined.
3. Removing toxic people/things from your life
Have you ever felt held down by a relationship, friendship or business partnership? We spend years trying to fix it when we could cut our losses early.
My mom spent years trying to fix my dad, who did not want to be fixed. He was comfortable in his cycle of abuse and infidelity. One day my mom changed her mind. And she has had a more fulfilling life since.
We are one difficult but necessary decision away from removing toxic co-workers, friends, and lovers from our lives.
4. Reducing the window of regret
Persons in their 70s, 80s, and 90s can create a laundry list of regrets.
Most come from not being strong or brave enough to make a change when a change was needed.
Learning to change our minds early helps us have only one regret; the regret of not having done it sooner.
5. You become more agile
The more you change your mind, the more accustomed you become to changes. With information coming at you every second, you become more agile, changing your mind with a balance of facts and instinct. And since you’re more versed in changing your mind, you can help those around you manage change.
Change Your Mind Today
Your opinions and beliefs are yours. There is sexiness and liberation in commitment. I’ll be the first to admit that. However, changing your mind is a natural process we should not be ashamed of.
As we get new information, we have the ability to make new decisions.
The thing is, do we have the courage to? Do you have the courage to change your mind?
I have not done anything that difficult in a long time. But somehow, I feel it’s the start of more critical decision changes to come.