Open-mindedness is a trait with countless benefits to it. It can help you adapt to new situations and change something that is not really working.
Open-mindedness can help you create strong bonds with other people and embrace diverse perspectives for a broader look at the world.
Here are a few ideas for what you need to become more open-minded.
Acceptance involves allowing ourselves to accept others as they are and the world as it is. It can be tricky because we might often find ourselves wishing that those around us were different.
We might especially wish that our bosses, family members, partners, or kids were different or even try to put in an effort to change them. But this effort is wasted from the outset.
When we accept and allow others to be as they are, we are freeing a lot of energy for our own pursuits. It also helps us establish relationships with many different people and embrace change without needless worrying.
Seeing the big picture
To see the big picture, you need to take a view from a distance. You can see that from a perspective that is so broad, many things suddenly seem very small and very meaningless, so it’s easier to let them go.
How can you take a distant view? You might ask yourself is the thing you are concerned with will matter in a year, in five years, or in ten years. You might also remember the magnitude of the world, how big it is and how many people surround you. This philosophical exercise can train your mind to become more open to new possibilities.
Open-mindedness often connects with empathy. Empathy enables us to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their perspective. Make the effort to try and view different situations from the perspectives of those who are different to you. You might especially benefit from trying to put yourself in the shoes of those you truly do not understand and might even dislike.
The idea is to help you take various perspectives without losing sight of your own values. Consider, however, why someone might have such different values, opinions, and beliefs. Where are they coming from? This will help you humanize those different to you and better understand them, contributing to your mind’s growth.
Learn new things
Your mind can be trained by learning novel skills and perspectives. Consider some issues you might not know much about and how you can learn a bit more about them. Learn new skills and new information.
The better informed and educated you are, even if we are talking about an informal education rather than actual schooling, the easier it becomes to open your mind to new ideas and novel situations. You can discover so many amazing things that challenge your preconceptions that it becomes easier to widen your horizons.
Give yourself permission to be wrong
You will find it easier to keep an open mind if you don’t have to know everything or be right beforehand. Allowing yourself to be wrong and considering this possibility is very freeing because you don’t have to cling to an old idea if a new one proves to work better.
Allow yourself to make mistakes and approach new situation with this possibility in mind. This will allow you to engage with novel thoughts without dismissing them out of hand. It also frees you from feeling anxious about not getting something right and allows you to drop your defenses.
Be compassionate to yourself and others
It is easy to be open-minded when you are not judging anyone, including yourself. Treat this journey with compassion and accept that it will take time for you to change your habits. The more ingrained they are, the longer it will take.
Compassion is the mindset that enables change and also allows for empathy. Openness involves understanding and acceptance, which can grow from compassion for yourself for being as you are and others for being as they are.
Compassion is a powerful experience that can make the journey to open-mindedness feel more enlightening and less of a chore.