Have you ever gotten STUCK because your mind couldn’t change? Maybe there was a goal you couldn’t let go of out of a fear of looking like a failure. Or maybe a relationship that felt right in the beginning, but then something changed. It could also be a job that you used to love, but suddenly, it doesn’t feel right for you anymore.
I’ve certainly had the experience of committing to something, and then later losing interest. But because I have a value of perseverance, I found myself pushing past my feelings and continuing to grind through, whether the quality of what I did was good or not.
The consequence of pushing through, for me, is that it puts me in the fast lane to burn-out. My body will get exhausted, and I’ll feel resentful for “having to” carry on well beyond my own limits.
Why have I done this? Because for a long time, I saw changing my mind as a “weakness.” If my mind changed, then I would have to admit that I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into. Or I would have to admit that didn’t want to follow through with something I said I would do, risking looking lazy or flakey.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the concept of mind changes this new way: If we continue to grow and develop throughout life, changing our minds is inevitable! It’s a natural part of our personal evolution, right?
For example, if today I had the same mindset of my 17-year-old self, that would be very problematic for me. As I recall, Tess at 17 was an “all or nothing” kind of gal. This often led her to feeling like a complete failure after making a few minor mistakes during an orchestra concert.
That wasn’t very healthy.
Over time, she changed her mind. She became more of a “life is a process of learning and unfolding” kind of gal. This has allowed her (me) to deepen into a person capable of seeing success as whatever she (I) choose(s).
This feels a lot healthier.
But if I had been incapable of changing my mind on that way of being, I shudder to think how differently I would be living my life today.
Some of my clients have struggled to change their minds too. They hold on to a vision they set for their lives as younglings only to discover that they are no longer that person anymore. They have grown and evolved. But the fear of feeling like a failure for letting go of a dream set long ago can be such a deep pit out of which to climb.
In this episode of Growing in Uncertainty, I discuss how to work through the process of changing our minds and what possibilities await on the other side of that internal shift.