Are you curious to hear what other people think? Do you welcome different points of view? Are you comfortable having your opinion challenged? If you answered yes to all of the above, you are an open-minded person. Congratulations! No need to keep reading. (Just kidding)
All jokes aside, there are several different aspects of open-mindedness. So, what does it mean to be open-minded?
Defined as “a willingness to consider new ideas; unprejudiced,” open-minded people invite diverse perspectives and points of view. They aren’t afraid to ask questions and have other people challenge their way of thinking. In fact, they usually encourage it.
Open-minded people also tend to be intellectually curious with a passion for learning. They are eager to listen to what others have to say. If you’re open minded, you are also humble about your knowledge and expertise. You believe there is always more to learn.
Does this description sound more like the person you want to be? Here are five ways to be more open-minded:
- Have different experiences
This seems obvious but doing things the way you’ve always done them, and seeing the same faces won’t help you grow as a person. It’s through experiences that we learn the most about ourselves. Meet new people, travel to different places and be open to new possibilities!
Think about an activity you’ve always wanted to try. Salsa dancing, perhaps? In the past you may have made excuses not to do it: “but I have no rhythm!” or “I can’t possibly remember all those steps”
By having an open-mind, you may surprise yourself. And with enough practice, who knows? You could be the one dancing circles around your friends the next time you’re out.
- Commit to learning something new on a regular basis
Whether it’s reading, listening to a podcast or taking a class, pick a topic you’re interested in learning more about. Set aside time in your schedule and gain as many new insights and absorb as much information as you can.
There are scientifically-proven benefits of having a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset.
“A ‘fixed mindset’ person shies away from challenges, possibly from fear of failure, and may go into hiding as a way to avoid responsibilities,” says Tchiki Davis. “In contrast, the ‘growth mindset’ person finds challenges to be exciting and engaging, knowing that they will learn something valuable from their experiences.
By sticking with it, and overcoming the challenge, people with a growth mindset are able to move on to bigger and better achievements.
The bottom line is this: get curious!
- View life’s setbacks as part of the process
Don’t let adversity define you. When life knocks you down, shake it off, learn what you need to learn and keep moving. In other words, be adaptable to change. Change isn’t always comfortable, but it’s necessary to grow as a person and become who you are meant to be.
- Embrace the unknown
It’s only when we step out of our comfort zone and embrace the unknown that we can live our best lives. Think about it: If you knew how everything was going to turn out, where’s the fun in that?
Part of being open-minded is trusting the timing of life. When things don’t go the way you planned, try to stay positive. What if something better is coming, and this so-called disappointment is simply a blessing in disguise?
If you reflect on your life up to this point, chances are you’ve seen things fall into place and turn out better than you predicted. Whether it’s losing a job, ending a relationship, or whatever the case may be, those challenges all ended up leading to the next chapter. At the time you didn’t realize it, but the changes ended up being a good thing. If you hadn’t embraced the unknown, you never would have found a more fulfilling job and happier relationship.
Instead of worrying about the future, get excited about what’s coming next. Believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
- Be present
Being open-minded and being in the present moment go hand-in-hand. When you can connect to the present moment, you are in a state of stillness and accept the way things are. It is only in the here and now is that you find inner peace.