We often set goals for ourselves and get hung-up on not reaching them. But, how often do you consider changing your goals because they are no longer fit for purpose? Because things have moved on. Because you have moved on. Sometimes, change can feel like an identity crisis.
One of the real difficulties with changing your mind is being so invested in something, be it a business strategy or life goal, that it actually feels scary to change. Because you have pinned your very identity to it. Where any attempt to consider a different path feels like a threat to who you are. An identity crisis. And, this feeling is not always conscious.
It is easy to become stubbornly attached to a goal because you have spent so much time and energy working towards it. That your very identity as a human being might become inseparable from the goal itself. And, this can be dangerous.
It can lead you down a path of dogmatism. Like being in a tunnel with no exits. Only, this tunnel is psychological. You have created it in your own mind by choosing rigidity over flexibility. Stubbornness over fluidity. And, this rigid mental state only makes you fragile. More likely to crack.
They say it’s failure
You might define yourself so much by your chosen goals that it feels like a failure to change. And, that’s no surprise given how popular culture tends to view the act of changing one’s mind. It is so often seen as a sign of weakness, reinforcing any identity crisis that we may already feel.
I am always puzzled by dramatic headlines in the media accusing politicians of “U turns”. Shouldn’t we be allowed to change our minds if there is new evidence or if circumstances change? What would be the point of sticking to a certain path, when you know a better one has emerged? Are we as individuals not allowed to do U turns?
We need to also consider the consequences of stubbornly sticking to something. How does it serve you and others? How do you feel, physically and mentally? Are you at peace or are you in inner turmoil?
And, all this leads to the inevitable question of: What made you settle on the goal in the first place? Did you really decide for yourself, or are you living somebody else’s dream? What are you trying to prove and to whom?
Some of the wisest, sharpest and happiest people I know are those who are willing to change their minds swiftly. What is crucial however, is being very clear, both to yourself and to others, about the reasons for changing your mind. What new information, insights and feelings did you consider? How did they influence your decision to change?
Every day is a new day
While goals and strategies are certainly useful, you have to remember that you are free to change them anytime. Particularly, when stubbornly sticking to them is causing you pain and distress. In a sense, goals and strategies are only really useful when you feel free to change. To adapt and re-consider. Reflect and refine. Revise and overhaul.
You have to remember that everyday really is a new day. That you can change your mind and change yourself at any moment. That instantaneous self-revolution is always available to you.
You have the power to choose.
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