When You Need to Change Your Mind
Do you ever feel anxious about changing your mind? Do you worry about being judged as flaky or inconsistent? Does something have to be horribly wrong to justify taking a new path?
I understand the unconscious tendency to reject one thing to go after another. I’ve recently come to the end of a trip where I’ve spent (3 months) here in Florida. It’s my first time “flying” south for the winter and although I’ve been here on vacation before, spending three months in one place was very different. I learned a lot from this experience, especially about what I want and need for next time.
About midway through the experience I knew I wouldn’t rent in this location again next year. It is nice in a lot of ways, but it’s also missing some important things I didn’t know that I needed. It would have been easy to give in to negative feelings about the place, to see it only as lacking and inferior…like something had to be really wrong for me to want something different next time.
In fact, I did have a day or two where I fell into this tempting trap of rejecting my current situation. Thankfully, I realized quickly that I’d be ruining my experience if I condemned my original decision. It wasn’t bad or wrong, it was an experiment anyway.
I could change my mind about next year, and still thoroughly enjoy the choice I’d already made. Because I don’t believe in the concept of mistakes. To me, they simply don’t exist. There are only experiences that we learn from. I mean how will we ever discover all of what we want and need without sometimes venturing into the realms of what we don’t want?
It’s okay to want more!
Changing your mind is not a weakness or an admission that you were wrong. Perhaps it simply means that you want something different, or to experience more. It’s okay to want more. We have to give ourselves freedom and permission to change our minds when we need to or we will always feel as if we are living in lack and resenting things that don’t go our way.
It’s okay to be wrong.
When we focus too heavily on the idea of making mistakes, or being wrong, then we tend to judge ourselves harshly which bogs us down and keeps us from making new choices freely and easily. I mean, what are we thinking? That we can only make “good” choices? If that’s the case, I understand the fears.
How can we trust ourselves with such limited parameters for making decisions?
It’s okay not to know.
When we give ourselves crazy timelines for figuring things out…like I should already know everything about myself that matters, especially what I want and need, we don’t respect our growth or authentic self. We’re too busy managing our appearance. It takes time, and trial and error, to discover what’s best for us. I used to hear as a child, “you made your bed, now sleep in it.” This philosophy suggests that we should stick with our decisions even if they hurt us, that doing so makes us seem more responsible, more grown up. When really it just means we’re unwilling to take risks on our own behalf. It’s an old outdated limited way of thinking.
It’s okay to explore.
We get stuck in life when we’re afraid to do the exploratory work of self-discovery, to take risks and choose without certainty, without knowing whether or not a particular situation will feel good to us. We’re too afraid to make the “mistakes” and so we avoid learning about who we are, what we like and dislike, who we can ultimately become when we step outside our comfort zones. And so we clip our own wings and stay within our cages of perceived safety.
It’s okay to change your mind.
But that’s not the kind of life I want for myself. And I doubt it’s the kind of life you’d really want if you felt you had a choice. That’s why I’m advocating on behalf of your heart to tell you that you can give yourself that choice. Give yourself freedom and permission to change your mind when things aren’t working. It’s far easier to take chances and risks to discover your best life knowing that it’s okay to change your mind if it doesn’t work out.
You don’t ever have to justify or explain your need to go a new way, or to want something different than what you have right now. Plan A doesn’t have to be a “mistake,” or wrong, or terrible in order for you to want more. It can simply be not what you want or need right now. You can start on plan B and if that doesn’t work, try plan C. You don’t need anyone’s permission either. Not only is it okay to change your mind, it’s a necessary part of self-care. Learning how and when to alter your course helps limit the time you stay in situations that aren’t right or healthy for you.
Gracefully changing one’s mind is a sign of maturity and personal empowerment. It’s so important that you put your fears of making “mistakes” into perspective so you can enjoy and appreciate your present circumstances, while at the same time making choices for your future that will improve your life experiences day by day. I.e. appreciate fully what you have now and work for more and better experiences for tomorrow.