People often cling to previous decisions even when a better option turns up. Why are we so afraid to change our minds and our decisions? Is changing your mind is a sign of weak will? How come we can be so stubborn about a decision? In what situations it is beneficial to consider changing your mind? These are the questions that we are trying to answer with this article.
So you made a decision based off something. You give it a lot of thought and you picked the option that was the most promising. You feel satisfaction, as the work you put into this decision will get you results you want. Days go by, some new information or opportunity turns up. You already made a decision that feels satisfying, but you’ll give a little thought to the new options as well. Okay, they look promising. Even better than the others. You feel doubt and think that you probably didn’t choose the best one. Will you change your mind? There is a good chance that you will not. Why? There is a social and a psychological reason for this.
This reason is based on the belief that people who change their minds look uncertain. Uncertainty is often considered to be a sign of negative personal traits, like lack of confidence or expertise, weak will or even low intelligence. The fear of looking like an uncertain, dumb person is often enough social pressure to stick with the previous decision you made. This is often combined with pride when someone else’s decision is compared to yours. This can lead to conflict at work or in marriage.
They come from confirmation bias and the need for closer. Confirmation bias is a special way we cloud our minds from making the clearest and the most logical decision available. What it basically does is, your mind will only accept arguments and opinions that support our previous decision. The others will be filtered and ignored. If someone has a strong argument against your decision and someone else has a weak argument that supports your decision, you’ll block out the strong one and accept the weak one as your own.
The need for closure is when you want to see something thru until it is finished or ends. You made a decision and you want to see how will it go, will it bring the expected result. You need it, you want it and you will stubbornly cling to it, no matter what.Now you know why we often refuse to change our minds. Let’s see the concept of changing your mind from a different perspective.
Think differently about thinking differently
When you make a decision, you want results. You want the results to be the best they can be. You want to go to the best dinner place, you want to make the best investment, you want to have the best kind of car you can afford. So if a new option turns up that can have better result why not change your mind to that one? You do want the best results, right? So if 5 is bigger than 4, why stick with 4 and not pick 5 instead?
Here are some facts about altering your decision, that will blow your mind:
- You have the right to change your mind whenever you want.
- Changing your mind can lead to better results than previously estimated.
- Pride driven stubbornness will make you miss opportunities.
- Intelligence of often considered to be more about the ability to adapt to new situations, than the ability to make good decisions based on the same ideas.
I hope now you see, changing your mind is easier than it looks. Now here are some everyday examples where changing your mind will help you turn the situation into your favor:
- Admitting that you were wrong. I know it is hard, I learned this the hard way, but it can take your “opponent” by surprise. If you admit you were wrong, their arguments will lose momentum and it is likely that they will stop convincing you and even you’ll get less of the “I told you so” speeches as well.
- Changing the way you want to reach your goal. If you want to achieve something, does it matter how will you achieve it? Of course, I’m not talking about illegal activities or the end justifies the means idea. But if your vision can be reached faster or easier by doing something differently, why cling on to the previous, less efficient plan?
- Understanding someone else’s point of view. If an argument breaks out it is often because of two different viewpoints. If you try to understand the other person’s perspective and willing to change your mind to reach an agreement, you’ll just find it faster and without more conflict.
Changing your mind can be a good thing, but it can end up badly as well. Giving up on your vision or your goal to pursue something else will often end up giving up those as well. If you made a serious commitment to others (like being married or having a pet) I highly recommend taking every aspect of it into consideration before you decide to change your mind. Being incredibly selfish is much worse than being wrong. Please, think of others!
Now you know why we hold on the bad decisions, why we are stubborn to change our minds and how to think about altering your decisions differently. I really hope the arguments listed in this article will help you not to think about changing your mind as a sign of weakness. If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone. This will help this website to grow, all help is greatly appreciated. If you want to leave your thoughts or start a conversation you can do that by leaving a comment or writing me an email.
About the authorGabor Hosszu is the founder and head article writer of Goals Infinite. Being passionate about personal development and helping others were the main reasons he launched this site. By trade Gabor is a mechanical engineer. His hobbies include being a chilli farmer, a video game nerd and a wannabe beer expert.