Unwillingness to Challenge Yourself (a Mindset)

I was reminded the other day about the importance of challenging your concepts and ideas. So often we come up with an idea or understanding about something, and we’re unwilling, or unable, to step outside it and think whether there is another way to look at it.

This is one of the problems we have as a species, developing a fixed mindset: that thing makes sense so I don’t want to think about it differently, or worse, I have some vested interest in this idea¬†and I’m not willing to have that challenged.

It applies to all of us at different times, and my recent experience was a timely reminder for me to ask “do I have any ideas I’m not allowing to be challenged or changed?”

Of course I do

…and you do too. There are core beliefs and values we hold which are our sacred cows, and I understand that these are incredibly¬†difficult to challenge – but what about the less intrinsic things? Surely it can’t be too painful to challenge them? And surely if we are open to challenging them more often, then maybe we’ll allow the other ideas out to play?

This is a throw back to 30 days of being wrong, where I focused on accepting that I might be wrong if someone challenged me. But I’ve gotten out of that habit, and I think I need to spend some more time there. So, for September I’m going to do another 30 days of considering that I might be wrong, or that my idea is not the best way of approaching something (I’ve been doing this for a week before getting around to this post).

The challenge

If you’re interested in taking this on, it’s simply a process of continually thinking things like:

  • Am I doing this thing in the most efficient way?
  • Have I considered other approaches that might be just as valid?
  • Is someone else’s idea more valid than mine?
  • Have I considered it from all angles?
  • Am I giving it more credit because it’s the status quo?
  • Am I in love with the idea/model/concept simply because I created it? Or is it the best/most logical option?

Unlike last time I conducted this experiment, I won’t be doing it while thinking about all of my regrets – so hopefully it will be more positive overall. I’m intrigued to see what mindset shifts might be possible this time around as well.

If you want to join in, feel free. You can always email me kylie[at] if you want to share any of your own experience – or include it in the Comments below.

I know it can be a scary thing to challenge the way you operate in the world and how you think about things – but this is the basis of how we learn. Do you think your fixed opinions could use a spring clean?

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