Ijeoma Okoli - 2019

IT IS ALRIGHT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

The Yeses* that you said yesterday were based on your beliefs at the time, which was a function of the amount and quality of information you had. If today, however, you’ve gained more or better knowledge or basically just had cause to change your belief or previous opinions, it is actually alright for you to do so.
IT IS ALRIGHT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

Change is constant. But why then do we tend to feel so guilty when we’ve outgrown the decisions, commitments and opinions we’ve previously held. Changing your mind, in my opinion, is important for your personal growth and improvement.

The Yeses* that you said yesterday were based on your beliefs at the time, which was a function of the amount and quality of information you had. If today, however, you’ve gained more or better knowledge or basically just had cause to change your belief or previous opinions, it is actually alright for you to do so. It is okay for you to change your mind. This is too important a topic as it concerns your mental health and happiness.

I am not going to give you reasons as to why you should look out for your own self-interest. You simply should. And one way of doing that is to continually re-evaluate your previous decisions and adjust the ones that are hurting your chances of living a fulfilled and happy life. This may seem a little cliché but when was the last time you took a little pause to look within and gauged the rules that guide your decisions and decide which ones need to be updated based on the level of information and experience you now possess.

You know I like to tell stories; so I’ll tell you about this young boy who wanted to be a doctor. At least he believed at the time that he wanted to be a doctor. He made fantastic grades in school and was kind as well, so naturally, people acknowledged him as a potentially great doctor. His Nigerian parents, of course, were very excited about the idea of having a doctor in the house soon.  Right from the day he gained admission to the university, everyone started calling him Doc (short for doctor). Imagine the pressure.

Halfway through university, he realized he no longer wanted to be a doctor. He didn’t like being at the hospital and surrounded by sickness and suffering as he tended to absorb the emotions of his patients which guaranteed him daily nightmares. But even with this realization, he continued to fight himself majorly because of the number of people he believed would be disappointed if he decided not to continue the journey of becoming a doctor.

He went ahead to graduate top of his class and worked really hard to mask his personal disappointments which drained him mentally.

I’ll finish this story another time but I can tell you now that until he changed his mind and acknowledged that it was indeed, needful for him to do so, he struggled daily to find meaning and fulfilment.

The aspects of your life that need to be re-evaluated may include your relationships, financial investments, beliefs that are no longer supported by your current knowledge or opinions that have not supported your personal growth. Here are some points to consider that may help your decision-making process and guide you towards changing your mind for the better –

  • You matter! Realize that your life is about you and you deserve to take decisions or update your decisions to support your growth and happiness. If you’ve made commitments in the past that no longer support your wholeness, my advice is that you effectively communicate this to the concerned parties. They will understand if they care about you; if they don’t…well, you have your answer.
  • Educate yourself! When I say it is ok to change your mind, I hope that you understand that I mean change your mind for the better. It is important that you continue to arm yourself with the knowledge that will ensure that your updated decisions are indeed for your own good.
  • Be in charge! You made the decisions yesterday. You can make a new/updated/better one today. There’s a reason phone apps get updated every now and then.
  • Some of your former beliefs may be based on outdated information! Now that you know better, you are expected to do better.

Changing your mind literally translates to changing your life. I hope that this post has encouraged you to take another look within and make a mental note on where change is needed, and hopefully take the bold step. I’ll close with my favourite quote from Wayne Dyer – “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”

Have you ever had the need to outrightly overturn a decision or commitment you made in the past? How did that go? Please let us know in the comments!

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