Are you open-minded or close-minded? Are you receptive to new ideas and experiences or are you resistant? In this post, I want to stress why mental rigidity gets in the way to become your best self and live your life to the fullest. What’s more, I am going to share three tips you can start applying today to break down your mental rigidity.
Albert Einstein once said:
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.”
But opening one mind is not as easy as it may seem.
As a matter of fact, mental rigidity begins to build up at birth.
As we grow up we are filled with stereotypes, beliefs, and prejudices, which are very difficult to remove and change as we get older.
Mental rigidity makes us prisoners of our own minds, reducing our ability to adapt, change, and seize the opportunities life presents us with.
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds”. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
So if you want to be truly free you have to break down the mental walls that you have built because of society.
Being close-minded keeps you tied to old patterns that prevent you from growing and making the most out of your life.
TRAITS OF CLOSE-MINDED PEOPLE
Close-minded people are the ones who think there is only one “right way” to do things, their way.
They assume their point of view is the only correct one and that the others are wrong. They are not open to change or trying new things because they fear what they don't know. They remain tied to the past and refuse to move forward.
But, if there is something that particularly characterizes close-minded people, it is the desire to be always right.
They don't realize that this attitude is extremely limiting because the possibility of making mistakes is actually the main means for learning and growing.
We cannot grow and change unless we first realize that what we know and believe may be wrong, or at least limited.
JǏNG DǏ ZHĪ WĀ - A PERSON OF LIMITED OUTLOOK AND EXPERIENCE
Jǐng dǐ zhī wā (井底之蛙) is an idiomatic expression used in the Chinese language to make fun of the closed-minded attitude and lack of openness towards new ideas or changes.
Let's discover the story behind the origin of Jǐng dǐ zhī wā (井底之蛙) and let’s be inspired by it.
JǏNG DǏ ZHĪ WĀ (井底之蛙) i.e. THE FROG AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL
Once upon a time, a frog lived happily in a small pond at the bottom of a well - from which he had never got out.
One day an Eastern sea turtle was passing by.
The frog called the turtle and praised the size and beauty of his own house, inviting her to come in to admire it.
But, realizing how small the well was, the turtle began to describe the vastness of the sea to the frog.
She suggested the frog should join her and go to the ocean, which is much bigger and more beautiful than a pond at the bottom of a well.
The frog was shocked and felt humiliated by that suggestion.
“How is it possible there can be something better than the well I have been living in for my entire life?”, the frog thought.
Ultimately, the frog decided to stay where he was, at the bottom of a well, and forgo the opportunity for a life change.
THREE TIPS TO BREAK DOWN YOUR MENTAL RIGIDITY
If you want to make the most of your potential and foster your success in your relationships, work, business, and life in general, it's important to be open-minded, flexible, and think out of the box.
The best thing is not to set limits.
There are countless things you can do and goals to achieve if you open your eyes to the world and the opportunities that are within your reach.
It is not unusual to be tied to old disempowering habits.
We see things in black and white because this way of thinking makes us feel "safe".
However, the world is full of colors, of shades; the possibilities are endless.
Obviously, opening up to an unknown world is a considerable challenge, which sometimes generates fear.
However, if your mind is open to all possibilities, you will find that life is so much more than you had thought and that opportunities really are endless. Start thinking differently by following these three simple tips:
1) LEARN FROM OTHERS
Instead of staying in your cocoon, listen to and make someone's experiences yours; draw inspiration from them. Broaden your views and horizons. The example of others can help you face and overcome some situations that scare you.
2) DON’T BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES
To err is human, and nobody likes a perfect person, but we often tend not to want to acknowledge our mistakes.
Yet, it is precisely thanks to the falls, sometimes more than the triumphs, that we can correct the direction leading to our goals.
3) REMEMBER YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO GET BACK UP FROM FALLS
Falling may be scary, but being paralyzed by the fear of falling is worse than falling and trying again.
Remaining still and a victim of your own fear will make you accumulate dissatisfaction and frustration.
On the contrary, managing situations and improving yourself day by day by getting back up from falls is by no means impossible.
It is so easy for us to be very comfortable at certain stages in our lives – to an extent where our comfort zone paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward.
We set up a place for ourselves in which we remain so we never need to face the uncertainty of the world beyond what we know.
Fear of moving forward stifles our growth, causes us to lose opportunities, and miss out on experiences that would broaden our lives.
The place where you are most comfortable now may be the place that creates the most pain for you in the future.
Be curious and courageous.
Do not fear new things based solely on their novelty. Do not fear change. Embrace it with open arms and enjoy the interplay of Yin and Yang in your life.
Maybe the big breakthrough you've been waiting for is round the corner, who knows!?
But, if you're locked up in your little well you'll never find out.
Be like the turtle!
She explores all places, from oceans to beaches, and meadows.
The turtle is open-minded; receptive to new possibilities, thus she always manages to be amazed.
Be an explorer, of the world, the people, and yourself.
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