I’ll be the first to admit that some of this will sound stereotypical. There’s a lot of truth and academic research behind it! You want to change the way you think right? Well let’s get to it:
- For you to be able to change the way you think, you have to be willing to accept that some of the thoughts and beliefs you had were wrong. On top of that you have to be willing to accept new ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s the only way you will understand things. Ask as many questions as you need to and don’t worry about if they sound stupid or not. This is your mind. It will do whatever you tell it to.
- Be willing to listen to some people that you think don’t know anything. Regardless of how their lives seem you can learn something from everybody. Guard yourself from those who would take advantage of your open-mindedness. You can tell if they want to make you believe everything they say because they’ll do the most subtle things to shake your confidence. Remember that you opened your mind to think differently. Not to end up in a cult.
Keep an open mind.
- Think about why you want to change the way you think. Did you find your reason? Good. Now start looking for books and articles on that topic. Don’t run to your normal sources. Go look elsewhere. You can’t start thinking differently if you don’t do anything different. This will give you a chance to learn more about how others view the world. You might get some new insight on your life.
- By giving your brain new information, it will start to reference this information in your decision making processes. Everything you know has been taught to you by someone else. In the beginning of reading new things, try not to filter them. Take in everything they say and then you can determine what’s worth remembering and what’s not.
Read new books and articles.
- Have you been to a new restaurant lately? That would count as doing something new. When’s the last time you got out of the city you live in? If it’s been more than 6 months, plan a trip! It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or complicated. You could just get in your car or catch a bus to the nearest city. It could be a couple of hours away and it still counts!
- Rediscover some of the things you wanted to do as a kid. A lot of us wanted to be artists or meteorologists (maybe that was just me). But use your imagination again! What’s the craziest thing that you can think of? Ok, maybe don’t do that but I think you get the idea of this exercise. Start imagining what your life could be like if you did just one new thing a week. You’ll learn more, it’ll make life more exciting, and you just might break some of those habits that are holding you back.
Do new things.
- This is a lost art. Most of our communication is through a device. We text, we message, we send videos, and the bravest amongst us actually call. But when we are in situations where we have to talk to real, live people… We just pull out our phones and hope that no one tries to talk to us. There’s so much that you can learn just from a 5 minute conversation with a person. It can even be someone you already know.
- Social cues drive more of our thought patterns than we’d like to acknowledge. Without noticing, you start to behave like the people you are physically around. Once you figure this out, you’ll start to talk to more people who are doing what you want to do. Listening to the way they handle conversations with others, watching their body language, and even seeing the way they dress can help you to change the way you think if it brings you out of your norm. There are a lot of subtleties that you just can’t get unless you talk to people in person.
Talk to people in person
- This one might surprise a few of you, but giving away some of your time for free will change the way you think. When you are helping a kid learn how to read or do math, you are getting a glimpse into their lives and struggles. Helping an adult write a resume can show you that some of the least likely people how some powerful backgrounds. Volunteering is a way to meet people that you wouldn’t run into anywhere else.
- It gives you a chance to look at someone else’s world. Even if it’s just for a little while. Remember, it doesn’t take a powerful and successful person to make a positive impact on the way you think. Sometimes hearing people’s stories will change your mind about a strongly held belief. Getting outside of your own head is what makes your thoughts change. What better way to help yourself than by helping others?
Find a cause to volunteer for.
Now you know what to do to change the way you think. Get out there with your shiny, new open mind and start reading and learning as much as you can. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Go take those ice skating lessons in the middle of the summer! Join some organizations where you can meet and talk to new people in real life. Some of those people might volunteer for causes you support or didn’t even know to support. Just go make changes!