Have you got it all figured out?
by Marcus Loane
18th Nov 2009
There is a mentality that is very common and it is one of wanting to believe that you know all there is to know or you have got everything figured out and you have your set of opinions on everything that matters. This is very common even at a young age and it is based in pride. The result of it can be a resistance to learning or change and the same old thought patterns and emotions get triggered in the same situations like knee jerk reactions.
The wanting to think that you have all the answers already and that you have to be right all the time does not make your life better. As soon as you can let go of this and see your entire life as a constant learning process you will have much more power to effect change for the better in yourself and your life.
I like to constantly challenge my thinking and my opinions and my reactions to events. I ask myself am I thinking something or reacting some way just because it is an ingrained habit of thought or is there a better more constructive way to think about something or react to an event. This is important if you have a habit of slipping into negativity. You can challenge an automatic negative reaction to something and ask is it just a habitual thinking pattern and is there a better more positive way of looking at things.
A “fixedness” of thought or feeling of certainty about everything you think/know can also be detrimental to relationships. If you always react to your partner in one way towards an undesired behaviour which triggers their automatic reaction in turn then you are both going to repeat the same interchanges over and over. However if you are flexible and willing to change you could pause before automatically reacting and try a different more thought out response. This might cause a more constructive response in your partner. An example is to give some encouragement rather than nagging or being critical, and then watch the magic that results. Before reacting you can ask yourself what is the response of your partner likely to be and it is often quite predictable. If the predictable pattern of exchanges/feelings is not one which enhances your relationship or makes either of you feel better or closer then consider reacting in a different way. It makes sense. You can apply this to relationships with relatives, friends and colleagues too.
By letting go of the idea that you have finally “figured everything out” and becoming more flexible and willing to learn new ways of looking at things you can become more effective and surprisingly you can feel more in control because you have more power to effect change in yourself and the world around you. This is because you have a bigger (and growing) range of tools in your mental and behavioural toolkit and they are constantly being refined and developed. This process is actually very rewarding and enjoyable as soon as you put your ego aside to allow it to happen.
You can also accept the concept that you can always learn something from other people no matter who they are. Everyone has unique life experiences and ways of looking at the world and they just might make you pause and see something from a different perspective.
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