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  • Writer's pictureNick Howard-Lanes

Overcoming Narrow-Mindedness

It's completely natural to want to change or fix others when we perceive them as being ‘wrong’ in some way. We want to quickly share our opinion or our story because that’s what we know best. However, when it comes to narrow-minded individuals, trying to change them can often be a wasted effort. So, what can we do instead? The answer lies on the flip-side of narrow: broad.


Firstly, let's define what it means to be narrow-minded. A narrow-minded person is someone who is unwilling to consider different perspectives or ideas. They often hold strict, preconceived notions about the world. They may be closed off to new experiences and may be quick to judge or dismiss those who think, behave or live differently.


On the other hand, a broad-minded individual is open to new ideas and perspectives. They are willing to consider different points of view and are often more understanding and empathetic towards others. In turn, they are more likely to be authentic in their own choices and beliefs.


It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that everyone should think or live a certain way. However, just because someone has tattoos, prefers to wear sneakers with trousers or only wears neutral colours, this doesn't mean they believe everyone should follow suit. In fact, true authenticity and individuality comes from embracing our own unique preferences AND acknowledging that same notion for others.


One of the most powerful ways to be broad-minded is through empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It allows us to put ourselves in other people's shoes and see things from their perspective. When we practice empathy, we are able to understand and accept others for who they are, rather than trying to change them to fit our own ideals.


Being 100% authentic comes with self-confidence and acceptance. This behaviour can be contagious and has the power to influence those around us. By being true to ourselves, we are also more likely to accept and understand others who may have different beliefs or lifestyles (save that bit in your notes!)


Let’s highlight this bit though, being a broad-minded person doesn't mean we have to agree with every belief of others. What it does mean, is that we are able to accept and respect those beliefs without judgement… and move on.


Another way to have a broad-vision is to actively seek out new experiences for new perspectives. This can be as simple as traveling to a new destination, trying new food or styling a new look. By exposing ourselves to new things we are able to expand our understanding of the world and open ourselves up to new creative thoughts.


As you know, change doesn't happen overnight. It's a gradual process that requires patience and persistence – you know I love those two principles! Even as adults we are just like kids in mindset, there’s plenty of room to grow and learn, and continue this as we get older. Don’t stop.


So, what have we learnt? That trying to change narrow-minded individuals is an uphill battle. Instead, focus on being broad-minded yourself. Embrace empathy and authenticity in your own choices and allow them to subconsciously influence those around you. Remember that being broad-minded means you’re open to new ideas and perspectives - and being respectful of others' choices and beliefs.


It's not about being perfect, it's about being open.

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