Albert Einstein said that “mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original state in size.” [/ mks_highlight] However, the opening of the mind is a complicated exercise, much more of what we want to admit. In fact, the mental rigidity is already beginning to build from birth. Each learning opens new doors, but also to close others. As we grow and form our own image of the world, we are full of stereotypes, prejudices and beliefs that are very difficult to remove. However, the mental rigidity not only refers to ideas, but, above all, to the way in which it is intended. Mental rigidity makes us prisoners, it diminishes our ability to adapt, creativity, spontaneity and positivity. We cling to old patterns that prevent us to grow intellectually and emotionally. In fact, rigid people are mentally:
- That you think that there is only a “right” way of doing things.
- Their view is correct and that the rest is wrong.
- They are not open to change, since it frightens them.
- They cling to the past and refuse to move
But if there is something that characterizes people with mental rigidity is the desire to be right at all costs. Don’t they realize that this desire is extremely damaging due to the possibility of being wrong and making mistakes is, precisely, the main tool of learning and growth. We can not grow, in fact can not assimilate new knowledge, to level intellectual or emotional, if not we realize that what we know or believe may be wrong or at least insufficient. In fact, one of the main characteristics of people who have a certain mental flexibility is to be able to realize that the wrong decisions are not “bad decisions” ultimately, the decision is good if it is followed by another decision to see the positive side. Mental flexibility is just know that any decision we make, always opens before us a world of possibilities. Therefore, the mental flexibility is to be willing to be wrong, don’t be afraid of nps errors and tries to understand and accept new things or different points of view.
Mental rigidity as unconscious resistance
The person who develops a very rigid way of thinking, in a way, they are protecting. In fact, the mental rigidity can also be understood as a psychological resistance. At one point, when an idea goes against what they think, you experience a strange sensation that you confused, paralyzed and causes it to exit reasons. So many people simply reject the argument without being scanned. However, the good news is that when this happens it is because you realize that there is a problem, something that needs to be resolved, even if the process is painful. In fact, in many cases, you realize that something blindly believed for years is not true, or at least not completely, can cause a huge pain that can lead to an existential crisis.
How to open the mind to stop being slaves
The good news is that the mental flexibility is a skill that can be developed and learned.
1. You focus on your emotions
When the temptation to reject an idea completely, note how you feel. If you feel uncomfortable with what you hear, it is likely the stiffness in your way of thinking to hide an unconscious resistance. Ask yourself that you fear. If you answer honestly, you will discover many things. In fact, the more fear feel, more you aclararás this resistance.
2. It feeds the desire to grow
Curiosity is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to grow as people. Instead of accepting the old ideas, ask yourself “why”. If you start to question everything that was sitting not only find new answers, as well as discovering a new world, much broader.
3. Develop empathy
In some cases, it is likely that you are not in accordance with the ideas, ways of thinking and attitudes of others. However, instead of immediately rejecting, it is put in the place of the other to understand where come from this point of view. If you reject what you don’t know or don’t like, you’ll be the same person as before.
4. It accepts errors
Having some mental flexibility mean that there is no fear of error, it means a willingness to seize new opportunities, even if that means being wrong. It is to understand life as a continuous learning where every error is not a backward step, but a step forward in our evolution, since it allows us to undo old already entrenched patterns.
5. We must not find absolute truth
Whenever we take a truth as an immutable fact, it means that we fail to look in that direction and therefore began to die a little each day in that area. It is therefore important that do not adhere to a way of seeing things and keep an open mind. The most important thing to get rid of the mental rigidity is not seek absolute truth, simply because it does not exist.