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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Shifting our beliefs due to facts

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

Would you consider yourself to be open minded? Let's say you were presented with some information that completely conflicts with one of your beliefs. For example, if you were repeatedly told that we only use 10% of our brains, would you believe contradictory evidence to your belief? Science tells us we use much more than that. Or what if your political beliefs were contradicted by hard facts and data? Is that enough to change your mind?

I have spoken with many people who refuse to have an open mind, even when they are presented with hard facts. Data. Evidence. What I have come to realize is that when some people experience cognitive dissonance, and the facts disqualify what they believe to be true, they would rather retreat to their bubble of confirmation bias than choose to have an open mind and consider they were misled by their beliefs. They instead choose to dig their heels in, insisting they are not wrong. They have made up their mind and no evidence to the contrary will change that.

I equate living with fixed beliefs as being stubborn or hard-headed. It can prevent us from learning and growing as individuals. It doesn't matter what those beliefs are, whether it's about society, our health or life in general. I have noticed that the older some people get, the more likely they are to think they know it all. They feel they are done learning and choose to live by a fixed set of rules and beliefs no matter what science says. Ignorance is bliss, or biased?

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels

I feel this is how there can be so much discord and distrust all over the world. We live in this information age where we have all of the facts readily available to us, but many people will disavow or ignore the facts because changing their minds means they have to admit they were wrong. There is also a lot of disinformation floating around out there. 😬

I used to not be as open minded and acted like a know-it-all. I have come a long way. I am comfortable changing my mind in light of conflicting evidence. It's freeing. It helps me to keep learning and growing. More importantly, it allows me to align with truth. It's humbling and comforting at the same time.

How open are you to changing your mind based on new information that contradicts your beliefs? I'm referring to hard facts, not unprovable beliefs, disinformation or propaganda. By being more open minded and shifting my beliefs when the science tells me, I found the learning and growing never stops. It also makes life more of an adventure and more malleable when we are willing to change course in light of the information presented to us. That's why I choose to keep learning and growing while shifting my beliefs when the facts lead me there.

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