Let’s get real today and talk about what it’s like to blindly believe something and not have a voice or belief of your own. I am so most guilty of this as I grew up blindly believing my faith, politics and education simply based on what my parents believed, said and did.
Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, rather, it was all that I knew and what I was exposed to. Ingrained in me were the morals and values that I hold highly now. Having been raised in a bubble where everyone around me seemed to be a clone (all looking alike, dressing alike and talking alike) I had to learn to think for myself. It wasn’t a passive choice, rather an active one. Multiple people have been placed in my life to help me tackle this not-so-easy journey. There isn’t necessarily a point where we just make the switch to not blindly believe, so at what point do we learn to think for ourselves? Maybe you were raised in a family that created a space for you to discover your own beliefs and value systems. If this is the case, then I would love to hear your own experience in the comments below!
Getting out of the bubble is one way to do this but it is so much more than that. If you just leave the bubble but place yourself right into another bubble then nothing changes. So what can you do to stop this cycle?
One of the best ways to do this is to talk with other people who have different viewpoints than you. It is crucial to follow these guidelines when having a conversation with someone in this position:
- Listen with an open mind
- Don’t get defensive
- Be willing to share your opinion and back it up
- Be okay with not persuading someone to believe what you do, but be willing to agree to disagree
Another avenue would be to find a mentor. Someone who can call out your flaws and present new ideas from different angles. I once had a mentor who told me word for word, “you need to get over yourself.” If the relationship and trust had not been established prior to this statement I probably would have called my mom and cried while playing the victim card. Instead, I took this to heart and had a light bulb moment that changed my life. I thought I knew everything and basically that it was my way or the highway.
It took me time and practice to be able to do this, and it is a never-ending process. However, I was in situations that also forced me to have to learn this (aka graduate school) and for that I am thankful. Not everyone has the ability to listen to other people’s opinions, process them and reflect on if you agree or disagree with them and why.
It is my hope that we can grow closer in relationship to each other as humans based on making this small mindset shift and stop blindly believing. If we can stop building up walls against people who do not think the same way we do I believe the world would be a better place. If we can’t come together and be willing to grow ourselves in this way, then we need to really sit back and dig deep into why that is.