Opening Your Mind To New Possibilities
Life is filled with numerous opportunities. Sometimes though we are so comfortable the way things are that we may not be aware of them; or the more accurate term we don’t notice them. Opening your mind to new possibilities is an excellent thing to do, especially if you’re feeling a little stuck in a rut. Here are ten ways to open your mind to more possibilities:
1. Embrace Curiosity: Approach new experiences and situations with an open mind and a sense of wonder. Say you hear someone talking about an experience they had and it piques your interest. Enquire about how you can do it yourself. If you’re watching a programme and see an activity taking place and see someone doing something that looks interesting, go and do it yourself. If you go to a city you’ve never been to get curious and explore. Don’t be afraid to…
2. …Try New Things: Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and try new experiences. We all like doing things with which we are familiar and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, don’t be afraid to try something new. It doesn’t need to be a massive thing at all - but try a new programme, a new genre or artiste in music….try anything once and if you like it do it again, and if you don’t that’s okay - at least you tried.
3. Keep An Open Mind: Avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, and be open to new perspectives and ideas. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “knowing how something will pan out.” The trouble is though as soon as you do that you’re closing your mind to other possible outcomes…and they could be even better than you imagined!
4. Practice Mindfulness: Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment, and stay present in the moment. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating…don’t judge your thoughts as good or bad. If it’s something you don’t want in your life think about how you can change it. Mindfulness is the act of being in the present moment. So don’t look at the past or worry about what the future holds…all we have is now.
5. Ask Questions: Ask questions and seek to understand other people's perspectives and experiences. Once you’ve asked the question it is a good idea to listen. Very often a person will ask a question but will already have an answer in their head and so will not listen to the answer. Ask questions to learn…you can learn something from anyone of any age, creed, colour, gender identity, etc.
6. Let Go Of Limiting Beliefs: Identify and challenge any beliefs that are holding you back or limiting your potential. I wrote about limiting beliefs in an earlier blog, but it’s worth mentioning it again. Your belief systems are what you use to navigate through this thing called life so it is much better to have a belief in something that will actually help you move forward than hold you back.
7. Be Adaptable: Recognise that change is a natural part of life and be open to new opportunities and possibilities. Don’t be too enjoined to a particular way of doing things. Now, as an autist I can struggle with this but I will always try and give something a good go. Change can be scary, especially a big change but sometimes we can’t avoid it - so do your best to embrace it. I remember once I’d always done something in a certain way and I got great results from doing it that way. One day though someone asked me if I’d considered doing it this way and showed me their way of doing it. At first I was resistant because I was so used to doing it my way but I humoured them and gave it a go. Well, at first it was tricky but as I persevered I could see that there were benefits to using the new method and that’s the only method I use now.
8. Collaborate With Others: Work with others to generate new ideas and solutions. I’m not saying however, that you should work with just anyone who comes along. You have to have a similar (if not the same) outcome in mind. I know I work best on my own because I have the ultimate big picture in my mind and I know the steps that are needed to reach it. However, I also know that by finding people to help me achieve what needs doing is a great thing….if they’re reliable. If the person ends up not doing what is required and you end up having to micro-manage everything then they’re not the right person. When I started Stand Sure In Life I got together a group of friends who each had a different skillset but shared my enthusiasm. They wanted me to succeed so we got together and threw ideas around based on things I’d like to do and happen.
9. Take Calculated Risks: Weigh the potential risks and benefits of a decision and take calculated risks to achieve your goals. The original heading for this paragraph was “Take Risks” but I realised that that could be taken in a reckless way. Investing your life savings into something that is flimsy at best is not the kind of risk you should be taking. There are no guarantees in life apart from the one that guarantees that one day you’ll leave this Earthly Plane! If we don’t take a risk every now and then things get a little too sedentary. But it all depends on what you’re prepared to “lose” if the risk doesn’t pay off. Losing some time investing in a new project isn’t a waste because you’ll have learnt a lot that you can transfer into other areas. Remember, if you don’t take the risk in the first place - you’ll never know whether it was achievable.
10. Practice Gratitude: Focus on the positive things in your life and express gratitude for them, which can help you see the abundance of possibilities around you. An attitude of gratitude is a healthy one. It’s very easy to focus on things you don’t have but that makes you myopic to the things you do have. You could start a gratitude journal and write in it every morning and night (just three things for each) or you can journal at the end of the day before bed. If you don’t want to write then you can just quietly thank the Universe (God, Spirit - whatever) in a thought before bed.
This is just the tip of the iceberg but by adopting these practices, you can open your mind to more possibilities and opportunities, and live a more fulfilling and rewarding life.