It’s okay to change your mind

This sounds quite obvious, but it can be surprisingly tricky. You can end up feeling pigeon holed into a box. People perceive you as something, as if you can your position on that, it can phase them. But it is okay to change your mind. It is okay to change your opinion on something based on new information. This is not being inconsistent. It is being open and accepting.

Some of you may have followed the brilliant Dr David Marlin on social media. If you haven’t take a look – click here! He is one of the leading authorities on the safe cooling of horses in the world. He is a scientist, everything that he says is backed up by genuine research. Yet, there are always people arguing with him about it! They are so entrenched in their own beliefs, their own ways of doing things that they can’t back down.

20 years we did things differently. They may have been best practice based on the information we had then, but we know more now, the world has moved on. Clinging to our old ways of doing things because we don’t want to admit that they were wrong, is foolish. We only learn by making mistakes. We can hold our hands up and say, “I used to believe that, but now I know differently.” This is not being inconsistent, or changeable. This is growth.

Some of the practices that were around 20 years ago are debatable to say the least. But they were considered the norm. Being able to change your mind, to grow as person, to have new views about things based on new information, is to be wise, to be open, to be flexible. To admit that we were wrong, that we didn’t know everything, is to be wise, to be expansive.

Don’t let other people limit your growth. If they say, “but you always did it like that.” Just smile, and say “so I did.” You don’t need to justify your changing perceptions to anybody else. You can grow and change constantly throughout your life, and the person who you ultimately have to live with, is yourself.

Challenges can be good for us

The thing about challenges is that they do exactly what it says on the tin! They challenge you, and in challenging yourself your gain access to parts of yourself that you might not otherwise have managed to. Anything that makes us push forward or strive requires us to reach down inside and get that little bit more.

I walked up Snowdon on the weekend. I had never done it before and it was wonderful. It was hard, but I had trained for it, made sure I was fit enough – which I was (just!) But the payback for pushing myself was to get to stand on the top of a mountain and look out across the world.

Humans are forever wanting to climb up things, or across things or go faster or higher. Often I write about the need to just appreciate where you are, not to judge yourself against other, delight in the present, but sometimes a challenge is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it is great to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that tests you, that excites you, that challenges you.

Remember the great saying about comfort zones? “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” It’s true. I’m not advocating pushing yourself wildly out of your safe place, but the odd little toes dipped in the water will allow you to stretch out, without over-stepping the mark. Just remember it’s your challenge, not anyone else’s. Don’t ever judge your achievements against anyone else. Your mountain may be small, but it doesn’t stop it being a mountain. Nothing anyone else does deflects from your triumphs.

My delight in my ability to climb up and down Snowdon was not diminished by being overtaken by men running up and down – each to their own…