Are you open-minded enough? And, what does that mean to you? When I think of the term open-minded a couple examples immediately come to mind, ironically they are the opposite of open-minded. It’s the mean girls who are jealous of another girl so they spread rumors behind her back. That image is quickly replaced by someone complaining about how they can’t do this or that because of some perceived shortfall that they were “born” with. Then there’s the protestors lining up to try and control someone else’s lives because they think that they know better or are superior to the other. But, I also see the person who is so very critical of themselves to the point that they cripple themselves with fear. For the longest time, I gravitated to the later.
Like most people, I’ve struggled with my own ability to accept myself. To the point that if I talked to anyone else the way I talked to myself, they’d probably punch me in the face. To be clear, I never believed that intelligence, athletic ability, creativity or even charisma were traits that we’re born with. I’ve always believed that I could be and do better than what I was born into. In fact, I relied on that belief heavily my entire life. So much so that I got super annoyed in a sociology class in college when the instructor said that according to statistics people either stay in the economic class that they were born into or go down. Statistically, this is true. However, I can’t help but wonder if this data is also contributing to this statistic. It’s the chicken and the egg argument: which came first?
Anyway, now that you have a better understanding of my definition of what a close-minded person is lets talk about what it actually means to be open-minded shall we? So, an open-minded person person has a growth mindset.
9 Traits Of An Open-Minded Person
- They’re introspective. They spend time reflecting on their life choices and how they can improve themselves.
- They love challenges. Challenges are like a playground for your brain. Working through challenges opens your mind to a wealth of information that you weren’t familiar with prior to the challenge.
- They have grit. Grit is the driving force behind every successful person. Without grit, you can kiss your dreams goodbye because you’ll quit the minute things get tough.
- The word “yet” is an integral part of their inner dialogue. I.E.: “I can’t do this yet”, “I don’t understand this yet”, “I’m not rich yet”, “I don’t have this yet”, etc. Yet may just be the most important 3 letter word in the English dictionary.
- They spend time writing down their goals. Written word is powerful. Did you know, according to research, you are 42% more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down?
- They seek out constructive feedback. Elon Musk once said,”I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better”. Well, an internal feedback will only get you so far. It’s also important to seek out the guidance of others. The beautiful thing about collaboration is that someone else will have an idea that you wouldn’t have thought about. We’re all coming from different situations and backgrounds, so we’re all going to have a different perspective on things. It’s important to check to see if your idea really is the best course of action.
- They’re empathetic. They try to look at the world through other people’s perspectives instead of judging others. Look, we all come from different backgrounds and have had different experiences in our lives that shape our world view and actions. No two people will ever think exactly the same and to assume that your opinion is the correct one is the fastest path to a closed mind.
- They know they don’t know everything and are curious and they’re always learning something new.
- They enjoy the journey on the way to reaching their goal. If you focus only on the end result, you’ll miss a lot along the way. Open-minded people recognize the value of the journey and all it can bring.
How many of these traits do you possess? Don’t worry if you lack some of the traits, simply being curious enough to seek out information on the topic will help you on your path to becoming more open-minded. Plus, I’d be willing to bet that most of us are less open-minded than we realize. Our own personal biases prevent us from seeing the full picture. What traits come to your mind when you think about an open-minded person?