In the past year many of the beliefs and opinions I once considered hard-learned truths have been dramatically reshaped. Many dismantled entirely.
Learning to be mindful of the fact that I don’t know what I don’t yet know or understand what I don’t yet understand has lead to a necessary, and long-overdue, examination of my most tightly-held convictions. Particularly those around race and privilege, judgement, and morality.
Perhaps the most valuable revelation of my life occurred after realizing that some of my beliefs, including those I swore demonstrated my goodness, though formed through a lifetime of experience and consideration, were not only inaccurate but directly harmful to others. This insight has opened the door to a new way of interacting with the world and to a more interested, productive state of mind.
As I’ve begun to loosen my grip on my “truths”, they have found room to expand from small, defining beliefs into larger, evolving ideas. The impact of which has been significant.
Letting go of preconceptions has changed the way I move through the physical world, how I engage with strangers, the tone of my conversations, and has improved how people receive me. But most importantly, it has granted access to a whole new universe of understanding that my old beliefs had barred me from.
No doubt, auditing long-held beliefs can be uncomfortable. It requires a willingness to see yourself as wrong or even guilty. It requires exposure to the unfamiliar and means stepping outside the experience that has shaped your current world view and into experiences that will broaden your perspective.
But I’ve found the rewards to be well worth the discomfort and it’s amazing how much you can learn when you admit to how much you don’t know.