Changing our minds is hard, even in the most favorable conditions. There’s the risk of looking inconsistent or like you lack conviction; if you’re a politician, a flip-flopper.
Changing your mind, more often than not, requires you to grapple with your own identity. Admitting that you were wrong feels personal. And yet, how freeing it is to admit we were wrong or that we don’t know something. A weight suddenly lifted from our minds, like telling the truth after holding in a lie. But not only freeing, valuable too. No longer burdened by the need to be right, we have the chance to learn something new, and to better understand the world.
Psychologist Adam Grant wants to make that freeing feeling easier to come by and the rewards easier to reap. In his latest book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, Grant investigates why we struggle to update our ideas and opinions and how we can get better at it. The book, he writes, “is an invitation to let go of knowledge and opinions that are no longer serving you well, and to anchor your sense of self in flexibility, rather than consistency.”