Challenging a Closed Mind

Allowing yourself to be open minded can create new opportunities


Many events over the past few years have shed light on a variety of new issues. For starters, we now know that a virus can cause a pandemic that shuts down the country and creates years worth of problems. We see how our country can come together in desperate times, yet at the same time, also observe how polarized our country can be. While yes, we are separated by stances, opinions, and political parties, the real factor that comes into play is the difference between a closed mindset and an open mindset.

Before you sit there and say, “I am definitely an open minded person,” the likelihood of you actually having this mental mindset is slim. You can have different aspects of an open minded person, but the society that surrounded us today has shaped us to behave in a way that is more of a close minded person. 

You may be asking yourself, “well how do I know if I am open minded or closed minded?” According to author Ryan Gottfredson there are many different personality traits that set these people apart. 

“Those with an open mindset seek after truth, even if it means changing their mind. Those with a closed mindset seek to be right,” says Gottfredson. “Those with an open mindset have a genuine fear of missing important information, and are thus hungry to learn and seek others’ perspectives. Those with a closed mindset have no desire to learn or seek others’ perspectives.” 

Realizing that you might be more close minded than you think, could be causing some panic. Don’t worry, there are ways to change your routine.

While strong thoughts start with confidence in your stance, open minded thinking starts by planting seeds of doubt in your thought process. Open minded people accept that they can be wrong. By starting your thinking process with the idea that your opinion might not be 100% accurate, you prepare yourself to accept the facts and opinions of others. 

Senior Jessica Harr expresses how considering yourself to be open minded can actually be a challenge. “I would say that I’m open minded, but I feel like a lot of other people would say I’m close minded, ” says Harr. “It takes skill to be open minded to get past emotions and your own opinion.” There are many obstacles that present themselves when it comes to accepting others’ stances . 

Becoming an open minded person allows for more learning opportunities, more chances to absorb new knowledge, and the ability to have constructive conversations about important issues. Knowing that you can take a stance and have your own opinions, while also being able to accept and consider the opinions of others can offer new opportunities for you and even influence others around you.