Is changing our mind a sign of unreliability or of evolution?

Over the past couple of weeks life has thrown us some interesting curveballs. As I am contemplating embarking on one journey and leaving others I had planned to be on earlier in the year, I face the question: is it ok to change my mind? Or am I just a “ping-pong-ing” kind of person as a friend once called me? When we look at someone and we say about them whether they reliable, do we just look at their actions or do we go deeper?

I went to a job interview last week and came home and told our son I might get a new job. He immediately said: I thought you wanted to start your own company and work from home. I was a bit taken aback and my instinct was immediately to be defensive. But I took a deep breath and I said, I know, but I changed my mind. Looking back, I can see a pattern:

In 1999 I entered a church and married a man. In 2011 I fell inlove with a woman and left him.

Twenty years ago I was a regular church goer, today I am not religious at all. Spiritual, yes, religious, no.

In the past eight months I left a job I had had for two decades and was convinced I was going to retire from, I joined teams I thought I would stay with for a long time, only to leave them after several weeks deciding that is not my road to travel.

Does this make me inconsistent? Unreliable? Human? The red thread here is my truth. Somehow, in the end, in every one of these choices it came down to what felt true to me, in the moment.

There is a risk in staying in a situation because at some point in our existence we promised that we would and there is a risk in leaving a situation that we no longer resonate with to try something new. Courage is needed in both. The difference lies in the outcome: we all know that if nothing changes … nothing changes. And that making a change elicits courage and risk but also offers the posibility of something new, something better.

I thought it was a good idea at the time, is a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the experience of humanity – we are different every single day, every minute of our lives teaches us something and thus changes us. Regardless of how much that scares us, today we aren’t the same person as we were yesterday and I believe that, as long as we can hold on to the red thread of authenticity and vulnerability, we can actually capitalize on this superpower for our evolution.

There is a simple and complex recipe for this:

  1. As soon as we are able, we should acknowledge our change of heart and put language to it. Communicate it clearly and factually. We don’t apologize for who we have become, we express our sorrow for inconveniences caused.
  2. Allow the reaction from your interlocutor – they are entitled to it and they are entitled to not like your change of heart and of mind
  3. Sit with the discomfort and do not be swayed by pressure. Continue to grow.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

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