Being stubborn stands in the way of personal growth. If we are not open to new ways of looking at things, how will we break free from our habitual patterns? We will keep making the same mistakes, while insisting we are right.
We each have our mindsets and habitual behaviors, and we will stay stuck in them unless we are willing to consider alternatives. In addition, people who are stubborn, only have access to their limited perspective and intelligence. But those who are willing to consider the viewpoints of others, the perspective and intelligence available to them is multiplied many times.
There is though a place for stubbornness. For example, we should be stubborn when sticking to our principles and living our values. When appropriate, Ethics of the Fathers (5:20) teaches us to “Be bold as a leopard.”
Here are three ways to decrease unhealthy stubbornness:
(1) Work on developing humility; realize you have been wrong in the past and you will likely make mistakes in the future. With true humility, a person is able to admit when they were wrong and change course.
(2) When talking to others, instead of trying to get them to agree with you, really listen and consider what they are saying. You will learn a lot more that way. As has been said, “If your lips are moving, you’re not learning anything new.”
(3) Ask people for feedback and advice, and give serious consideration to what they say. Instead of focusing on why they are wrong, see if there is a nugget of wisdom you can benefit from.
When we are open-minded and interested in learning new ideas and ways of enhancing our lives, we have laid a solid foundation for growth.
Ask, “Which area of my life am I stubborn about? Perhaps there is a better way of dealing with this issue. Who can I speak to for guidance?”
Have a great week,