On Refusing to Take In New Information

One of the best ways to get stuck is to refuse to take in any new information.

  • There is new information available, but it conflicts with what you believe you know to be true, so you ignore the new information. Maybe you are even offended by this new information, finding it disturbing because what you know may no longer be as valuable as it once was.
  • There is another way to do something, but it isn’t the way you have always done what you do, so you refuse to even try it. Changing would mean that what you are doing is no longer the best way to do something, and you have done things the same way for so long, that you reflexively defend your way.
  • Other people believe something that is at odds with what you believe, and your confirmation bias is so strong that,not only do you resist looking at how those beliefs better serve the people that hold them, you feel threatened by the very beliefs. You attack the beliefs that are different from yours.

Your growth, your personal and professional development, all begin and end with your willingness to take in something new and abandon something old.

You have to believe something different than what you believe now. But it takes more than an intellectual belief for you to grow and produce new results. If you really believe something, you take new actions, actions that are in line with those beliefs. Growth and improvement require that you do something different. Believing something and not acting in accordance with that belief is the same as not believing it.

You also have to be willing to take in new information. You have to be curious about what other people know. As human knowledge is doubling every few years, you have to look at what we know and decide when it means you need to change.

  • What new information have you taken in that is wildly at odds with what you have always known?
  • What beliefs have you changed in the last three years? What new actions have stemmed from those new beliefs?

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