Sunday, 19 August 2007

Can You be Too Confident in Your Beliefs?

When are the best times to be close-minded about your beliefs? Can it really be constructive to not acknowledge another person's point of view? Are you making yourself vulnerable by being too open-minded?

Let´s say you become very confident in a particular belief of yours. Often you will stop seeing credibility in any belief but your own. This can have some pretty negative consequences, because there is always the possibility that there is a more resourceful belief out there than your own. If you refuse to acknowledge any new beliefs then you will never allow yourself the opportunity to make use of a better belief.

However, being very confident in your beliefs is a very good way of convincing others of your beliefs. For example, If you're starting a new business and you're looking for financial support, when you speak to investors you are much more likely to receive investment if you are 100% confident that you're business will be successful.

So where do we draw the line? How can we know if we are too confident in our beliefs? Can we even be too confident?

I believe to overcome this challenge we need the flexibility to be both 100% confident in our beliefs and open to new beliefs. I don't, however, believe it is possible to experience these two different states at the same time. What we need to know is when to experience which one.

I believe that if we are teaching others of our beliefs, for example speaking in front of a crowd, or, as earlier, pitching for an investment, then we should be 100% confident in our beliefs.

If I was having a discussion with a friend or with a small group of people then I would be very flexible and open-minded about my beliefs, because this is a great atmosphere in which to challenge and develop my beliefs.

I believe this type of flexibility is the most effective way of making the best of both worlds.