A Beginner’s Mind Makes Things Possible

Do you have beginner’s mind?

Beginner's MindTake a look at the following scenarios. Do any of them sound familiar?

  • You’re excited to finally have a clear picture of the work you could be truly passionate about. But then you start thinking… and thinking some more. You end up deciding that your vision couldn’t work out. It’s just too unrealistic. Instead of learning more about the career that pulls you forward, you discount it as an impossible dream.
  • You want to start your own business, but you’re afraid you’ll fail and end up looking like a fool. You make up your mind you’re not ready or you’re not good enough or you’re too old. So, instead, you do nothing.
  • You’ve spent years honing your skills and developing expertise in your current profession, but you’re ready for something new. You know you need to learn more about the career that interests you, yet you find yourself reluctant to talk with people in the new field. You’re afraid you’ll sound “dumb”.
  • Or… you realize that job search techniques are changing, but you believe what’s worked for you before will be enough to get you that next job. You can’t understand why no one calls you for an interview.

Are You Closing the Door on Possibility?

Whether your wish is to change careers, start your own business, or look for a job, past experiences and worries about the future can get in your way.

Maybe you want to know exactly how things will end up before you’ll take even one step forward. Or you believe that your current knowledge is enough to get you where you want to go.

Either way, you end up closing the door on possibilities.

What is Beginner’s Mind?

To have beginner’s mind means being free of all preconceived ideas or expectations. It allows you to keep your opinions and judgments from getting in the way of you moving forward.

It’s being…

  • willing to not know about something
  • able to see beyond what you “already know”
  • open to exploring new options and learning from others

Cultivating a beginner’s mind can help you get past all those pre-determined ideas and thoughts that say you can’t get from here to there.

Beginner’s Mind Can Open Doors

The secret to managing change is to see things with fresh eyes, to look at the world as a child once again. By the time we reach midlife, many of our habits and beliefs have become pretty well established. We’ve become accustomed to looking at life in the same old ways.

To open up your thinking, start paying full attention to the things you do every day, all the routines you take for granted, the thoughts you never question anymore. Pretend you’re seeing and experiencing your daily activities and the people in your life for the first time.

When you allow yourself to be more fully in the present and to see things as they are, you open the door to possibilities.

What door will you open?

Photo credit: arquera / CC license

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