Years ago when I was working in a lumberyard, a customer asked me a question on how to build something. I explained as best I could how to accomplish the task at hand. After I had finished, he looked at me and said, “ No, you’re wrong,” and preceded to order his material. At the time I had been a carpenter for many years, so I let it go. I had learned long ago that a person will seek answers that will fit their needs, he didn’t want advice, he was seeking confirmation.
Why do we seek confirmation instead of guidance from those around us? If we are always seeking to prove our own beliefs, then are we really challenging ourselves to experience life differently? Wouldn't we be staying in our place of comfort, and not moving forward with new information and greater possibilities? I thought that a deeper conversation with my Inner Voice would shine some light on this subject. My questions will be in italics for clarity.
Why do we seek to confirm what we already know?
Few people are wiling to challenge their beliefs, or seek new understanding. They like where they are and this brings them comfort. Confirming what you already know is a way to add strength to your beliefs, and this act is reassuring.
It does seem odd that people want to move forward, emotionally, physically and spiritually, but they do not want to challenge themselves, by looking outside of their box.
The unknown road ahead is filled with uncertainty and this uncertainty causes doubt and hesitation. It must be realized that to truly move forward one must let go of where they are today, and accept that doubt and hesitation will be a part of the journey. One must understand that this unknown road is where true learning and growth will take place. As with the customer that was not interested in your advice, staying in place is comfortable and there is little fear, as there is no unknown.
Do we (all people) have to venture into the unknown to learn and grow?
If the choice is to stay in a place of comfort, then there will be little in the way of true, powerful growth. To answer your question, to move beyond what is known and comfortable is to open oneself to new ways of seeing and experiencing the world. Through this new vision, new lessons will come into view, and new growth will take place.
I’m still struck by how forceful this person responded to my advice.
The information that you were sharing was challenging his knowledge at the time. He was unwilling to change his point of view and accept a new way of thinking. Oftentimes people will deny themselves the ability to live a truly better life, because it may force them to change their point of view or even challenge a long-standing belief. When a new idea or a new way of thinking is presented to them, they are threatened and retreat to their place of comfort.
Do we always have to be willing to challenge our beliefs to grow as a person?
Imagine having the same mindset as you did when you were a young man, or as a child. How would you be experiencing life? Would you be where you are now, emotionally, or spiritually? Of course not, but many times people choose to stay in a place of comfort that satisfied them years ago, but has no true benefit for them today. Change is the only way to true growth, it can be no other way.
I’m still thinking about this, please go on. I understand it, but thinking.
When a person chooses to limit their growth because they fear change or they do not want to challenge their beliefs, they are choosing to do so because they are unsure of what is to come. What would be next? What if those around them do not understand their choices or their journey? The idea of change also requires a person to take responsibility for their choices and the outcome of these choices. It is much easier to stay in one place without upsetting their place of comfort.
Yes, but oftentimes the choice to stay in a comfortable place causes tremendous hardship, meaning through growth the hardships becomes an important lesson.
There must be a willingness to sift through the hardship and reveal the lesson. Many times lessons are deep within the hardship. To look for the lessons is also an act of seeking more wisdom for the journey forward. Knowing that there will be positive lessons in any hardship, is a lesson that comes from experiencing hardship, and then moving forward to experiencing the landscape of the unknown.
We are scared of the unknown, isn’t that why we seek confirmation for what we already know, without the need to challenge ourselves?
What is more fearful, staying in a place of comfort, living the same types of experiences? Or discovering new ways of seeing the world and living life through this new clarity? Remember, to argue for your place of comfort is to argue for your own limitations. No real forward progress can be made from a belief of limited thinking. Your life will reflect the way that you view the world. If your view is always seeking confirmation of your point of view, you will always experience your point of view. If your intention is to seek new levels of thought, and consciousness, then your view of the world will always be expanding as more wisdom and awareness comes into view.
It can be a challenge to accept a different way of thinking. But how else can we move forward to new ways of experiencing life.
Please let me know what you think, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each week I send out a weekly email, a conversation with my Inner Voice. This week we discuss, mistakes or lessons. Do we allow a mistake to derail our happiness, or do we see the lesson and grow from the experience? Email me and I’ll add you to the list.
To read more conversations with my Inner Voice, check out my article in New Spirit Journal, titled, “The Capacity to Love” newspiritjournalonline.com
Or “The Rope Swing” in Conscious Shift Magazine, consciousshiftmagazine.com
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Peace and Well-Being.