Think for YOURSELF
Do you think for yourself? We are constantly bombarded with social media, current events, marketing ads and more, all pushing their own perspective of “a truth”. You may agree with some of their points of view, but how much of it is your understanding and not some other narrative? If we take time to evaluate and come to a decision based upon what we observe firsthand rather than what we've been led to believe, we can arrive at a more appropriate and practical conclusion. When you know you are thinking for yourself you will experience more confidence and trust in your choices!
According to Essential Life Skills, here is a list of benefits you can experience when you start thinking for yourself.
The Benefits of thinking for yourself:
· You develop self-confidence and trust in your abilities.
· You attain a greater sense of accomplishment.
· You expand your mind and boost your brain power.
· You gain respect from others by standing up for what you believe in and by being original.
· You are more aware and alert to what the media is trying to sell you.
· You are more open to self-improvement and alternative viewpoints.
· You are more interesting to others by expanding their thinking and options.
You are NOT thinking for yourself when:
· You let others, the media, or convention sway you from doing what's right for you.
· You buy into negative, one-dimensional stereotypes based on sex, race or culture.
· You do something because it has always been done that way - even if it no longer works.
· You follow old wives' tales, superstitions or fallacies that defy common sense.
· You don't take time to think things through carefully and fully.
If you are stuck or are unsure determining if your thinking is your own, here are a few questions you can ask yourself. (Note, not all questions will fit all scenarios) These are some questions that I use to help myself to pause and consider if I am thinking for myself.
1. What is the actual issue, can you name details that you confirmed yourself with research?
2. Did you hear or read someone else’s same exact words you are now thinking?
3. Did you feel the same way about the topic once you stepped away?
4. Is the information you are considering making a choice on, coming from an expert? Did you verify they are an expert?
5. Are you going along with the crowd or just agreeing with your friends to not cause drama?
Sometimes we can get caught up in the hype of a topic or current event, just to go along with our peers. There is nothing wrong with this, if you yourself have investigated the details and have come to the same conclusion. Once you know that you are thinking for yourself you can confidently stand behind your decision and have the facts to support your choice. You are your own person and your thoughts and choices matter. Don’t lose your voice in today’s society. Proudly think for yourself!