Think Opposite is a pretty easy concept.
You suspend your belief. Consider the opposite. Proceed with perspective.
Why do we need this?
Because an unexamined thought is a deadly virus.
Because we have become so polarized in our beliefs that we are no longer able to have conversations with other people.
Because we discount people who disagree with us like they have less value.
Because illusion of our “rightness” is having a massive negative impact in the world.
NONE of this means you have to change your mind.
NONE of this means you have to become friends with people you don’t like.
NONE of this is about forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do.
ALL OF THIS is just a way to bring awareness to our unexamined thoughts so that we can stop spreading the disease of perceived truths and incomplete beliefs.
So how do you when know it’s time to Think Opposite?
1. You are having a strong emotional response to something.
This is different that feeling passion. Passion comes from a good place, one of wanting more.
2. You are protective or defensive of your idea.
If we actually, confidently believe in what we believe in, we don’t need to defend it. We can express it, talk about it, tweak it, but ultimately if we are trying to defend it, we may have to examine it further.
3. You want to convert people.
If your idea is really that fantastic, you don’t need to convert, people will join you. Conversion is taking away another person’s right to choose.
4. People respond negatively to your topic.
Sometimes people are just going to be negative about what you think, but when you get people continuously attack your position it may be time to consider your perspective more fully.
5. You don’t know where your belief comes from.
If you cannot answer when and why you started believing what you believe, then it’s time to start spending a bit of time in that arena. Really get to know how your belief came to be a truth for you.
6. You are losing friends over difference of beliefs.
Friendship should be able to withstand the test of adversity.If you find you are wanting to unfriend people or are having people unfriend you, perhaps you want to look at whether or not you are actually hearing and respecting their perspective. You don’t have to agree with them but who knows… maybe you will learn something AND keep a friend.
7. Your belief doesn’t bring you joy.
If your belief brings you anxiety and conflict, it’s probably time to revisit your connection to your perspective.
Remember we usually don’t get attached to our beliefs overnight and so we are not going to get clarity on our beliefs overnight either. It’s a process, take your time.
If you notice any of these warning signs, here are 3 easy steps to move you towards thinking opposite.
Suspend your belief – pretend it’s like a favourite sweater. Take it off, fold it gently, put it in the dresser. You can put it back on any time you like.
Consider the opposite – the person who opposes your idea didn’t arrive at their perspective lightly. They have legitimate reasons for believing what they believe just like you do. So, put yourself in their shoes… why might they think what they think? Where is the validity in their statements? Remember no one is ever 100% right or 100% wrong (except for maybe in math)
Proceed with perspective – feel free to put your sweater back on. Does it feel different? Does it fit tighter? Is it still your favourite sweater?