This article has everything you need to know about how to think for yourself.
With too many things going on in the world today, it is very easy to accept other people’s claims without thoroughly verifying the facts. Thinking for yourself can be daunting, but there are ways to do it effectively.
Start by improving your logical thinking skills. You can re-examine your beliefs and start verifying everything you have been taught.
It will also be beneficial if you stick to your principles. It is a good idea to write down your beliefs so that you can refer back to them when in doubt.
Finally, to shape your beliefs, focus on expert knowledge and discover facts.
How To Think For Yourself:
1. Focus on one thing every day.
Everyone has challenges or difficulties in their daily lives, whether it’s deciding who to vote for, accepting a job offer, or dealing with a family member. In your spare time, tackle one of these problems each day.
Identify the problem and determine if it is something you have influence over, such as accepting a job offer or denying your sister medical treatment. Don’t focus on what you can’t manage.
Gather the data you will need to make the call. For example, evaluate your salary, insurance plan, and work atmosphere if you have several career opportunities.
Make a judgment based on the facts you gather. For example, if one job offer offers more pay and benefits, you might suggest taking it.
Make a plan keeping in mind that policies will need to be adjusted if new knowledge becomes available.
2. Keep a journal of your feelings.
Start by explaining an issue that triggers a strong emotional response in you. Then describe in depth your reaction to those circumstances.
Explore what that reaction might reveal about you and how you felt. Imagine how you might have reacted differently in the past or how you might react differently in the future.
Make sure you have dealt with all issues in the same way. Consistency is essential.
3. Reconsider what you believe and why you believe it.
You may be shocked at how much your religious or cultural background, cultural community, geographical location, universities, organisations or work have influenced your view of things.
Make a list of beliefs you should believe (or not believe). Then determine whether or not you really believe in certain things.
Some religious beliefs, for example, prohibit abortion. Think about your feelings about abortion and whether you agree with it.
You can achieve the same result as your faith, but only if it is based on what you really believe.
4. Be sceptical about everything.
Instead of relying on others, one of the easiest ways to learn about yourself is to gather the facts yourself.
Ask lots of questions, especially in circumstances that directly affect you, such as voting in a politician’s election or deciding which school to attend. Don’t rely on someone to tell you what you can do.
When researching, make sure you use reliable sources.
5. Don’t give up.
If you have struggled to think for yourself in the past, you may find that the first few times you try to think for yourself, you succumb to the influence of others (1).
It’s okay, nothing happened!
Changing thinking patterns is one of the hardest habits to break. Give yourself time to understand how to think for yourself and resist other people’s views.
6. Make a list of your principles.
To stay true to your beliefs and principles, you must first accept them. Make a list of the beliefs and things that matter most to you. When you are not sure how you feel about something, refer to the list.
Authenticity (being as honest as possible), spirituality, compassion, justice, affection and respect are just some of the more universal beliefs.
7. Live in accordance with your basic principles.
If you don’t follow your own beliefs, trying to think for yourself won’t do you much good. Decide for yourself how you will behave when you have enough time to think and stick to it.
For example, if you’re trying to determine who to vote for, check how the person acts with your principles. If you believe in honesty, kindness and respect, but one of the candidates is against any of these values, then they are obviously not the choice for you!
Make sure your goals align with your principles when you set them.
8. Avoid succumbing to social pressure.
If you ask a friend a question about an issue or ask them for facts to support their point of view, they may try to convince you of theirs.
Don’t give in to peer pressure, especially if many of your friends are saying the same thing. Sometimes it’s better not to react at all because the sooner you do, the more people will want to remind you of their point of view.
For example, if a friend believes that vaccinations are harmful, you can ask him to provide evidence to support his claims. If he refuses, ignore him and conduct your own analysis.
It is perfectly acceptable to politely differ with anyone. “You are entitled to your opinion and I appreciate you respecting mine,” you can say after expressing your point of view.
9. Trust your gut feelings.
Listen to yourself, whether you’re making a decision or considering something because something doesn’t sound perfect. You, too, have a good sense of what feels right about you and your life, and how you really feel about such things.
Don’t dismiss the little hints of your intuition. If you listen to them more often, they will help you to think for yourself.
For example, when you’re choosing between two job offers, you’ll feel compelled to choose the one that pays better, but your intuition will tell you to pick the one that makes you happy.
Choose wisely what you are going to say. If you think the person you are talking to will be offended by your views, keep them to yourself.
10. Collect reliable data.
In some cases, ‘thinking for yourself’ really doesn’t make sense. Trust the research and opinions of industry professionals if you are in a situation where you feel they know better than you. It’s good to listen to what some people have to say in certain situations.
For example, if your doctor tells you that you have an infection and that you should take some medication, it is generally better to listen to their advice.
If the source is not completely trustworthy, conduct further analysis.
For example, after reading an article about the effectiveness of certain medical therapies, conduct an analysis of these therapies using reliable sources such as WebMD or Mayo Clinic websites (2).
11. Consider different points of view.
Feedback from different viewpoints is helpful in forming your own opinion.
However, if you only listen to one person with one point of view, their point of view or the facts they have may influence your reasoning.
Make sure you have suggestions or evidence from both sides and then give yourself time to understand it all. After that you have to make your own choice.
12. Demand evidence.
If someone tries to convince you of something, demand evidence. Demand evidence for something, even if the evidence varies from case to case. Take some time to look at the facts the other person has.
Do they seem convincing? Are the references, such as serious news agencies or specialist blogs, trustworthy?
When someone wants to force you to change the type of mobile phone you have, ask why and then analyse their answer in relation to your needs.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to think for yourself. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you. +