The Opinion Trap

It doesn’t take too much observational skill to see how often social media is used for the expression and promotion of someone’s personal opinion. If your Facebook feed is like mine you have probably witnessed a few people on your friends list go toe to toe over some hot button issue of the day.

And as I observed these arguments quietly on the sideline I would feel the urge to participate and add my two cents to the mix. I used to jump in quite often until I realized the negative effect it was having on me.

It became all consuming. After constructing the perfect post to express my point of view I would hit send and anxiously wait for the onslaught of replies either telling me how right I was, or that I was full of shit, or even worse I would be ignored all together!?

I began to see how useless these exercises were because no one ever changed their mind. It became this forum for hostility and would ultimately spiral out of control. I have seen friends delete each other from their friends list and at one point I had to delete one of my posts that triggered a heated discussion.

My point is that we have been taught to express our point of views and then to vigorously defend them at all costs. We leave little room for growth. And when trying to discover your passion this can be a huge road block.

Once we form an opinion about ourselves we lock the door and throw away the key on that particular aspect of our lives. We consider it final, eternal, and unchanging. But what if we are wrong?

One example from my own life was my golf game. I was convinced that I had a pretty good golf swing but was only doing one or two minor things wrong. If I could just figure out those simple things I was sure that my golf game would be transformed completely. For years I would practice making minor adjustments here and there only to experience utter disappointment on the golf course with incredibly high scores.

Ultimately everyone reaches a breaking point. I became so ashamed of my inability to get any better that I forced to look at everything in my golf swing from the ground up. And it was only at this point that I actually started to see real, sustained, improvement.

But why let it get to this point. Don’t classify something about yourself as a certainty and never challenge the idea. Let it be proven everyday. Allow yourself the freedom to be wrong. When it comes to knowing who you are maybe you’re not so smart, but maybe that’s ok.





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