This article has everything you need to know about how to think for yourself.
It’s easy to accept what others must say in these uncertain times, but thinking for yourself is important. Improving critical thinking skills can help you reevaluate your beliefs and question information.
Writing down your beliefs can serve as a reference when unsure. Seek knowledge from experts and gather evidence to form an informed opinion.
How To Think For Yourself:
1. Take one challenge each day.
Everyone faces daily challenges, whether it is selecting the right candidate, weighing job offers or dealing with relatives. Take some time each day to work on one of these problems. Evaluate whether the problem is within your control, such as a job offer or a family member’s refusal to seek medical help.
If not, do not waste time on it.
Gather information needed to make decisions, such as comparing salaries and benefits from job offers. Make a choice based on the information gathered. For example, choose a job offer with better compensation. Stay flexible and be prepared to adjust your plan as new information emerges.
2. Maintain a reflective journal.
Begin by describing events that had an emotional impact. Detail your reaction to the situation. Examine what your reactions reveal about you and what emotions may be at play.
Then, consider alternative routes you might respond or how you plan to handle similar situations in the future. Ensure that every entry follows the same format to maintain consistency.
3. Examine your beliefs and their origins.
Much of our outlook is formed by factors such as family, culture, location, education, and affiliation with religious or cultural groups. Compile a list of beliefs that are expected of you as a member of this group. Assess whether you really hold this belief.
For example, if your religion prohibits abortion, reflect on your attitude towards the issue. Make sure your beliefs align with your religion because they come from your personal beliefs, not simply because they’re expected.
4. Challenge everything.
To think independently, gather information for yourself rather than relying on others. Ask lots of questions, particularly in situations that affect you personally, such as choosing or choosing a school.
Don’t blindly follow other people’s advice. Be sure to use reliable sources for research.
5. Hold on.
If you have struggled to think independently in the past, you may still be influenced by others at first when you try to think for yourself. this is normal. Changing old thought patterns is challenging (1). Give yourself time to develop the ability to resist external opinions and think for yourself.
6. Document your principles.
To stay true to your beliefs and values, you must remember of them. Compile a list of your most vital values and principles.
Use this list as a reference when you are not sure about your attitude towards a problem. Examples of common values include authenticity, faith, kindness, justice, love and respect.
7. Follow your values.
Thinking for yourself is meaningless if you do not act on your thoughts. After you have contemplated a situation, make a decision and stick with it.
For example, when choosing who to vote for, evaluate how the candidate aligns with your values. If you value authenticity, kindness, and respect, and one of the candidates conflicts with this, it is likely not the most suitable option. Make sure that your personal goals align with your values.
8. Say no to group influence.
When you seek a friend’s opinion on a subject or ask for proof of their stance, they may try to convince you to see things their way. Don’t give in to this pressure, particularly if many friends share the same views. Sometimes it is best to stay silent, because the more you talk, the more they will try to influence you.
For example, if a friend claims that vaccines are bad, ask them to back it up with evidence. If not, do not accept their perspective and instead, do your own research. It is suitable to have a different viewpoint respectfully. After expressing your position, you can say, “I respect your opinion and I appreciate that you respect mine.”
9. Follow your instincts.
If you are making a decision or talking about something, and you feel something is not right, pay attention! You often have a good sense of what’s best for you and your life, and how you feel about certain things. Don’t ignore that inner voice. Listening to it more can help you make decisions based on your own thinking.
For example, when choosing between two job opportunities, you may be pressured to take the one with a higher salary, but your instincts may be telling you that the other will bring you more happiness. Be selective with arguments too. If you feel that the person you are talking to may not accept your viewpoint, it is best to keep it to yourself.
10. Get reliable information.
Sometimes, relying solely on your own head is not the best approach. When dealing with fields where experts have more expertise, depend on their findings and opinions. In such cases, it is suitable to pay attention to the opinions of others.
For example, if a doctor diagnoses you with an sickness and suggests certain medicines, it’s advisable to follow their advice. However, if the source of the information is doubtful, do more research.
For example, if you find a section about the effectiveness of a particular medical treatment, look into treatment in depth and focus on well-known, credible sources like WebMD or the Mayo Clinic (2).
11. Consider different perspectives.
A fantastic way to form a well-rounded opinion is to expose yourself to multiple perspectives. If you only listen to one individual with one viewpoint, your own thinking will be influenced by their attitude or the information they provide.
Make sure you gather information and evidence from different points of view and take time to evaluate all the information. This will let you arrive at the right decision.
12. Request for evidence.
When someone tries to talk you down, ask for proof. The evidence required can vary depending on the situation, but demands that you be supplied with solid evidence. Evaluate the evidence provided and look at its validity. Is the source reliable and reliable like a respectable news outlet or a professional website?
For example, if someone tries to convince you to rebrand your phone, ask them why and look at their arguments against your need.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to think for yourself. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you. +