Widen Your Worldview

You must have heard the word worldview many times, but do you know what it means? Since the day you were born, you have been building a set of theories about everything around you and the way they work. This set of theories is your worldview. You have got some of theories from your parents, teachers and others from experiences you have had when you have been working. Your worldview is a major contributor to every decision and action you take. If your worldview is useful, you will succeed and if it is not, you will fail. You will have a good idea about your current success at work and in the world. If it is not as good as you would like it to be then taking a look at your worldview could help.

Before looking at your own worldview it is worth looking around you and seeing what you notice. In particular look at those who are succeeding in the space you would like to do better. If it is at work who is getting the promotions and what is different about them that gives them an advantage over you? There are going to be attributes that differ but the worldview they hold and you hold will be a significant contributor to the difference between you. This is a good way of starting to explore your own worldview. Consider the theories of the world these people may have that differ to the theories you hold. Theories can be to do with relationships, how decisions should be taken, what works and doesn’t work in life and views on yourself. Look for some of the biggest differences between you and make a note of them.

The next step is difficult. Changing your worldview will be resisted strongly by you. The way you are designed cognitively is to keep seeking information to reconfirm the theories you already have. If you come up with information that conflicts with your theory you will naturally go and seek more information to try and confirm the current theory you hold. To change your worldview you are going to have to overcome this natural bias. To do this you must convince yourself that your worldview is only one view of the world and not ‘the’ view. The theories you hold are built on the sand of assumptions and only have a few anchor points on the rock of facts. You must understand your assumptions and play with them until you find a more useful set for the theories that seem to be working in the world. You will find it useful to go through this process using a friend who knows you well. Share with them the successful theory you are exploring as an alternative to one you currently hold. Then ask which of your assumptions could be changed for the successful theory to be true for you.

The world is always changing and will often leave your worldview behind. Be willing to change when this happens.