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Does changing your views make you a hypocrite?

change_hypocrite

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I held strong views about pretty much everything. The way the world worked, how people should and shouldn’t behave, politics, you name it, I probably had a view on it. I also had friends who were even more committed to their view of the world than I was.

My views were shaped by my parents, grandparents, cultural background, society, my peers, colleagues and let’s not forget the good old media!

I know what I know, and I believe it to be true

At the time, I was so sure my outlook on life would always be that way. Although I was generally open-minded about most things, when I felt strongly about something, there was no budging me. One of the traits of being a Taurus I suppose – another influence on my views.

However, as I began delving into the personal development world, I started to question some of the views that I’d been taught, inherited and adopted. This was an extremely uneasy place to be. Suddenly things that I’d believed or supported vehemently, became less significant or I questioned if I still believed in at all.

One of these things was working life and the concept of a career. I’d always been taught that you got a good job with a good company and that if I worked diligently, I’d be promoted over the years and retire with a decent pension. Being dissatisfied at work was part of the package and you learned to live with it and made up for the unhappiness at work at the weekend, on holiday and with all the things the money you were earning would buy you.

If I’m honest, this was never a viewpoint I truly believed. Deep down I always thought there must be another way but growing up, I had no examples of it so believed that what I was being taught about jobs, work and careers must be true.

I also held many views about people’s behaviour and appearance. I learned that you had to look and act a certain way to get on in life, that certain careers were more respected than others and that to be successful, you had to join the “acceptable and respected” career club!

A time for change… perhaps

As I entered my thirties, many of the views I’d grown up with no longer felt right, however as I’d never been one to shy away from expressing my views, I felt like such a hypocrite that now, in many areas of my life I believed something completely different, or a lot of the time, the complete opposite.

This then set my over-analytic brain into overdrive. What would people think, would they think I’m a hypocrite and that I have no integrity. Why would they now take me seriously if I’ve completely changed my view? How can I be sure this is actually what I believe? How do I know my views won’t change again? Are these even my views or have I inherited/adopted these from someone/somewhere else?

Change-is-the-essence-of

Change is not always easy

To be honest it took me a lot of self reflection and quite a bit of time to work through all of those questions, and more. It was emotionally challenging and I questioned and second guessed myself A LOT.

On reflection, here are six things I have learned:

Everyone’s views change.

As we grow older and our lives and circumstances change, so do our views. It’s normal.

You have the right to change your mind.

It’s called choice, and we all have a choice. As a child our views and opinions are shaped and influenced by everyone and everything around us. As children we believe that adults have our best interests at heart and therefore we trust what they tell us. We also learn from and adopt their behaviour. When we become adults, we develop our own instincts and sometimes find that what we learned as children, no longer fits us as adults.

No one view is true.

Everything in life is open to interpretation. Religion, politics, relationships, society. If you look across the globe, all countries and cultures have their own way of doing things, and it’s all based on people’s views.

You can (and probably will) lose some people in your life as a result of your views changing.

The quote “birds of a feather, flock together” is true so it’s no surprise that as your outlook on life changes, so will the people you spend your time with. This can be difficult, but it’s part of life.

Your views will probably change again several times in your lifetime.

I’m only 34 and I’m almost certain that my views when I’m 44 will not be the same as they are today.

People will have their own view or opinion on your change of view.

Some people will completely get it and even be open to learning more about your views and what has influenced your change of mindset. Others will think you’re a hypocrite or that you lack integrity. There will be people (normally those close to you) that will think you’re going through some sort of premature mid-life crisis and that you just need to “get it out of your system” and some that will not take you seriously and may even make fun of you.

“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.” ~ Paul Watzlawick

These are all things I’ve experienced to some extent over the past ten years. Whether it was the choice to take voluntary redundancy in the heart of a global recession, the aspiration to start my own business, my relationship status and dating activities, the decision to start wearing my hair naturally curly, my idea of how to have a good time or my views on nature and the universe. I have experienced one or more of the six things above with all of these choices, basically because I challenged other people’s view of the way I should behave or live my life.

As I’ve said, it has been a real challenge, however accepting and coming to terms with the six things above has helped me to feel happier and more at peace with myself and the path I am following in life.

In my opinion we have one life, so why spend it living someone else’s life?! Changing your views does not make you a hypocrite. No-one has a rule book so there is no one single “true” view or way  to live, but again that’s just my view. 😉

Over to You

Have any of your views changed significantly over the years?

What was your experience and what have you learnt?

Let me know in the comments box below.

Until next time,

Be fearless, be authentic, be unapologetic! 

Leanne

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About Leanne

Freelance blogger, qualified careers adviser, and certified life coach. Passionate about empowering women and young people to create a career & life they love.

2 Thoughts on “Does changing your views make you a hypocrite?

  1. Hi Leanne,
    I’ve gone through much of the same transition as you have. The value of my BA in English was not immediately clear so I had to become creative. This played out as my starting a calligraphy services business for many years which later added an essential oil marketing one which gave birth to my present business of making and marketing essential oil diffusers, Terra Cotta Pendants. The writing, which was the reason I studied English, came as an effort to engage in social media to market the pendants.

    I consider myself fickle rather than hypocritical. But neither is really a bad thing when you reframe them to say you are changeable, that you become bored of the mundane, once the new becomes mundane, and you crave new adventures, new challenges.

    I guess what I learned is that ones path in life is not always as straight and level as we imagine it might be. This is the topic of our Hangout today – you should join us Leanne if you can. Check out the details here and let me know: http://lifeforinstance.com/2011/08/10/let%E2%80%99s-hang-out/

    Lori

    • Leanne on at said:

      Hi Lori,
      Life is definitely not always as straight and level as we imagine it to be, or even as we hope it to be. You’re a really good example of how your changes led to new opportunities, which I think is always the case, it’s just that we don’t always remember that change comes with opportunity.
      Sorry I missed your hangout, sounds really good.

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