why is challenging our beliefs so difficult to do?

Updated: Jan 4

“Reconsidering something we believe deeply can threaten our identities, making it feel that we are losing a part of ourselves.”

-Adam Grant

Have you ever struggled to reconcile with a value or belief of yours that was confronted? We’ve all been there...if you’ve been in a conversation where your values were challenged or you read an article that proved a belief of yours to be incorrect, then you know how difficult it can be to challenge and change your convictions. But why is it so hard?

On this open book journey podcast episode, the first of a three-part series, we unpack and discuss the prologue and first four chapters of the New York Times bestselling book Think Again by Adam Grant. He is an organizational psychologist who spends much of his time thinking about how to make people’s lives at work more productive and meaningful. Grant is willing to challenge the status quo and rethink his thinking, which is why his ideas have stayed so fresh and practical.

In his book, Adam Grant says that “reconsidering something we believe deeply can threaten our identities, making it feel that we are losing a part of ourselves.” But was it always this way? As children, we questioned everything, and we did so fearlessly. So where and how did we lose that curiosity? How did we adopt these belief systems that make us hesitate at the very idea of rethinking what we believe in?

Grant refers to this reluctance, and sometimes even refusal, to challenge our beliefs and values as an “inner dictator” within us that protects us from attacks on our character or intelligence. He tells us that “those kinds of personal affronts threaten to shatter aspects of our identities that are important to us and might be difficult to change. The totalitarian ego steps in like a bodyguard for our minds, protecting our self-image by feeding us comforting lies.” But where did this inner dictator come from? Join us as we search for answers and uncover how we can alter this inner voice that, while it attempts to protect us from harm, may be doing us more damage than good.

You can listen to this open book journey episode - Rethinking Think Again by Adam Grant - by clicking play above, or by finding the open book journey podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to the open book journey so you can follow along as we transform the immense wisdom contained within books into actionable happiness through the lens of evidence-based science and ancient wisdom.

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