People Don’t Like it if You Challenge Their Mindsets


by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I wrote about using credit cards the other day and got a lot of negative feedback. People or experience had convinced many that Credit Cards = Bad. Period.

At one point, I thought that way too, so I understand their position, but today, I would have to disagree in certain instances. Like most things in life, it isn't as clear cut as people like to make it out to be. It's not worth trying to change their mindset, though, so I'll continue enjoying my credit card rewards while they continue using cash for everything.

It's the same with coaching. The other day, someone asked a question in one of my small business groups as to whether hiring a coach was a good idea or not. There were wildly different opinions. Some said they would never hire a coach (even though they were struggling and had never tried it). Some said they tried it, it was a waste of time and money, and they'd never try it again.

Yet others said they had a great experience, it was worth every penny, and they would do it again in a heartbeat.

It's always interesting to listen in on these types of conversations because both sides usually have strong opinions based upon their own limited experience. The funny thing is that as a coach, I know that I've helped a lot of people, and then there were a couple I couldn't help, so both viewpoints are accurate, but neither tells the full story. Changing someone's mindset is tough because that mindset comes from their experience and what they believe is right, but that perspective rarely tells the whole story.

How do you change someone's mind who had a bad coach in the past and wasted their money? Or someone who had a fantastic experience with a coach and tripled their money or completely changed their life? 

How do you change someone's mind who used credit cards in the past, couldn't control their spending, and ended up with bills they couldn't pay? Or someone who was disciplined with their money and went on trips every year using the reward points?

It's a bit of a rhetorical question because you can't directly change someone's mind on stuff like that. We form our mindsets from our experiences and the information we consume.

What you can do is provide new evidence that opens the person's mind up to the possibility that their views are, at best, incomplete.

But ultimately, it's up to them to determine whether or not the new facts change their former conclusions. Many will even acknowledge that those positive experiences they hear about are real, yet will sadly conclude that they could never hope to achieve the same results, and therefore never will.

That's the trouble with changing mindsets. Many will cling to their old beliefs, even while being presented with evidence that those beliefs are not entirely accurate. Those people will remain stuck right where they are because they don't believe they can change their circumstances.

It is often not worth fighting to change other people's mindsets. It is frequently better to be happy than it is to be right, and often there is a shade of truth in the other person's position anyway.

There is one person worth fighting that battle with, though, and that's the one who looks back at you from the mirror every morning. I challenge you to open your mind and consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, there's a better way.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

  1. Don, I can only imagine your perspective as a coach, as I am not one. More difficult for me to imagine is your goal of changing people’s minds or better stated, the expert opening the person’s perspective with possibilities never imagined. Hats off to you, because even more difficult is the plethora of one’s own experiences and belief system that, many times, fights within themselves or with you, the coach, to remain the same. Change is difficult for many people and I love what you say in the last paragraph…encouraging people to consider there may just be a better way. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Mari. Coaching others has certainly opened my own mind to what is possible, and to some of the odd things that people believe are true. Often what seems impossible to one person is routine for the next. It’s like the 4 minute mile. It seemed impossible for runners to run a mile in less than 4 minutes, until someone did. Now it’s routinely broken. Or people who believe happy marriages only exist in fairy tales, yet ignore those who have them saying they must not being truthful. Or people who hate their jobs but think everyone hates their jobs. Truth is relative to our experiences, and until we open ourselves up to the idea that there may be more to the story, that will remain our truth.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Use the links below to navigate our picks for the best personal development books for each of the following topics. FinancesBusiness Relationships

Read More
Best Personal Development Books: 20 Books to Skyrocket Your Success

“They say such nice things about people at funerals that it makes me sad I am going to miss mine by just

Read More
What is the Tombstone Test?

Me and my wife enjoy seeing live stand up comedians perform in the NYC/NJ area. One of my thrills was seeing iconic

Read More
How Does the Wealthiest Comedian on Earth Teach You to Be Creative?

What do you consider to be a failure? And do you know how to deal with failures? For me, failure is directly

Read More
How to Deal with Failures in Your life?

What makes you think you are right? Have you ever gotten into an argument with a person who believes they are always

Read More
Are You Sure About That?

I am guessing that most people reading this have a good supply of books. And that every new personal development book that

Read More
Looking to Buy More Books?

A little while into the first meeting between Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Warren pulled out his little black datebook and started

Read More
Coffee with God

You've probably heard the advice go after your passion in life, do what you enjoy doing, and the money will follow. That

Read More
Why Following Your Passion May Be the Worst Advice You Ever Received

You and I have learned the platitude when exploring a new idea: “What is the worst thing that can happen?' Ego chooses

Read More
What Is the Absolute Best Thing that Can Happen?

The most valuable painting in the world, The Mona Lisa, was valued at 100 million dollars back in 1962. In today's dollars,

Read More
Is Your Mindset About Money Holding You Back?

We recently did a major overhaul to our main site here at The Personal Growth Channel. For years, we've been using the

Read More
Website Update: Guest Authors, Comments On. From Blogger to Thrive Themes, Siteground, and WordPress

No long article today. Just a question to make you think. How will you make today a great day? Here are a

Read More
How Will You Make Today a Great Day?
>