Why is having your own beliefs important? And why should you think for yourself? It is easy to follow the crowd and act like everyone else without thinking much about why, but is that a good idea?
You can’t always rely on the wisdom of the crowd because sometimes everyone else is wrong. This is especially true when it comes to personal decisions. Often what is suitable for us isn’t right for anyone else, as only we know what we want out of life and what we are seeking.
My friends have often told me that they think I am trying to be different when I share my beliefs, but I’ve found that often what most people believe isn’t even the truth.
If you have ever been asked to ignore your own beliefs and follow the crowd, keep reading because I want to share why it is essential to think for yourself and have your own opinions.
Having Your Own Beliefs is Important!
While we are often given the impression that science has the answers for everything, it doesn’t. Science can only answer certain types of questions, like is this product better than this other product, or does exposure to this chemical cause some condition.
But when it comes to what we want or what we should do, science doesn’t have the answers, and we need to rely on our beliefs.
When I was a kid and did something bad, my mother may have asked why, and I say, “because my friends did it first.” She would say, “if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” This might not be the saying that parents of today reply with, but it makes a good point. Just because someone else does something, should you?
This is especially true when there are no real answers to the questions we are asking.
Having your own beliefs is important because it enables you to make choices independently and do what is best for you. Often when it comes to making a group decision, it’s easy to go along with the crowd and take what everyone else decides. But what if what you want is different from the crowd? You won’t get it unless you are confident enough in your beliefs to stand up for them.
As I mentioned before, there often aren’t scientific answers for why we should or shouldn’t do something, so we have to rely on our gut. But most of the time, people do what everyone else is doing or what they were told to do. This means, if you follow the crowd, you aren’t often doing something for a legitimate reason.
Instead, you are doing it because other people are doing it because they saw other people doing it too.
Thinking for yourself also helps because it enables you to make sense of the world around you and decide your values and priorities. Once you have those in mind, they serve as a framework for making future choices. But if you don’t have beliefs of your own, you will go with what everyone else is doing, which might not be wrong, but also won’t help you get where you want to go.
To reiterate the most critical point, only you know what you want and what is best for you.
So you are always the best-qualified person to make choices for yourself, which is why it is essential to have your own beliefs rather than relying on someone else’s.
What Does It Mean to Think for Yourself?
Thinking for yourself means using your brain and reasoning skills to make sense of a situation and decide what the best response is. Often we turn off our thinking and follow the crowd, which can cause problems if we have goals or plans that are different from the groups.
While thinking for yourself might mean making the same choice as everyone else, it doesn’t always mean this, and those edge cases are the most critical situations. Often we are pressured to go along with what everyone else is doing, while for small things, this doesn’t matter much.
But when something big comes along, we need to use our own beliefs to make the best choice for ourselves, given the circumstances.
To think for yourself, you need to look at the situation around you, look at the evidence, think about it and then use that information to make the best judgment. Often, people do what they are told or do what everyone else is doing, so they ignore the evidence and don’t think.
How To Think For Yourself?
One of the most important things to do is to challenge your already existing beliefs. Often with the thing we believe, we don’t have any reason to believe them; we accept them because at some point someone told us something, and we added it to our worldview.
To think for yourself, you need to take your beliefs and make sure they make sense. Are they consistent with other ideas? If not, you should toss them and come up with something better.
Sometimes our beliefs don’t make any sense, and we have no reason to believe them, so it is important to trust our instincts instead.
Even if we think something is true, if our gut feelings don’t match, we should rethink it. So much of what people believe is unreasonable, so think twice if it doesn’t feel right.
Creativity is also essential when it comes to having your own beliefs because if you always stick with the most straightforward answers, you aren’t going to make the best choices. Put another way, being creative enables you to think differently about problems so that you can choose the best out of a whole bunch of options.
Finally, if you want to think for yourself and have your own beliefs, you need to stand up to peer pressure.
Often we do what everyone else is doing because of the crowd’s pressure, but instead of going along, know what you want and stick to it no matter what.
While it is vital to have your own beliefs, you first need to develop your own opinions.
What Happens When You Think for Yourself?
The best thing that happens when you have your own beliefs is that you start to get what you want. Most of the time, there aren’t clear-cut answers for what we should do, so we have to decide ourselves. But at the same time, if there isn’t anything that we want, we don’t have any way of making the right choice.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always enjoyed writing but never had a plan about what to do with it; now that I have a plan, I know exactly what to write every time I sit down. This helps because inspiration is often the biggest obstacle to getting something down.
When you know what you want, you are better prepared to get it or take steps towards getting it.
But think about it, when you want something, the god’s scheme to help you get it. I can’t say for sure that this is the case, but I’ve seen with my own eyes that people who know what they want are more likely to get it because they get up every day and work towards it. Without a destination, every step is random, and so they never add up to anything of substance.
Having your own beliefs is important because it gives you a framework to make better choices. It also helps guide your efforts and take actions that bring you closer to the destinations you seek.
If you are having trouble making progress, it might be worth looking around at your situation, figuring out what you believe and want. Once you have that in mind, you can progress towards your destination more quickly.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also find this article about why personal responsibility is important worth a read. Another article that could be helpful is the one about living a meaningful and purposeful life.