Stubbornness is deep resistance to change. It is a coping strategy used when one has a need for stability and predictability. If you are stubborn, it can manifest positively as being decisive, loyal and able to stand your ground. But when you are stubborn to the point of closing yourself off from new growth experiences or being unable to collaborate with others, your inflexibility is a disadvantage.
At the root of stubbornness is fear of change. Since life is all about change, inflexibility at its core is a resistance to life and its opportunities. If you are oversensitive to the possibility of change — even change that is for your own good — you will benefit from practicing flexibility.
If you insist on making your point even when you know you are wrong, point out why something won’t work when others have ideas, or you deny that there is a need for change, you might be losing out on opportunities.
Before saying no automatically, make it a point to listen. Listening does not mean that you have to agree, make changes or do what they say. Even if you choose not to, come from a place of choice and not reaction.
As well, remind yourself there is more than one way. Any time you think there is only one way — your way — you close down to considering situations openly, possibly losing out on something beneficial for yourself. Start small. If you can at least consider alternatives, you open your life up to unprecedented possibilities.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.