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Ways To Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills

It’s effortless to go along with what the masses are saying and not think for yourself. After all, it takes more time and energy to analyze and process information, so it’s no wonder that many people take the easy way out and simply let others do the work for them.

However, what you’re missing out on when you do this is the feeling of empowerment that comes along with getting to the bottom of a problem on your own. What you need is to learn more about how to sharpen your critical thinking skills so you too can think for yourself and feel more confident in your decision-making skills.  

Be Curious

You need to be curious and ask more questions if you’re going to improve your critical thinking skills. Just because a problem is complex, it doesn’t mean the answer needs to be. What you need is more information if you’re going to come to an educated conclusion. Simplify the problem by going back to asking basic questions and collecting what data you need to proceed. Curiosity will always lead you down a path of further questioning, instead of guessing or jumping to solutions without any good reasons to back up your claims.

Challenge Yourself

You have to be willing to put yourself out there and practice using your critical thinking skills if you want to get better at it. For example, test out your problem-solving abilities at a place like the Boston Escape Game. You’ll be challenged with tricky puzzles and asked to solve complicated mysteries which takes real brainpower to do. While you’ll be working in a team, you’ll be required to pull your weight and give input along the way. It is the perfect opportunity to apply your critical thinking skills and to prove to yourself you have it in you to work through tough issues.


Grow and expand your mind by reading more and different publications from what you’re used to reviewing. Step outside your comfort zone and put your mind to the test by finding publications that take a unique view, one which is different from what you’re used to and which makes you think. You need to participate in this type of exercise on a daily basis if you’re going to sharpen your critical thinking skills. Use reading as a tool for becoming more aware of your mental processes and notice how you digest the information. Ask yourself if you’re making judgments along the way or simply taking in what someone else said for what it is and form your own opinion later.

Engage in Deep Conversations

Getting stuck in your own head will only hinder you from being a more critical thinker. What you need is to engage in deep conversations with others and listen to opinions and viewpoints that differ from yours. It will give you a lot to think about as you go about your days. You can use it as an opportunity to practice asking questions and gathering more information so you can come to a conclusion about what someone is saying on your own. Engage in conversation to bounce ideas off of another person and have them challenge you on your ideas too.  

Stop Assuming & Judging

You need to be aware of your assumptions and judgments as you work on sharpening your critical thinking skills. These are the sort of thought processes that will hold you back and keep you in your ways. When you jump to conclusions, you’re limiting your viewpoints, and you aren’t giving yourself a chance to explore new possibilities. To think critically you need to have an open mind going into whatever conversation you’re having or problem you’re trying to solve. The point is to spend your time analyzing and evaluating instead of guessing and assuming.

Try to Find Answers by Yourself First

It’s easy to forget to think for yourself when someone else is dishing out the answers. Take a step back and try to find solutions by collecting information yourself and coming to a conclusion from the data you collected on your own. Use quiet time to reflect and ponder what you have going on in your head so you can think clearly without distraction. If then you still can’t figure out a solution to the problem, you should reach out and consult with others.    

Be Patient

Thinking takes effort, and it won’t always be second nature to you. No one thinks critically 100 percent of the time, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you catch yourself not doing it. Be patient and understand there’s a learning curve and no one’s perfect. Use it as a tool to help you solve complicated problems and for when you’re faced with making tough decisions. Know that you may mess up once in a while or catch yourself not reasoning on your own. Try to notice when this occurs and make note of it as to avoid doing so in the future.

Don’t Believe all You Hear

You can’t think critically when you’re busy taking in all the information around you and accepting it at face value. Don’t believe all you hear and trust that other people always know what they’re talking about. Take control and be proactive when reading and conversing in your daily life, so you’re able to apply your critical thinking skills and find answers for yourself. Start questioning and analyzing instead of taking in what’s in front of you as truth. You’ll find life to be much more rewarding when you have opinions of your own and aren’t relying on others to do the thinking for you.


Sharpening your critical thinking skills isn’t as difficult as you might assume. All it takes is paying more attention to your thoughts and how you process information. Never stop challenging yourself or questioning what’s presented to you as fact. Use these tips to help get you started and exploring your analytical skills on a deeper level. Enjoy the benefits that come from forming your own opinions and feeling empowered to speak up and share your ideas and solutions.

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