How Confirmation Bias Keeps Us Sad and StuckAug 06, 2021
How many people do you know who have switched political parties? Probably not many. According to Pew Research Center, it’s a rare occurrence. And there is good reason. It’s called confirmation bias.
The human brain is designed for efficiency. Once we have a belief (which is a thought that we have thought often), our brains search for evidence to back up the belief. After all, it would be a lot of extra work to consider other possibilities, which is contrary to the brain’s hardwired desire for efficiency.
Efficiency is to 1) hold firm to what you already believe; 2) continually find evidence to prove that it is true; and 3) ignore anything to the contrary.
We can see confirmation bias at work in politics clearly, but what about in other areas of life? Confirmation bias is everywhere, including and especially in life after loss.
What do you believe about yourself? About your future? On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 represents excellent, how would you rate your self-esteem?
Do you consider yourself confident and capable? Or insecure and uncertain?
What does your current age mean to you?
What does the number on the scale mean about you?
Are you worthy and deserving of a good life, even now, after your great loss?
If you believe that you are unworthy or insecure or too old or too shy, your brain will always seek evidence that these beliefs are true.
On the other hand, if you believe that you are confident and competent, resilient and worthy, your brain will always seek evidence that these beliefs are true.
So how do we change beliefs? Remember that beliefs are simply thoughts that we have thought often, maybe for decades. In the spirit of efficiency, the brain stores beliefs away in the subconscious mind, so it takes some digging to find them. Once we find them, we can challenge them. We can question whether our beliefs are true and whether they serve us now, in this life after loss. We can ask ourselves what else might be true. We can think new thoughts on purpose.
If you can’t seem to dig up the beliefs that are keeping you stuck, or you simply can’t fathom that anything else might be true, that’s where a coach can help. My coaching program called Life Reconstructed is designed to do just that. If you’re ready to try something different in order to get different results, simply click here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
Learn more about Life Reconstructed.
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