Something that has long hit home more and more for me and in working with others is that we don’t have depression, weight, failure, financial or even end of the world problems. Nope. We have thinking and feeling problems.
More than likely we’re simply stuck in a habit of thinking we’re fat, or depressed, broke, or that we can’t, etc which makes us feel like crap and powerless and then we use the ‘evidence’ we see in the world to back it up and reinforce the story we tell about how we are and how the world is.
You see the problem is that the more we believe we ‘are’ fat, depressed, broke etc and so the more we start to feel that way and the less likely we are to adopt new habits. And what is change but the simple adoption of habits?
Welcome to Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our beliefs while simultaneously ignoring or devaluing information that contradicts our beliefs.
For example, Person A believes climate change is a serious issue and they only search out and read stories about environmental conservation, climate change, and renewable energy. As a result, Person A continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.
Meanwhile, Person B does not believe climate change is a serious issue, and they only search out and read stories that discuss how climate change is a myth, why scientists are incorrect, and how we are all being fooled. As a result, Person B continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.
Changing your mind is harder than it looks. The more you believe you know something, the more you filter and ignore all information to the contrary.
You can extend this thought pattern to nearly any topic……James Clear
But, but Lisa
I know, I know. You din’t get that promotion or you didn’t get that job you wanted or you haven’t yet lost the weight you wanted or climbed that proverbial mountain. I get it BUT if you keep focusing on what ISN’T happening and what ISN’T possible, then you keep getting more of that because that’s where the focus is. When you keep your vision on what you ARE getting right, how anything IS possible and what you HAVE achieved then you’re going to build on that.
I’ve always known this but it was on reading the story about “The Inspiring Story Of Rani Rampal – Captain Of The Indian Women Hockey Team” and the story of Anna Kiesenhofer – the winner in the women’s cycle race that lead me to believe that we’re more like Olympians than we might think.
Niether of these women really stood a chance against the odds. They didn’t really and yet believed that they couldn’t win.
So great Lisa, what am I supposed to do? Just switch my thinking? No, otherwise we’d all do that right? It’s more about starting to build a portfolio of evidence of beliefs you’d like to believe. It’s about switching focus. If you fail at something, well you showed up in the first place (which those who are too afraid of failure don’t) and you got to learn something that WILL contribute to your success and if you succeed, well you get to put that in your evidence bank. Incidentally, I LOVE this article by one of my fellow coaches Sarah Evans on Cultivating a Growth Mindset which backs up this point.
What if you knew you couldn’t fail and that each so-called perceived failure was one step closer to where you wanted to be?
What if you started building evidence of how the world is alive with possibility despite the fact that the odds look stacked against? What if you started focusing on where you wanted to go and began shifting how you felt so you created more of that? What if you began to believe something different than “I have to work hard to achieve”?
If you want to shift something, you can
- Shift the way you percieve it
- Shift the beliefs you have associated
- Shift your habits
This goes for weight loss, career success, sport, entrepreneurship and becoming an Olympian.
I end with this quote from “The Republic of Sarah”, who is a young American teacher who teaches History & she keeps saying this quote to her students…Extraordinary things come from ordinary peope!!!!The Republic of Sarah
That’s Magic. Easy as 1,2,3.