A week on from the UK general election…. Was the result what you wanted? More importantly notice whether its what you expected….? How does the result align with your own beliefs and what you hear around you.
One thing I was acutely aware of is how powerful ‘confirmation bias’ is, especially when exaggerated by media and social platforms. Confirmation bias is the tendency to notice inputs that confirm what we already thought. Whether the choice is Remain or Leave; Red or Blue (or other colours), we are all naturally wired for messages that agree with us. Evidence confirming our own beliefs jumps out and will always be the brightest, loudest. It takes some effort to keep an open mind and be curious enough to seek out the alternative view. Our unconscious brain is on a mission to prove our pre-existing beliefs right…. It isn’t always open to other views.
But this blog isn’t about politics (so I’m going to get off that subject pretty quickly before I invite a tirade of people exercising their confirmation bias ;-))
This blog is about the parallel process that goes on in our own minds, all the time.
You know those times, when part of you really wants something, but another part of you is filled with self doubt? Or perhaps you refer to the devil and angel sitting on each shoulder?
Imagine if you will, that inside your mind there are two political parties.
The Empowering Party; their manifesto is for self esteem, confidence, abundance, openness to other people, new ideas and creativity, motivation to go out and make things happen and the drive to action.
Then there’s The Challenging Party; their manifesto is self doubt, believing in lack and not enough, failure, limiting beliefs that make us feel not good enough, closed off to people and new ideas, stuck, procrastination and the feelings of guilt and shame that follow.
Both parties will have a voice at times. But which speaks the loudest to you? Which stands out as familiar and more accepted?
If there were a set of social media algorithms in your head, which side do they detect you paying more attention to and therefore feed you more evidence to confirm that side is right?
Whether you like it or not, if your beliefs are aligned with the challenging party, you will hear more and more of that to prove you right. And just like a political party, more attention, support and funding means the party will grow and become even louder with larger resources to get your attention.
The opposite is also true. The more attention you pay to the Empowering Party, the more they will come into your attention. The more their resources will grow and be able to dominate the mental landscape you create for yourself.
So which party are you going to put your beliefs in. Knowing that when you start you can create a chain of belief that continually puts that evidence in front of you, confirming your bias that you are confident, capable and able to create what you want in your life.
Beliefs are just beliefs, not facts; look for the alternative view and give it your attention.