Confirmation Bias is when we search for information that validates our existing opinions. It’s a form of wishful thinking because confirmation bias is not grounded in evidence. Confirmation bias is based on prejudice and assumptions. Even in the face of overwhelming truth one may still believe whatever one wants to believe.
This is a form of self-deception because it acts like a drug against any harsh reality we do not wish to examine.
But all is not lost. It’s common to look for validation of our beliefs. We all do it.
The takeaway is to set up our beliefs and look for the contrary. See if we may be missing something. Let’s find the self-confidence to look at a situation without appeasing our ego but rather to find those uncomfortable truths we wish to avoid at all costs. President Lincoln encouraged debate and discussion even with this rivals.
We need to do the same thing with our thinking too. Debate and discuss. It won’t be easy but so worth the peace of mind.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and many share their love and enthusiasm for our families, lovers, friends.
Let’s not forget to give a big Valentines to ourselves. After all we are very important too. Here’s some helpful ways to love yourself.
- Stop calling yourself names. eg. I am such a jerk.
- Stop thinking about the worst case scenario. eg. The world will end if I say the wrong thing.
- Identify negative beliefs you have about yourself and get rid of them. eg. I am a really bad cook.
- Rewrite and reframe your internal dialog. eg. I am a good dancer.
- Celebrate yourself. It’s OK to give yourself a reward.
- Visit a therapist. Self examination is healing.
- Support yourself with positive self talk.
Every day is a chance to take good care of yourself and be your own Valentine.
“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
An emotional trigger is reacting to a present situation with the pain of an unresolved wound of the past.
For example, road rage is never about the jerk cutting you off. Your rage is from feeling helplessness.
Getting lost and given the wrong directions. Your anger is from betrayal.
People being nosey or rude. Your annoyance is from your boundaries being violated.
Untrue gossip and rumors about you. Your trust had been destroyed.
We all have bad days and left bewildered by others behavior towards us. But why are we triggered?
If we have overreacted it’s a trigger from the past. To get past this energy sapping overreaction behavior go back to the time you think this wound might have happened.
Write about it, uncensored, exercise, ground yourself, get back into your body, do art. listen to music, talk to a professional about what you are feeling, meditate, talk it out.
It is not easy work uncovering our wounds, but once they are uncovered they begin to heal and overreaction ends.
It’s worth the effort.
Art can be many things, for example, like painting, writing, singing, cooking, fashion, music, etc. Creativity in the arts is subjective. The beauty or chaos of the creation belongs to the beholder.
There is a place in this world for everyone’s creations. There is someone or many someones that will resonate with what you create. Whether it’s a painting or an article or a cake, there will be those that love it.
Therefore, as creative creatures we must never give up in creating and sharing our creations with the world at large. Share your creations on a blog, on Facebook, your family, friends or neighbors. Share what you have, someone needs to see it, perhaps to brighten their day.
And if you get a negative remark on your creation, just brush it off. Remarks are from those who are either jealous, out of touch with the beauty in any creation, or just plain miserable. Don’t let that bring you down. Keep creating and keep showing.
The world needs your creativity.
Snow blizzards can be a lot of fun.
Blizzard Ice Cream from Dairy Queen is fun.
But a blizzard of whirling uncontrollable thoughts is not fun.
It’s frustrating and scary. To stop those windy wizard of flurry, pirouetting, gyrating confusing thoughts, here are a few grounding suggestions.
- Count your breath slowly.
- Listen to Music.
- Do some art.
- Redirect your thoughts momentarily.
- Write it out uncensored.
- Watch your thoughts and let them go.
That should keep you busy for a while and help slow the blizzard of thoughts to a balmy breeze.
You are wired for success.
Remember the time you took a left and ended up in the right place. You should do more of that.
Remember the time you had a hunch and it worked. You should more of that.
Remember the time you were terrified and took the risk anyway. You should do more of that.
Remember the time you went against your better judgment. Don’t do that anymore.
Remember the time you had a gut feeling and didn’t follow through. Don’t do that anymore.
Remember the time you believed a lie because you were too desperate to see the truth. Don’t do that anymore.
You are wired for success, Think about all the times things just worked out the way they were supposed to and you were in your zone.
That is where your success is. In that zone. It’s hard to feel the zone all the time but the more you pay attention to it the easier it gets to stay there more often.
Describe what zone is for you, how does it feel, where is it in your body, what does it remind you of, how can you get there more often. Does your zone come with obstacles, what are the obstacles?
You are wired for success; all it involves is a little more awareness on your part.
Any kind of entrapment feels uncomfortable. You can become a prisoner of your own mind too. Do you have obsessive thoughts? Are you adamant about your beliefs and won’t listen to other points of view? Do you have self-defeating tendencies?
The good news is being a prisoner of your mind is mostly artificial. A lot these thoughts are based on fear and insecurities.
The work to open that cell door comes from grounding yourself in some way. Here are some suggestions:
- Redirecting your thoughts.
- Making art.
- Talking to a mental health professional.
I am sure you can add to the list. The idea is to be in the present moment for as long as possible so your mind does not hijack you back to being a prisoner.
This takes effort, consistency, and even scary at times to go into this new territory. The results are so worth it and will strengthen you. Go for it.
If your heart is beating, if your lungs are breathing, if you are still alive… then it is not too late to do something kind, creative, generous, satisfying, and courageous. Today.
It is not too late to behave like the person you want to be — instead of continuing in a cycle of behavior that you will regret.
You might feel sleepy. It might be tough. It could seem preferable to just sit this one out.
Today is not over yet.
There are some pretty scary emotions that we run from. Our minds race with one disaster after another. Our society almost demands that we let it go and move on from tragedy or trauma. Letting go and moving on is not possible if we smother the very emotions we need to move closer to. Emotions like fear, abandonment, isolation and worthlessness.
Move closer to the parts of you that you exiled. Move closer to the very emotions that scare you. Move closer to approval for all strange events you survived. Move closer to being curious about your behavior. Move closer to the parts that are so hard to accept and love. Move closer to having compassion and kindness for yourself. Move closer to being intimate with our own courage. Move closer to deeply knowing who you are because you can’t help anyone else without helping yourself first.
It won’t be easy but so worth the effort. Your thinking will become more integrated and grounded. And an important perk to this effort is you will become more productive, understanding and confident.
Pain and shame are the hardest feelings to sit with. We will do anything not to feel them.
When we are willing to go to these frightening places something wonderful happens. We have the chance to witness past and present events and their impact with a new, clearer sight. Which illuminates our thinking about close relationships in the present.
You may even become determined in changing those relationships and becoming free to choose healthier alternatives.
All it takes is a little bit of curiosity and courage to look at those scary emotional places and a baby step toward a new direction.