I read this article, titled "8 Common Mistakes in How Our Brains Think and How to Prevent them", and the number one common mistake was: Confirmation Bias...
Away from psychology jargon that you may not be interested in as I am, confirmation bias is "when we proactively seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs". That hit me too closely that I had to tweet about it:
#Psychology: Confirmation bias is when we proactively seek out info that confirms our existing beliefs; i.e. you only see what you want!— Manal Assaad (@TheManalyst) October 1, 2013
If when we believe in something, our brain only let us see what further supports our belief, how can we even call ourselves "open-minded"? Which lead me to this other quoted tweet:
— Manal Assaad (@TheManalyst) October 1, 2013
I have always been fascinated with the world of psychology, with understand how the human mind works and how to take advantage of its strengths and avoid its pitfalls... More than anything, like any one of you I assume, I am interested in learning the tricks of the mind, which would allow me to live life happy and not fall into a trap where I am my biggest enemy and make my life miserable while being convinced it's just my bad luck, instead of actively trying to overcome my own mistakes.
Our minds play tricks on us, and it's most destructive when we don't realize it. But once we realize it, shouldn't that automatically make things better and make us overcome those tricks? Remember back to when you were a kid and saw your first magic trick... You were probably amazed, puzzled and believed it's more of magic than an actual trick. But once you grew up, and learnt how that trick is done, the "magic" was gone and you can now see things for what they really are... An entertaining and simple demonstration is seen in the following video:
But apparently, the mind is more treacherous than we realize. It is stubborn in sticking to its bad habits, even when we have come to acknowledge how bad they are. Then what we need is not only to know what the trick is, but why we choose to believe it in the first place... That underlying cause/motive/drive is the key to it all, and it's not something that can be easily uncovered... Some people spend years and years in psychotherapy in order to uncover such truths, and even then, the road to recovery is difficult and lengthy.
Without further rambling on, I want to commit to myself that:
1. I try to seriously look at the pure facts, instead of what my mind interprets of a happening.
2. I separate myself from my mind in the times it tries to play tricks on me, and acknowledge the tricks even if I can't stop them from happening.
3. Eventually, hopefully, perhaps, I trick my mind into not tricking me!
Is your mind playing tricks on you? And how are you trying to overcome them, if you are?
Posted by Manal Assaad. Posted In : Thoughts