We’re hearing a lot these days about “Confirmation Bias” in our media choices. This is the tendency we have to only tune into (and be sent info from) media sources that are likely to confirm what we already believe. Because it is challenging for us to admit me might be wrong we gravitate toward messages that tell us we’re right (even if we actually are wrong!). This leads to a massive constriction in our worldview.
But there is an even more dangerous version of Confirmation Bias — and that is the tendency we have to keep believing our own limiting stories about ourselves and our world.
These stories we tell ourselves LITERALLY create our experiences in life. Take that in for a second. Your life reflects the stories you have accepted as truth.
This puts a whole new spin on “Who do you think you are?” Victim. Overcomer. Don’t really deserve. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not good enough. Unlucky. Happy. Gifted. Fortunate.
We also create the lens through which we view the world. Hard. Dangerous. Dog eat dog. If you believe life is hard and you have to fight your way through then you will do a lot of struggling. Believe me, I know all about this one!
If you believe most people can’t be trusted then you’ll see a lot of untrustworthy people. Due to my childhood I used to believe that, but when I got a little distance and looked deep, I realized by far most people I’ve encountered have been good and kind people. I am now continuously blown away by the beautiful, caring, generous people that come into my life.
It took me until my late 40’s to shift the belief that I was a survivor to the truth that I AM a thriver. Talk about a powerful life lens changer!
Confirmation bias in our media choices leads to a constricted worldview. Staying blind to the confirmation bias in our self-beliefs leads to emotional constriction and constriction of our true potential.
Your core beliefs and your constructed identity are like powerful magnets drawing to you experiences that confirm those beliefs. One of the most important self-empowerment strategies is to become aware of the stories you’ve been telling yourself about yourself and our world. This is your life. This is your story and you absolutely have the right to rewrite it!
If you are interested in scheduling a session to work on core beliefs and rewriting your personal story fill out the inquiry form here: https://www.cylviahayes.net/coaching/
2 thoughts on “Are you using Confirmation Bias against yourself?”
What a brilliant article. Thank you Cylvia. Appreciate your intelligent insight. Though I test very high in Martin Seligman’s identified virtue of “opennindedness”, yes confirming bias turned against myself (the inner critic?) is there. Maybe I can leverage this natural openmindedness in some way to overcome limiting beliefs. Maybe it’s possible to see other views beyond ego trash talk. Views that are loving, kind, and compassionate might be real possibilities.
I’m sure Pantanjali’a definition is far superior. But for now a cursory web search definition of another perspective on this aspect of mind thats fueled at times by confirming bias: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/8617/karma-mala
Hi Cynthia. So glad you liked the article and thanks so much for the Karma Mala link. Very much aligned with what I was getting at. Here is to affirm you getting uber proficient at applying your natural open-mindedness and compassion to fully releasing your self-limiting beliefs! And so it is.