7 Mistakes Your Brain Makes Every Day
Your mind is full of preconceived ideas based on past experiences. And this is characteristic of any human being. We can be compared to prisoners who look through the bars of a prison cell, even though they have long forgotten that the bars exist.
The fact is that our beliefs confine us in rigid frames, and our preconceived thoughts distort our perceptions. Such thoughts cause us to constantly make errors in judgment. And worst of all, we hardly realize it.
But the good news is that by examining your own way of thinking through the lens of constant self-awareness, you can learn to spot mistakes right when they occur. Here are 7 mistakes that can be avoided through self-awareness.
When Prioritizing, Striving to Avoid Discomfort Is More Important Than Achieving Your Goals
For example, you buy a movie ticket, the movie turns out to be terrible, but you stay until the end of the show only because you paid money for the ticket. Most people in this situation would rather stay to watch a bad movie than spend that time on something more useful or enjoyable. Why? Because we don’t want our money to go to waste.
It’s thought that our tendency to avoid threats, as opposed to our tendency to maximize our opportunities, has given us a better chance of survival. Each of us tends to value minimizing losses more than maximizing opportunities. But today this is more of a problem.
A good way to solve this problem is to ask yourself: What do I want most in life? You can ask yourself this question every morning while standing in front of the mirror. This approach will give you the opportunity to realize your greatest values and begin to realize your dreams.
You Are Miscalculating the Odds
Picture the situation. You flip a coin, and the odds of heads or tails are 50/50. For instance, let’s say 23 times in a row you get tails. That, of course, means that the next time you get heads, right?
But it doesn’t!
The odds of heads or tails don’t change. It’s still 50/50. The previous 23 times that tails have fallen does not affect the odds of which way the coin will fall next time. Regardless, people tend to have illogical expectations about the outcome based on your past experiences. Gamblers lose because of this flaw in our thinking.
Include self-awareness and rational thinking in these situations so you don’t repeat your mistakes.
You Convince Yourself That Your Bad Decisions Are Actually Good Decisions
Have you ever tried to convince yourself that buying an extra pair of shoes that you don’t absolutely need or spending extra on real online gambling wouldn’t be such a bad decision? If so, you were under the influence of cognitive dissonance at the time.
Cognitive dissonance occurs when you have two ideas, and you are unable to hold them in your head at the same time. You want to feel like a person who makes far-sighted decisions, and the wrong decision doesn’t fit that image at all. This is why you end up convincing yourself that your decision was the right one because it will allow your decision to fit your self-image.
What is the best way to overcome cognitive dissonance? Become aware of your tendency to make excuses for bad decisions so that you can sense the moment when you are about to make that decision. And when you can sense that moment, make a conscious effort to realize that sometimes you make bad decisions. You will leave the idea that you are a person who makes wise decisions and be able to accept the fact that you have made the wrong decision.
You Pay More Attention to Information That Fits your Beliefs
Have you ever noticed what happens when you buy a new car of a certain model? You suddenly start to see a lot more cars of that model on the road! This happens because your brain unconsciously searches for information that matches your reality.
Do you tend to communicate more actively with people who share your ideas about the world? You can assume that the beliefs of most of your friends correspond to your beliefs. There is a special psychological term for this phenomenon: the tendency to validate your point of view. We lean toward those ideas and information that confirm our beliefs. And this means that we become people of narrow-mindedness and poor imagination.
But it’s important to understand that other beliefs have a right to exist, even if we don’t agree with them.
The ability to understand this is rare, but it is very important for creativity and personal growth. It also means that you shouldn’t always look at things the same way.
You’re Confusing Selection Criteria With Results
Why do the best universities produce brilliant people who go on to become famous in all kinds of fields? Is it because those universities have excellent curricula? Or because they select only the most gifted students?
Successful graduates of a famous university would be successful no matter which university they graduated from. Such institutions accept only the most capable candidates, who would become successful anyway. But it is likely that you would attribute the success of these graduates to the prestige of the university, rather than to the selection process you have to go through to get in.
Professional swimmers do not develop the physical skills they need through hard practice. Quite the opposite: they become professional swimmers because they were born with the physical attributes necessary for swimming. In other words, their physical attributes are a selection criterion, not the result of their training.
Why is this confusion a problem? Because you attribute success to these incorrect criteria and mistakenly hope to succeed.
Here’s another example. If you see a model on TV drinking some special drink, you are under the impression that such a drink will help you lose weight. But each of us knows that such a belief is incredibly far from the truth. And yet, the image on television makes people buy sugary drinks that will actually only take you further away from the ideal body that the advertising promises.
What can you do to solve this problem? Don’t take things as they seem at first glance. Be conscious of the information you receive every day. And most importantly, be conscious of how that information affects you.
You Allow Your Perception to Be Manipulated
Have you ever had to buy an appliance at 20% off the advertised price? Or clothes that were advertised for one price yesterday and are now on sale for 50% off?
Well, what if you’re told that these items actually cost even half as much as even at a discount? It’s unlikely that you would still want to buy them so badly.
Retailers make people into victims of the tethering effect.
The tethering effect is a biased reaction in our thinking in which we tend to focus too much on the information we first receive. Such information becomes a point of reference for us-an anchor. Stores use this anchor to make us buy more and more.
You’re Not in Control When You’re Overwhelmed With Choices
Have you ever experienced a situation where you had too many choices and in the end you didn’t choose anything at all? This is what is known as the paradox of choice.
When we have too many choices, we often can’t make a decision. We get overwhelmed and try to just detach ourselves from the situation. In another situation, we just choose anything to end the problem of choice. In today’s information world, this situation is becoming more and more of a problem.
How to solve the problem? Reduce the number of choices. Always remove unsuitable options before too many choices begin to pressure you down. Concentrate on what you want and pay less attention to the other options. This will allow you to move clearly toward your goal.
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