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June 26, 2015

TRUTH VS BELIEF

In my last post I wrote that it was important to confront the truth about yourself on why you haven't attained your goals.

Handling the truth is something many people don't do well. We see it as a direct attack on us, on who we are. We feel that it is actually an attack on our beliefs and our values that we hold close to our heart; that define our behaviours which lead to our actions that everyone sees and sometimes we are blind to these obvious actions.

We often change our thoughts about a certain situation or circumstance to fit into or to conform to our unconscious beliefs, that is, to our model of the world. Our ‘truth’ is based on our internal bias in most cases. In psychology it's called confirmation bias. In line with this thinking is the practice of the police to get multiple witnesses’ descriptions of the same event/accident because everyone sees the accident differently.

To be able to work towards our goals, we need to be aware of this confirmation bias at all times. Are we really seeing a situation as it is, or are we seeing it the way we WANT to see it? The ideal way is to approach this is to get rational about it. Distance yourself from the situation emotionally and take a bird’s eye view of the situation. Become the coach or adviser instead of the participant.

An example of how people get control over their weaknesses are the well-known and tested Alcoholics Anonymous meetings where every speaker gets up before the audience and acknowledges that he or she is an alcoholic even though they may have not had a drink for years. The reason why they do this is because this behaviour is always in the background, simmering away, waiting for the opportunity to rear its ugly head into the life of the person. By acknowledging this, they accept that it is present and can then move forward.

The lesson here is, incorrect beliefs will always be there and it's up to you to be aware of them and consciously create new beliefs or as I like to say, create new cognitions.  Align your internal belief with the truth about you.

Once this mindset has been achieved, start working on your goals.

In the next post, I will talk about starting the process of goal setting.