How Changing Your Self Concept, Changes Your Life
If you look for a yellow car, you will see a yellow car.
Have you ever noticed that when you go looking for something you find it?
Yeahhh, let’s not pretend that when you have gone looking for dirt on that man you have ended up in a deep dark hole of exactly what we went looking for...we have all been there ;)
But we are not here to talk about that. We are here to talk about how you can use confirmation bias to your advantage.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out and prefer information that supports your preexisting beliefs.
Life as we see it tends to play out in an exact script of what we believe to be true.
This is why I always suggest that the most effective way to experience change within your life “out there” is to change your internal beliefs.
Here is a small example:
Woman A’s habitual beliefs: “Good things always happen for everyone else, but not for me. Life isn’t fair. Why do I even bother?”
Woman B’s habitual beliefs: “Good things always seemingly just happen for me. I am grateful for the life that I get to live. I’m always excited to try new experiences.”
Both Woman A and B walk into Starbucks. The cashier ringing each woman up tells them that they have unused rewards points, so the coffee they just ordered is now free of charge.
As they are walking away with their free coffee in hand each woman thinks to themselves…
Woman A: “seriously…I support Starbucks almost every week and all I get for that is a free cup of coffee? The world just isn’t fair and I’m never appreciated how I should be.”
Woman B: “seriously?! When I woke up today I knew I would be blessed with some form of abundance. This is amazing! I'm always being taken care of in some way.”
You see - it is less about what is happening “out there”…
….rather it is about our perception of what is happening “out there”.
Now…let’s take it a step further.
Both Woman A and Woman B arrive to work after getting their free morning coffee. Woman A is still grumbling in her head about how she is just not appreciated. Instead of interacting with her colleagues and boss, she goes straight to her desk and continues to mumble to herself.
Woman B is in a wonderful mood and stops to smile and talk with her colleagues and boss. The boss thinks to himself, “we are lucky to have her”.
It just so happens that there has been a vacant position available higher up within the company, and later that day the Boss thinks to himself, “Woman B would be a great fit for this role...She is always happy to be here and everyone likes to be around her”.
At the end of the day, Woman B is walking out of the office with a promotion and pay raise smiling and thinking to herself, “Good things always seemingly just happening for me”.
Now I’m not suggesting you always have to be in a good mood or push fake positivity, rather I am suggesting that you become consciously aware of the link between your habitual thoughts and how they play out into your external world.
Woman A believed that good things are always happening for everyone else and the world wasn’t fair to her. And that was mirrored perfectly back to her. She wasn’t the one chosen for the promotion - how unfair.
Woman B believed that good things just always seemingly happened for her and felt grateful to live in this world. And that was mirrored perfectly back to her. She left that day not only with a free cup of coffee, but also a promotion and a pay raise.
An oversimplified example? Sure - there are other factors that come into play, but I don’t think it’s a stretch for us to be able to see how over time your beliefs become the Life you live.
There is always a dance at play between our internal/spiritual world and the external/physical world. It serves us well to understand the bridge between the two.
One cannot exist only in their internal/spiritual world…meditating all day, avoiding people, and doing no work. Unless you are a buddhist monk living in the secluded hills of the Indian Himalayas (even still…they interact with each other and perform manual labor). You could spend forever lost in your head never taking any real steps towards living your dreams.
And, one cannot exist only in the external/physical world hustling and pushing for success, doing the “right” things, checking the boxes, and following each step of the “how to” guides. When you occasionally come up for air, you will question why aren’t I a millionaire yet, with a ring on my finger, and 2.5 kids - because I followed all the rules?! Why don’t I have the ‘things’ that society told me would make me happy?
There is a balance between the two. A delicate relationship at play.
I like to think of it as marrying your internal intentions with your external intentions.
Do you know people who go to the gym all the time but just can’t seem to lose the weight? It’s likely that they haven’t done the internal work to match the external work they are doing, and as a result even if they do lose the weight they will yo-yo back and forth on the scale. Because they haven’t decided on the inside that they are worthy of being a fit and healthy person.
We must become the person we want to be on the inside…
A woman who deeply honors and loves herself - attracts a partner who deeply honors and loves her.
A woman who feels worthy and healthy - lives in a fit and healthy body.
A woman who feels abundant and wealthy - has a healthy bank account.
A woman who is a good friend to herself - attracts good friends.
A woman who takes care of herself - is taken care of.
A woman who loves - is loved.
Yes…you still have to have tough discussions with your partner, move your body, maybe budget or talk to a financial advisor, etc., but taking these actions comes from an inspired place instead of a begrudgingly ‘obligated’ place.
So…what are your beliefs?
Well…if you want to know, just take a look at your life.
What areas are less than magical? What areas are lacking altogether? And what areas are going amazing?
If you have areas that are less than magical and you would like to start changing your beliefs, here are my practical tips for Making Changes to Beliefs:
- The Work. The Work is an incredibly simple and straightforward process of self-inquiry that helps you to end your suffering from chronic thoughts that keep you from your true nature. A good explanation about “The Work” can be found in this article: Quit Your Pain.
- Meditate. Through mediation we are able to practice stopping our thoughts and calming the mind. New thoughts and insights are able to come through when we quiet our mind from their habitual loops.
- Flip the thought. Most of our thoughts are occurring on a habitual loop of negativity from the past or anxiety about the future. Practice catching the thought coming up and flip it into a thought you would rather think. Example: flip “I never have enough money” into “I deserve to flourish”.
- Work with a Therapist or Life Coach. Therapists and Life Coaches are skilled in being able to help you see where you have blockages within your thought patterns. They can help you to see where you may be holding yourself back and creating suffering.
Allow the changes to occur. They are there to help you.
Until next week,
Dani Lee, Owner/Founder of D. LEE