Tell me if I’m wrong…because I want to be right!!

12 May

“Kori, help!”Barriers to Change

“I don’t know what to do!”

“I’m having a tantrum…”

“I’m undecided and I don’t like it.”

“What is wrong with me that I feel this way?!”

Words I hear daily because we are neurobiologically wired to gravitate toward familiarity….certainty. Sameness is attractive, even desirable. Match.com profits on its system of matching like-minded individuals with one another. This works because the brain likes to take short-cuts toward what is comfortable.  Our minds take information from the universe and match it to a frame of reference– “what does this relate to that I already know?” it asks. In this manner, conflict is bypassed, incoherence is avoided, and discomfort and disintegration is circumvented. Phew! Thank goodness our brains know how to take the easy road! And thank goodness we can find people to befriend and hang out with that think just like we do.

Or…maybe not.

If we never challenge ourselves to expand the lenses we look through, and if we are surrounded only by those who agree with us, how do we learn? Our confirmation biasconfirmation bias may give us a feeling of sureness or help us to be confident we made the “right” decision, but it certainly isn’t synonymous with embodying a contemplative, creative, critical thinking, or authentic approach.

We may dislike conflict, after all, it creates entropy and requires a tremendous amount of energy and mental resources, however, without it we are far from complex individuals. We stagnate, we lack openness, and we become not only disheartened and disinterested, but we are dis-interesting! In a word, we’re “duds”! We’re the people standing on the outside of the arena, often unwilling to step inside and see what might happen.

if you are your authentic self, you have no competitionThink of the times you’ve avoided speaking up, taking a risk, admitting defeat, owning a mistake, or just being honest. Every instance in which we thwart our vulnerability we miss an opportunity to become courageous and complex. We lose the ability to become more whole and smother the light that wants to shine on our patterns of thought and behavior so we can learn about who we are and help others do the same.  We create obstacles that require short-cuts to be taken that can result in a fast decision, but they can also result in an unenlightened one.  At best, through avoidance we might avoid failure, but at worst we live an unengaged, uninspired, lack luster life without the possibility of experiencing the greatest triumphs.

In science, researchers seek out data than can disprove their hypotheses. Contradictory evidence shows them where their biases lie and signals how a new direction might need to be explored. They search for plausible rival explanations. Do you? Do you challenge your first thought and work at discovering alternatives that might prove you wrong?

be you, bravely

Tomorrow is a new day. How about you try on a new behavior– being real instead of being “right”.  See what happens.

(More to come on this topic, but please send me your thoughts and descriptions about the experiences in which you’ve challenged yourselves to do something out of your comfort zones).

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