One of the core challenges to our ability to rethink how we live our lives is the confirmation bias. The confirmation bias suggests that we look for information that confirms our beliefs and we dismiss evidence that contradicts them.
Challenging our assumptions helps us to change the way we are thinking and understand where our thinking fails to serve us. The problem is that our brains are built to continuously support our beliefs so we also have to change the habit of our thinking.
We tend to form our conclusions through what I describe as an ABC approach.
Attention is where we place our attention.
Building is how we form an understanding about the world based on what we are taking in.
Conclusions are the beliefs that we form in the end.
Since we often need to learn to rethink our conclusions, we can become even better when we pre-think.
Pre-thinking means setting up your thinking habits such that you have more flexibility in your thinking moving forward. This includes your stories and habits since they will be different when you’re thinking different.
The key is in this first step.
Where do you put your attention?
The best way to tackle this is by doing an attention inventory.
Let’s say you are constantly seeing yourself as the victim of your circumstances in different areas of your life.
Explore where your attention tends to go whenever you think about yourself in relation to the world.
Maybe you find yourself watching the media and getting angry with the government making the choices it does.
Maybe you spend a lot of time of social media interacting with others who complain about how unfair society is.
Maybe your friends are always telling you how awful their circumstances are.
If this is where you are spending your attention, of course you will build regular ways of thinking where you are a victim of the world.
Then ask this crucial question:
Where would you need to spend your attention daily instead to change this natural conclusion?
Take some time to answer this question and schedule the answer as part of your calendar. It will make a big difference to your thoughts and your life.