Your brain looks around your environment for evidence that supports what you believe. If you believe a transition is going to be awful, your brain will look for evidence to support that. If you believe that transition is going to be the best thing that ever happened to your company, then your brain will search out evidence to support that.
Today we’re talking about how we can be aware of brain evidence to help us take our thoughts captive and start thinking more useful thoughts.
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Highlights from the Episode:
As we talk about our beliefs and thoughts, I want you to get familiar with the term: Confirmation Bias.
I actually like to call confirmation bias, brain evidence, because it’s the tendency to search for, favor, or recall information that supports your prior beliefs and values. And at the same time it starts to ignore anything that doesn’t support those beliefs.
Basically, your brain looks for evidence to support what you already believe.
Here are a couple of examples:
Say your boss just stepped down and a new guy is coming in. If you believe the transition is going to be awful, your brain will look for evidence to support that. If you believe that transition is going to be the best thing that ever happened to your company, then your brain will search out evidence to
When you buy a new car, you start seeing that car everywhere.
This is why two people can look at the exact same circumstance and have two completely different thoughts about it. Someone can walk right past a “hiring” sign and not even see it, someone who’s looking for a job will spot those signs way quicker.
This kind of confirmation bias is a result of automatic, unintentional thoughts.
Remember from our episode about what motivates the brain, that we said our Limbic system just wants to keep us alive. Our brain knows that what we’ve been believing has kept us alive, so it looks for evidence to support that belief.
But what happens when this confirmation bias gets in the way?
Like when we’re tying to start a new habit and our brain finds every possible reason not to begin that exercise routine or to make our bed. Or we had a bad experience with our boss or pastor and now it seems like they can’t do anything right. We’re looking for problems, and so we find them really easily.
Or even if you’re editing something you’ve written, your brain skips over mistakes because it looks for things to confirm what you believe you’ve written and ignores anything that disagrees with it.
How do we fix this?
We can take our thoughts captive.
We can see what thoughts are leading to this bias and decide if those thoughts line up with God’s Word.
See, I want confirmation bias when I’m thinking thoughts that line up with
If you’re thinking, “God doesn’t love me.” I can guarantee you that you’ll find things in your life that you feel are confirming that fact.
So, look at that thought through the lens of God’s Word. His Word says that He has loved you with an everlasting love.
When we start to look at the things in our life through that lens, we start seeing all the ways that He shows His love to us. Have the circumstances in our lives changed, probably not in really big ways, but our thoughts have.
If you’re struggling with switching your thinking in a 180 degree shift, then remember from our questions episode to change your thinking into a question.
- What if the opposite was true?
- What if I’m wrong about this?
- Or How does this thought line up with God’s Word?
That will help you look for evidence contrary to the negative thoughts you’re having!