Can Understanding Your Biases Lead To Self Mastery?

Can Understanding Your Biases Lead To Self Mastery?

We see life through a distorted lens. Our five senses provide our brain with raw information. Our brain filters this information, and this filter includes our biases.

Robert Greene wrote a book called ‘The Laws of Human Nature’, and describes six biases we have. They are: appearance biase, blame biase, confirmation biase, conviction biase, group biase and superiority biase. I would guess there are probably more.

AppearanceWe see people not as they are but as they appear to us.
BlameWe blame others, circumstances or a momentary lapse but not ourselves.
ConfirmationWe search for evidence that supports our view.
ConvictionI believe this so strongly that is must be true.
GroupWhen we find others who think the same way as we do.
SuperiorityWe cannot see our faults and irrationality only in others.

The Mindfulness and Biases Partnership

By practising meditation each morning, I feel slightly removed from my thoughts, and I benefit from a peaceful internal life. You can multiply this benefit by seeing if you can pin a biase onto the thought.

A thought might give me a bad feeling, and prompts me to look for the biase behind it. It can be as simple as calling it out in my mind – “blame biase!” – and place the thought to rest.

Sometimes I go a stage further. If I identify a ‘blame biase’ I reflect on how I might be to blame or how unfair I am being. It often prevents me from saying something, or taking action, that I might regret.

A thought might have several biases behind it. For me, blame biase and superiority biase are frequently behind a thought. Such a discovery leads me to reflect on the circumstances which made me think that way.


Catching the biase behind each thought makes for a better comprehension of reality. Understanding your biases is the path the self mastery.

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