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.
|Appearance||We see people not as they are but as they appear to us.|
|Blame||We blame others, circumstances or a momentary lapse but not ourselves.|
|Confirmation||We search for evidence that supports our view.|
|Conviction||I believe this so strongly that is must be true.|
|Group||When we find others who think the same way as we do.|
|Superiority||We 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.