Back in my early 20’s I believed only the genetically gifted lucky few could truly have a body they loved… Also that fat made you fat. And a little less relevantly I also held the equally dysfunctional and limiting belief that: “All boys are bastards!”
As perplexing as it is there’s a certain satisfaction in expecting something disappointing and being proven right.
Because we like to be right… Right?
Even when it’s a case of being right about something that’s pretty wrong for us!
Today’s show is all about being proven right about the things that are right for you.
Today let’s chat:
Sciencedaily.com defines confirmation bias in psychology and cognitive science as “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.”
So far as the Body Gain game I think this is how confirmation bias plays out… the tendency is to:
1). Search for / filter in… to confirm your preconceptions,
2). then Respond… to confirm your preconceptions,
3). then Make something mean something else… ALL based on confirmation bias.
Here’s how it might look:
Chick in early 20’s searches for only the most only the most inappropriate, self obsessed boys and guess what?
She finds them. The nice boys are not even on her radar.
If that sounds a little ridiculous how about this example… let’s start with,
1). Search for / filter in tendency:
Lady in her mid 30’s searches for ALL the reasons why Eating Healthy Is Hard. Boring. Expensive. Unsustainable.
Can you imagine with that type of filter the lady might well find plenty of proof to confirm her preconceptions?
a) “I’m the only one not ordering dessert.”
b) “$17.00 for a green smoothie with added protein powder and chia??? Seriously?”
c) “Last time I tried to eat healthy I went great for 2 weeks however thenwork got busy and meal prep takes so long… and takeout is so much faster… and who eats salad in winter anyway?”
Now our lady in her 30’s has 100% responsibility here to choose what to do with all that proof she’s finding about Healthy Eating.
I’ll give you both sides of the coin.
a) “How can I possibly be expected to decline my fav dessert… on my birthday… after such a busy day?”
OR, “Each time I don’t order dessert is makes it easier to not order dessert next time… and it’s a small win… and it’s evidence to support how committed I am to achieving my goal.”
b) “$17 for a non-alcoholic drink – that’s outrageous! For 1/4 of the price I can just grab that muffin… and I will.”
OR, “$17 for a smoothie is a great lesson in making time for meal prep – I’ll enjoy it – and know not to get caught out again!”
c) “Why force myself to endure something that’s doomed to fail… it’s really not that important to me.”
OR, “How could I not give something so important my 100% best effort… for as long as it takes?”
3). Make something mean something else:
So to recap, whether your perception is that “All boys are bastards!” or “Eating Healthy Is Hard. Boring. Expensive. Unsustainable.” or whatever else it might be, confirmation bias will likely result in you searching for evidence to prove your preconception, respond accordingly and then make it mean something for better or worse and often, for worse.
a) Our dessert loving 30 something lady could make it mean: “This healthy eating rubbish is just too hard… life is short… I’ll eat what I want.”
b) In the same way she could make one overpriced smoothie experience mean: “Anything healthy is quadruple the price… what a rip off… I won’t be taken for a ride like that.”
c) And finally: “I’m just not the type of person that’s willing to sacrifice everything to bow to societies superficial ideals… it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
At the top of the show I stated: Today’s show is all about being proven right about the things that are right for you.
So far, we’ve gone the anti-mentor approach (!) however that’s a simple fix… here’s exactly how it’d look:
Choose the belief that Healthy Eating is:
a) Getting Easier every day.
b) Delicious with limitless varieties and potential.
c) Supremely more cost effective than being sick or exhausted.
d) The only sustainable approach for a healthy body and mind.
I actually do think it’s that simple. You choose the effective beliefs and let confirmation bias work in your favour.
To get actionable today: Let’s find an upgrade for an aspect of achieving your body gain goal where you’re currently searching for proof of being right about something that’s pretty wrong for you?
Some of the examples of limiting Confirmation Bias I hear regularly are:
“Chicks that lift weights are too bulky.” …and sure if you scrutinize body-building mags you’ll see some examples of pretty supremely buff ladies however you’ll also miss out on seeing all the fit yet ultra lean ladies who choose their curves by lifting weights. You’ll also miss out on that curves choosing opportunity because in that regard, cardio will never cut it.
“Running is the only way I lose weight.” …again if it’s worked for you in the past that rocks however please know you’re missing out on a more time effective, lower impact on your joints, less chance of post-exercise-carb-over-refuel way to lose weight. You’ll also miss out on the benefits to bone density, core strength, posture, balance and co-ordination that a balanced and progressive approach to lifting can deliver.
“I need carbs at every meal to feel full / happy / satisfied.” …now I’m an ex-carb-queen, I can certainly speak to this one from experience. The thing is I held tight to that belief because I loved processed carbs so much and was scared of fat. For years the higher protein options made more substantial with fibrous veg and good fats were not even on my radar.
The funny thing is I didn’t even ever feel full for long – it was likely more an emotional fullness because after a low protein, no fat meal my stomach would be rumbling again within a couple of hours. I was plagued my cravings and eating every couple of hours was inconvenient and expensive.
I now search for evidence to confirm my preconception that I need: Protein, fibrous veg and good fat at every meal and it’s working a whole lot better for me.
So, in closing and returning to the time of the actionable: What is ONE effective belief you can choose and let confirmation bias work in your favour?
That’s it for me today. I hope you can join me for the Wednesday Weigh-in show. I’m covering: 4 Diet Red-flags.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Will Power: 6 Steps to Build Your Self Control Muscle. (part 1.)
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.