“What do you think of my blog?”
“It’s really good. I love it.”
“Thanks. Can you give me some criticism as well? There has to be some room for improvement!”
“Uh…okay, I will look at it again in more detail… Maybe you can change the font?”
“Okay, thanks.” *disappointed face* (Thinking to self: “my blog sucks! I’m a horrible writer and I don’t know a good design from a bad one. I’m glad someone pointed out how bad this is before I shared it with everyone I know.”)
I wish I could say I was exaggerating a little, but this is a conversation I had a few years ago when I started a blog (which, as you may have guessed, stayed largely unpublished). This also happens to be before I went to university for psychology and knew anything about the power of mind.
How scary is the notion that the world gives us what we expect from it? How true is it? Can we really control what happens to us in this big unpredictable world? My answer is yes, to an extent, at least in small ways that can lead to big drastic changes. We’re subjective. We fall ‘prey’ to placebo effects. Scientists are considered credible when they do double-blind studies (where both the participants and the scientists don’t know which participants are in which group). So, what does that mean for us?
Ever worn a red shirt and noticed all the people wearing red that day? The day you buy a BMW you think everyone has one, when you didn’t notice it as much before. Walking past a bulletin board at school, I bet you’re more likely to notice your favourite band’s poster before other flyers.
Fact of the matter is, we notice and remember things that fit our bias or our expectations. We either don’t see the rest, don’t remember it as well or discard it subconsciously.
The good news is that we can use this knowledge to work for us, and not against us by being aware of our expectations and managing them. Having learned from all of this, I now think back to the above conversation and realize that I was afraid and I was looking for a way out and that is all I saw wherever I looked. Since then, I’ve been trying to not be my own worst enemy. This time around, I’ve been looking for ‘positive signs’ because I want to do this and I believe that I can.
So, today I messaged a few people close to me to share this blog with them, took their compliments with pride and gratefulness and gave them the option for critique without any pressure. I think I’ve come a long way, as this blog will go public on my facebook account today. Thank you to everyone who contributed and gave me hope, you are my highlight of today.