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The Power of Vulnerability – by Dr. Brene’ Brown

Vulnerability is not something we usually associate with being powerful.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Yet, it is indeed one of our greatest strengths as human beings.  It is where we connect the deepest with ourselves and others.  It perhaps is the core of our humanity. It is vulnerability that so many other emotions spring from.  Particularly those emotions where we feel our deepest hurt and pain, that we work so hard at not feeling or protecting ourselves from feeling.  Sympathy. Empathy.  Blame. Shame. Guilt and so on. Everyone who has lived before us and everyone that will live, feels these emotions at sometime or another during their life.  Its inevitable.  There is no escape just as there is no escape from death and taxes.

But did you know there is a signficant difference between Empathy and Sympathy?  How could it be that Sympathy distances us from others and erodes relationships, while Empathy connects us and strengthens relationships with others?  Armoured HeartDid you know Blame is simply a “discharge of discomfort and pain” – is a form of “armouring up”   to protect our heart –  and “has an inverse relationship to Accountability”?  Furthermore, did you know “Accountability, by definition, is a vulnerable process” that builds relationship, while “Blame is very corrosive to relationships” and destroys them.  Lastly, do you know the difference between Shame and Guilt, where Shame destroys one’s self worth as person resulting in countless destructive behaviours, compared to Guilt that is about a specific behaviour, but leaves intact one’s self-worth and value as a person?

Do you desire to understand yourself and others more?  Would you like to strengthen your emotional and relational abilities, thereby improve and strengthen your relationships with others, friends and family?  Then I encourage you to watch the following video, where influential author and speaker Dr. Brené Brown  “tackles the myth that vulnerability is a weakness” and convincingly argues, with the support of research, how in fact vulnerability “is the clearest path to courage and meaningful connection, and has the power to transform the way we engage and educate.”  Guaranteed you will learn more about yourself and others in the 20 something  minutes it takes to watch this then you’ve likely learned in a long time.  I know I sure did.  Here’s to being vulnerable and letting the armour around our hearts melt away.  Namaste. 🙂 ❤

The Power of Vulnerability

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The Difference Between Confident and Cocky


Thank you to UXL Blog for “Creating Successful Leaders” for teaching me something new today.  To anyone out there with similar questions about yourself, others, my hope is this helps you to learn and distinguish the difference too.


But let me back up a bit to how I learned a new life lesson today.  I recently saw this post on Facebook by Regina of Romancing Your Soul with the following words accompanying the photo.

Love does not yell; ego does.1469752_10151823149562546_549277428_n
Love does not ridicule; ego does.
Love does not judge; ego does.
Love does not control; ego does.
Love does not blame; ego does.
Love does not pout; ego does.
Love does not compare; ego does.
Love does not demand; ego does.
Love does not fear loss; ego does.
Love does not criticize; ego does.
Loving is a matter of soul, not ego.”
– Regina of Romancing Your Soul

While I completely agree with the message of the post, it caused me to pause and further ponder the difference between confidence and arrogance because can be easy to confuse the two.  An arrogant person will argue they are simply confident, and a confident person fears coming across as arrogant.  With that, I was off on a quest to further understand and deepen my knowledge of the difference.


Now, I must confess, I did have an ulterior motive for my exploration. It had recently come to my attention, and my horror I might add, that some people perceive me as arrogant.  For I work hard to be anything but, valuing humility, respect and compassion for others.  Yet I also wish to wish to enjoy valuing myself as a person, who I am and my knowledge. I’ve struggled most of my life with a lack of confidence, torn between my fear of being rejected and wish to express and be accepted for my thoughts, and who I am.  People have always been surprise when I’d admit this to them. I guess I was a pretty decent actor trained well in the school of “fake it till you make it” philosophy.  So having spent most of my life as a people-pleaser, doing pretty much anything to be liked and belong, it was very difficult to hear that others thought me arrogant and no longer like me.  It hurt, and my habitual people pleasing response was triggered, manifesting into sorrow and bitterness.  Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of person work over my life, have learned and adapted tools over time to work through these emotions.  In addition, significant challenges over the last few years, and particular the last year, have helped me find my stride so to speak.  A sense of who I truly am, a soft gentle know, a self-confidence I’ve not felt before.  One that only comes from being stripped naked of all the attributes my ego relied on, to show my authentic self, discovering I’m not so bad.  I like myself, as it’s my responsibility to do.



Regardless of all that I know, the notion I was being perceived as arrogant still bothers me.  I suppose this is because of my own feelings about it.  That aside from being most unflattering, arrogance is an attribute I admit I detest when observing it in others.   We’ve all seen type; the know it all, who knows everything about everything, and is never wrong, but will tell you without hesitation all the reasons why you are.  This of course is the extreme instance of arrogance and therefore easy to name as such.  I was pretty sure I am not that extreme, but perhaps I am arrogant, just in a more subtle way albeit still off-putting.  If this is true, then I would like to change.


With this, my focus became distinguishing the fine line between confidence and arrogance in its less extreme, less obvious form.  Once I understand this then I will be better equipped to make the necessary changes to correct this characteristic within myself.  After reviewing the definitions of the two, and the multitude of synonyms, I still hadn’t found exactly what I was seeking;  a simple, yet sufficiently thorough description explaining the difference. That was until happening upon this well written post by UXL Blog, “The Difference Between Confident and Cocky.” I thought it summed up the difference well.


As I read, I remembered that confirmation bias might be a factor.  That is, the natural psychological phenomenon to find the proof I desired to keep my self-worth in tact.  To limit confirmation bias, I read with a detached view, and asked myself tough questions with as much brutal honesty as one can when doing a self-assessment.   Its not a guarantee, but it will help some.  Then it came to me.  What am I doing?   Would an arrogant person go to such extent to expose their potential blind spots?  Isn’t it more likely that if I was indeed arrogant, I would simply poo-poo and dismiss the comments of others without a second thought?  Laughing at myself, at my folly to so easily bow once again to needing the approval by others, I am confident, in my soul, that I’m neither arrogant or cocky, simply confident.  As for those that perceive me that way, so be it.  They have a right to their opinion.  What they think of me is none of my business.


🙂 ❤

UXL Blog


At first glance, confidence and arrogance share many of the same trademarks: head held high, an ability to dive in and speak up, and a sense of pride in accomplishments. Upon deeper examination, however, arrogance and confidence stand in stark contrast with each other. The best way to distinguish between the two is to ask yourself, “Upon what grounds am I basing my pride?”

1. Cockiness is delusional.

An arrogant person believes their accomplishments are the result of their inherent greatness. They assume, with or without evidence, that they’re better than most everyone else. They don’t take into account the people around them who’ve helped them in the past, or the special circumstances they arrived in that gave them a boost. They lack a sense of gratitude toward the world.

You can see how arrogant thinking is faulty thinking, since nobody became great all on their own. Every present accomplishment is one…

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21 Tips For Millennials Who Want To Survive

This is awesome advice for anyone of every generation. Thought Catalogue is an awesome abundance of critical thinking for those who enjoy that type of activity. Please note, this may not be for you if you have to look up the meaning of “Critical Thinking” or prefer being a victim, blaming everyone and everything for what is wrong with your life.

Thought Catalog

To my fellow Millennials,

I know it’s difficult entering into adulthood amidst constant political bickering, fluctuating demographics, economic uncertainty, and increased globalization. Here’s some quick tips for surviving it all.

1. Lose your ego. You don’t deserve to have one…yet.

We all read that GYPSY article that obliterated our perceived sense of self worth. Well it’s true…unless you’re a 20 year old super genius, you are not that special. To employers and admissions counselors, you are just another 20something with an overpriced degree. You might’ve studied in France for a semester, was a model UN delegate, or did a government internship… but so did a million other people.

As a 20something in 2013, you deserve NOTHING. You must work for EVERYTHING. At least at this stage of the game. Eventually, you’ll earn your boss status. But that takes more time and recognition than being student body president.

2. It’s never…

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Revolution for Human Survival

Revolution for Human Survival

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Never Give Up, Never Surrender, Remember Always

“Never give up, never surrender”
– Galaxy Quest, 1999

“You can never give up,
you can never surrender,
fight the good fight
’till the end of the night and,
always remember.”
– Never Give Up, by MC Chris

As November 11 draws near, we remember, honouring the countless courageous men and women who have fought, and continue to fight the good fight, against hatred and tyranny all over the world, sacrificing the greatest gift there is, their lives.  Blessing and infinite gratitude.  Always remember and remember in all ways…. ❤


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Insane Genius

Van Gogh, Insanely Genius

Why Are Genius and Madness Connected? | Creativity and Mental Illness | LiveScience.

When one thinks of it, it makes sense that genius and madness are connected – different sides of the same coin.  How else could such genius of the likes of one-eared artist Van Gogh, mathematician Pythagoras, renowned artist of the Sistine Chapel Michelangelo, physicist and engineer Nikola Tesla, and more, who were able to bring to life such wonders from the power of their mind.

As science discovers more and more about the human brain, how is functions, how it does what it does, in the blink of an eye, the wonders of it become that much more amazing.  While some believe outer space and the universe, or the depths of earth’s seas, or our earth itself, are the where the most amazing discoveries are to be found, I believe the dense compact greyish mass of nerves called our brain is where breakthroughs and answers beyond our wildest imagination lie.  That’s just me though.  To each their own.  🙂

Read more, also read:  7 “Eccentric” Geniuses Who Were Clearly Just Insane

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8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day–And How To Avoid Them

Whenever your opinions or beliefs are so intertwined with your self-image that you couldn’t pull them away without damaging your core concepts of self, you avoid situations that may cause harm to those beliefs.” –David McRaney

This is fascinating! These tricks our brain plays on us, have been programmed into our DNA over millions of years of evolution, to protect us from threats.  However, in our current time, where we are sociologically and culturally as a species, I’ve observed in others and myself how they backfire.  They lead us to incorrect assumptions and expectations of ourselves and others, potentially damaging the very thing we seek most with others – connection and relationship.  I believe being aware and knowing how to effectively manage and prevent them in ourselves is vital to our continuing development as human beings and our desire for a better world.   For this reason, I’ve blogged the article in its entirety along with the link to the original.   Prepare to have your perceived image of yourself, your beliefs and assumptions challenged.  I dare you.  😉   Enjoy!


8 Subconscious Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day–And How To Avoid Them

The “swimmer’s body illusion,” and other ways our brains play tricks on us.

By: Belle Beth Cooper

Get ready to have your mind blown.

I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us make more rational, sensible decisions.

Duck Or Rabbit?

Especially since we strive for self-improvement at Buffer, if we look at our values, being aware of the mistakes we naturally have in our thinking can make a big difference in avoiding them. Unfortunately, most of these occur subconsciously, so it will also take time and effort to avoid them–if you want to.

Regardless, I think it’s fascinating to learn more about how we think and make decisions every day, so let’s take a look at some of these habits of thinking that we didn’t know we had.

1. We surround ourselves with information that matches our beliefs.

We tend to like people who think like us. If we agree with someone’s beliefs, we’re more likely to be friends with them. While this makes sense, it means that we subconsciously begin to ignore or dismiss anything that threatens our world views, since we surround ourselves with people and information that confirm what we already think.

This is called confirmation bias. If you’ve ever heard of the frequency illusion, this is very similar. The frequency illusion occurs when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see the same car everywhere. Or when a pregnant woman suddenly notices other pregnant women all over the place. It’s a passive experience, where our brains seek out information that’s related to us, but we believe there’s been an actual increase in the frequency of those occurrences.

It’s similar to how improving our body language can also actually change who we are as people.

Confirmation bias is a more active form of the same experience. It happens when we proactively seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs.

Not only do we do this with the information we take in, but we approach our memories this way, as well. In an experiment in 1979 at the University of Minnesota, participants read a story about a women called Jane who acted extroverted in some situations and introverted in others. When the participants returned a few days later, they were divided into two groups. One group was asked if Jane would be suited to a job as a librarian, the other group was asked about her having a job as a real-estate agent. The librarian group remembered Jane as being introverted and later said that she would not be suited to a real-estate job. The real-estate group did exactly the opposite: They remembered Jane as extroverted, said she would be suited to a real-estate job, and when they were later asked if she would make a good librarian, they said no.

In 2009, a study at Ohio State University showed that we will spend 36% more time reading an essay if it aligns with our opinions.

Whenever your opinions or beliefs are so intertwined with your self-image that you couldn’t pull them away without damaging your core concepts of self, you avoid situations that may cause harm to those beliefs. —David McRaney

This video teaser for David McRaney’s book, You are Now Less Dumb, explains this concept really well with a story about how people used to think geese grew on trees (seriously), and how challenging our beliefs on a regular basis is the only way to avoid getting caught up in the confirmation bias:

2. We believe in the “swimmer’s body” illusion.

This has to be one of my favorite thinking mistakes. In Rolf Dobelli’s book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, he explains how our ideas about talent and extensive training are well off-track:

Professional swimmers don’t have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques. How their bodies are designed is a factor for selection and not the result of their activities.

The “swimmer’s body illusion” occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. Another good example is top-performing universities: Are they actually the best schools, or do they choose the best students, who do well regardless of the school’s influence? Our mind often plays tricks on us, and that is one of the key ones to be aware of.

What really jumped out at me when researching this section was this particular line from Dobelli’s book:

Without this illusion, half of advertising campaigns would not work.

It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. If we believed that we were predisposed to be good at certain things (or not), we wouldn’t buy into ad campaigns that promised to improve our skills in areas where it’s unlikely we’ll ever excel.

This is similar to the skill of learning to say no, or how our creativity actually works: Both diverge strongly from what we think is true, versus what actions will actually help us get the result we want.

3. We worry about things we’ve already lost.

No matter how much I pay attention to the sunk-cost fallacy, I still naturally gravitate towards it.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost (not just monetary, but also time and effort) that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. So it’s a payment of time or money that’s gone forever, basically.

The reason we can’t ignore the cost, even though it’s already been paid, is that we wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains this in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow:

Organisms that placed more urgency on avoiding threats than they did on maximizing opportunities were more likely to pass on their genes. So over time, the prospect of losses has become a more powerful motivator on your behavior than the promise of gains.

The sunk-cost fallacy plays on our tendency to emphasize loss over gain. This research study is a great example of how it works:

Hal Arkes and Catehrine Blumer created an experiment in 1985 that demonstrated your tendency to go fuzzy when sunk costs come along. They asked subjects to assume they had spent $100 on a ticket for a ski trip in Michigan, but soon after found a better ski trip in Wisconsin for $50 and bought a ticket for this trip, too. They then asked the people in the study to imagine they learned the two trips overlapped and the tickets couldn’t be refunded or resold. Which one do you think they chose, the $100 good vacation, or the $50 great one?

More than half of the people in the study went with the more expensive trip. It may not have promised to be as fun, but the loss seemed greater.

So like the other mistakes I’ve explained in this post, the sunk-cost fallacy leads us to miss or ignore the logical facts presented to us and instead make irrational decisions based on our emotions–without even realizing we’re doing so:

The fallacy prevents you from realizing the best choice is to do whatever promises the better experience in the future, not which one negates the feeling of loss in the past.

Being such a subconscious reaction, it’s hard to avoid this one. Our best bet is to try to separate the current facts we have from anything that happened in the past. For instance, if you buy a movie ticket only to realize the movie is terrible, you could either:

A) stay and watch the movie, to “get your money’s worth” since you’ve already paid for the ticket (sunk-cost fallacy)


B) leave the cinema and use that time to do something you’ll actually enjoy.

The thing to remember is this: You can’t get that investment back. It’s gone. Don’t let it cloud your judgment in whatever decision you’re making in this moment–let it remain in the past.

4. We incorrectly predict odds.

Imagine you’re playing Heads or Tails with a friend. You flip a coin, over and over, each time guessing whether it will turn up heads or tails. You have a 50-50 chance of being right each time.

Now, suppose you’ve flipped the coin five times already and it’s turned up heads every time. Surely, surely, the next one will be tails, right? The chances of it being tails must be higher now, right?

Well, no. The chances of tails turning up are 50-50. Every time. Even if you turned up heads the last 20 times. The odds don’t change.

The gambler’s fallacy is a glitch in our thinking–once again, we’re proven to be illogical creatures. The problem occurs when we place too much weight on past events and confuse our memory with how the world actually works, believing that they will have an effect on future outcomes (or, in the case of Heads or Tails, any weight, since past events make absolutely no difference to the odds).

Unfortunately, gambling addictions in particular are also affected by a similar mistakes in thinking–the positive expectation bias. This is when we mistakenly think that eventually our luck has to change for the better. Somehow, we find it impossible to accept bad results and give up–we often insist on keeping at it until we get positive results, regardless of what the odds of that actually happening are.

5. We rationalize purchases we don’t want.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. How many times have you gotten home after a shopping trip only to be less than satisfied with your purchase decisions and started rationalizing them to yourself? Maybe you didn’t really want it after all, or in hindsight you thought it was too expensive. Or maybe it didn’t do what you hoped and was actually useless to you.

Regardless, we’re pretty good at convincing ourselves that those flashy, useless, badly thought-out purchases are necessary after all. This is known as post-purchase rationalization or Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome.

The reason we’re so good at this comes back to psychology of language:

Social psychologists say it stems from the principle of commitment, our psychological desire to stay consistent and avoid a state of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort we get when we’re trying to hold onto two competing ideas or theories. For instance, if we think of ourselves as being nice to strangers, but then we see someone fall over and don’t stop to help them, we would then have conflicting views about ourselves: We are nice to strangers, but we weren’t nice to the stranger who fell over. This creates so much discomfort that we have to change our thinking to match our actions–in other words, we start thinking of ourselves as someone who is not nice to strangers, since that’s what our actions proved.

So in the case of our impulse shopping trip, we would need to rationalize the purchases until we truly believe we needed to buy those things so that our thoughts about ourselves line up with our actions (making the purchases).

The tricky thing in avoiding this mistake is that we generally act before we think (which can be one of the most important elements that successful people have as traits!), leaving us to rationalize our actions afterwards.

Being aware of this mistake can help us avoid it by predicting it before taking action–for instance, as we’re considering a purchase, we often know that we will have to rationalize it to ourselves later. If we can recognize this, perhaps we can avoid it. It’s not an easy one to tackle though!

6. We make decisions based on the anchoring effect.

Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist who gave one of my favorite TED talks ever about the irrationality of the human brain when it comes to making decisions.

He illustrates this particular mistake in our thinking superbly, with multiple examples. The anchoring effect essentially works like this: rather than making a decision based on pure value for investment (time, money, and the like), we factor in comparative value–that is, how much value an option offers when compared to another option.

Let’s look at some examples from Dan, to illustrate this effect in practice:

One example is an experiment that Dan conducted using two kinds of chocolates for sale in a booth: Hershey’s Kisses and Lindt Truffles. The Kisses were one penny each, while the Truffles were 15 cents each. Considering the quality differences between the two kinds of chocolates and the normal prices of both items, the Truffles were a great deal, and the majority of visitors to the booth chose the Truffles.

For the next stage of his experiment, Dan offered the same two choices, but lowered the prices by one cent each. So now the Kisses were free, and the Truffles cost 14 cents each. Of course, the Truffles were even more of a bargain now, but since the Kisses were free, most people chose those, instead.

Your loss-aversion system is always vigilant, waiting on standby to keep you from giving up more than you can afford to spare, so you calculate the balance between cost and reward whenever possible. –You Are Not So Smart

Another example Dan offers in his TED talk is when consumers are given holiday options to choose between. When given a choice of a trip to Rome, all expenses paid, or a similar trip to Paris, the decision is quite hard. Each city comes with its own food, culture, and travel experiences that the consumer must choose between.

When a third option is added, however, such as the same Rome trip, but without coffee included in the morning, things change. When the consumer sees that they have to pay 2,50 euros for coffee in the third trip option, not only does the original Rome trip suddenly seem superior out of these two, it also seems superior to the Paris trip. Even though they probably hadn’t even considered whether coffee was included or not before the third option was added.

Here’s an even better example from another of Dan’s experiments:

Dan found this real ad for subscriptions to The Economist and used it to see how a seemingly useless choice (like Rome without coffee) affects our decisions.

To begin with, there were three choices: subscribe to The Economist web version for $59, the print version for $125, or subscribe to both the print and web versions for $125. It’s pretty clear what the useless option is here. When Dan gave this form to 100 MIT students and asked them which option they would choose, 84% chose the combo deal for $125. 16% chose the cheaper web-only option, and nobody chose the print-only option for $125.

Next, Dan removed the ‘useless’ print-only option that nobody wanted and tried the experiment with another group of 100 MIT students. This time, the majority chose the cheaper, web-only version, and the minority chose the combo deal. So even though nobody wanted the bad-value $125 print-only option, it wasn’t actually useless–in fact, it actually informed the decisions people made between the two other options by making the combo deal seem more valuable in relation.

This mistake is called the anchoring effect, because we tend to focus on a particular value and compare it to our other options, seeing the difference between values rather than the value of each option itself.

Eliminating the “useless” options ourselves as we make decisions can help us choose more wisely. On the other hand, Dan says, a big part of the problem comes from simply not knowing our own preferences very well, so perhaps that’s the area we should focus on more, instead.

While we know that our decision-making skills as people are often poor, (more on this topic here), it’s fascinating how the term free can affect us. In fact free has been mentioned before as one of the most powerful ways that can affect our decision making.

7. We believe our memories more than facts.

Our memories are highly fallible and plastic. And yet, we tend to subconsciously favor them over objective facts. The availability heuristic is a good example of this. It works like this:

Suppose you read a page of text and then you’re asked whether the page includes more words that end in “ing” or more words with “n” as the second-last letter. Obviously, it would be impossible for there to be more “ing” words than words with “n” as their penultimate letter (it took me a while to get that–read over the sentence again, carefully, if you’re not sure why that is). However, words ending in “ing” are easier to recall than words like hand, end, or and, which have “n” as their second-last letter, so we would naturally answer that there are more “ing” words.

What’s happening here is that we are basing our answer of probability (that is, whether it’s probable that there are more “ing” words on the page) on how available relevant examples are (for instance, how easily we can recall them). Our troubles in recalling words with “n” as the second last letter make us think those words don’t occur very often, and we subconsciously ignore the obvious facts in front of us.

Although the availability heuristic is a natural process of our thinking, two Chicago scholars have explained how wrong it can be:

Yet reliable statistical evidence will outperform the availability heuristic every time.

The lesson here? Whenever possible, look at the facts. Examine the data. Don’t base a factual decision on your gut instinct without at least exploring the data objectively first. If we look at the psychology of language in general, we’ll find even more evidence that looking at facts first is necessary.

8. We pay more attention to stereotypes than we think we do.

The funny thing about lots of these thinking mistakes, especially those related to memory, is that they’re so ingrained. I had to think long and hard about why they’re mistakes at all! This one is a good example–it took me a while to understand how illogical this pattern of thinking is.

It’s another one that explains how easily we ignore actual facts:

The human mind is so wedded to stereotypes and so distracted by vivid descriptions that it will seize upon them, even when they defy logic, rather than upon truly relevant facts.

Here’s an example to illustrate the mistake, from researchers Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky:

In 1983, Kahneman and Tversky tested how illogical human thinking is by describing the following imaginary person:

Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations.

The researchers asked people to read this description, and then asked them to answer this question:

Which alternative is more probable?

1. Linda is a bank teller.

2. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.

Here’s where it can get a bit tricky to understand (at least, it did for me!)–If answer #2 is true, #1 is also true. This means that #2 cannot be the answer to the question of probability.

Unfortunately, few of us realize this, because we’re so overcome by the more detailed description of #2. Plus, as the earlier quote pointed out, stereotypes are so deeply ingrained in our minds that we subconsciously apply them to others.

Roughly 85% of people chose option #2 as the answer. A simple choice of words can change everything.

Again, we see here how irrational and illogical we can be, even when the facts are seemingly obvious.

I love this quote from researcher Daniel Kahneman on the differences between economics and psychology:

I was astonished. My economic colleagues worked in the building next door, but I had not appreciated the profound difference between our intellectual worlds. To a psychologist, it is self-evident that people are neither fully rational nor completely selfish, and that their tastes are anything but stable.

Clearly, it’s normal for us to be irrational and to think illogically, especially when language acts as a limitation to how we think, even though we rarely realize we’re doing it. Still, being aware of the pitfalls we often fall into when making decisions can help us to at least recognize them, if not avoid them.

Have you come across any other interesting mistakes we make in the way we think? Let us know in the comments.

Belle Beth Cooper is a content crafter at Buffer, a smarter way to share on Twitter and Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @BelleBethCooper

Reprinted with permission from Buffer

October 15, 2013 | 5:31 AM

Posted in Business Effectiveness, change, choice, coaching | consulting, compassion forgiveness, Confirmation Bias, cooperation, courage, emotional and social intelligence, expectations, leadership & learning, mind tilt, new thoughts, OD Effectiveness, relationship, the brain, things that make you go 'hmmm'..., women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Expectations – Real Life Wicked Witch

wwwThose darn pesky, sometimes wicked expectations, are a common source of disappointment and hurt.   Be gone with you expectations for you serve no purpose other than provoke resentment and revenge just as the Wicked Witch of the West poking her bony finger at Dorothy saying, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!

I’m not sure why this vivid imagery popped into my head as I read Deborah Hawkins blog, Get Past Disappointment: Release Expectations and Live Your Own Life.   Perhaps its simply because I just recently saw the Wizard of Oz again.   Regardless, there is was rolling around, mixing in with my thoughts as I’m reading, the authors words resonating within.   I, like Deborah Hawkins, have learned over my life of an innate ability for “soothing ruffled feelings and for getting people to talk about things they want to talk about but can’t seem to express directly.”  And I too so often wished, wanted, hoped for others to reciprocate and do the same for me, only to suffer disappointment.  It was when I learned this was an expectation I held and not just a simple wish that the light went on – the AH-Ha moment of an epiphany.  It was then, I realized my wishing, wanting, hoping other people would give to me the way I so easily give to them was an expectations not simply a wish.   And that I have the power within, just as Dorothy did with her ruby slippers and own belief, to change this.  I can choice to change my thinking, do it different, spy on myself to catch the forming of an expectation, and stop it and let it go, melt away.    

When I’m uncertain whether it is an expectation or not, I’ll actually ask myself the question, “Is this something I would like to have happen, a nice to have, or an expectation, a need to have?”  Pondering this question, I remind myself that I own my “feelings, expressions, and abilities, and other people own theirs.”  I remind myself that I am no more responsible for validating, appeasing or soothing their feelings, actions, and ways of being then they are for mine.   Furthermore, while I may have this sort of ‘gift’ – an unconscious natural ability – to empathize with others, make them feel heard and acknowledged, and often help them find a resolution to their issues, it a mistake on my part to believe, or expect others have the same ability. and are able or should reciprocate. 

It is also a mistake on my part to give it so automatically and freely to others without considering the personal cost to myself.  That is, how it drains my energy so there is little to nothing left for looking after me.  So in addition to questioning my own thoughts about others as being possible expectations, I am learning to practice more discernment in giving to others.  That is, observing and realistically assessing where I am emotionally and the nature of my relationship with others at the time. 

  • How am I?  That is how and where is my head space, my emotions, my energy level, my priorities, and my desire and ability to give to another at any moment in time?
  • How is my relationship with this person?  Is our relationship one that reciprocates my care and attention in return, in a balanced meaningful way to me?  
  • Is our relationship one I feel a strong  mutual commitment and desire to invest the time and energy to nurture, demonstrated by action and not simply empty words.  
  • Do I feel there is a complimentary, give and take of respect, compassion and genuine, yet not co-dependent, care for each other?  

By asking such questions of myself, I am learning to apply my sensitivity and abilities to looking after my needs first, mitigating my disappointment and hurt with giving more than I receive.  As such, I am more balanced and grounded, operating in a centered emotional zone, where I am better able to give to the fewer people, that truly reciprocate, and therefore matter – are important to me and my life.    

This seemingly simple process is more complex than it seems.  Like all humans, my programming, which in my case is to give to others, is a long time habit and not easily Expectations-always-lead-__changed.  It requires vigilance, practice and more practice, mistakes, learning, refinement and more practice.  It does work though and becomes easier, more automatic, and in time is a new habit.  Once it has a hold, that is become consciously competent at doing, watch out.  It has amazing magical impact one’s sense of self and happiness, melting away hurt and suffering of disappointment as quickly as throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West. Poof!  Expectations gone.  It’s a wonderful feeling indeed.

If you suspect your thinking may fall into any of the traps of having expectations for how other people should behave, read the original blog, Get Past Disappointment: Release Expectations and Live Your Own Life, by Deborah Hawkins.

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Embrace Your Goddess Within

The Middle Aged Goddess What is a middle aged goddess?  She is a woman of integrity, she  is smart, witty, charming, and has an attitude, what you see is what you get. She lives life through her heart. She protects and cherishes the ones that she loves. She lives out loud, she reads her books in her bra and underwear, and she may have a glass of wine for breakfast. The middle Aged Goddess is who …ever she chooses to be. She doesn’t let “them” tell her she is too old, or she can’t do something. She is happy, she has finally made peace with her life, and she lives it to the fullest each and every day. She loves each part of body, even though it may not be perfect, and perfect to her means unconditional love.  With each passing year she has a few more gray hairs, may have gained a little more weight, but she would never have changed a single thing about her life, because through it all she has acquired much wisdom and knowledge, and she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The middle aged goddess looks in the mirror and loves the woman staring back, and she says: “You made it, you are a survivor, let’s celebrate!
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