Steps on How to change your life by changing Our Hidden Choice Makers

Many books on how to change your life present some interesting statistics. One of those statistics say that keeps popping up is – we’re called to make around 35,000 choices each day. The majority of which steer our lives towards our greatest version, our greatest lives, our ultimate experience of happiness. Alternatively, they lead us towards very average experiences and even suffering.

The 3 C’s of life: Choices, Chances, Changes. Tell us we must make a choice to take a chance or your life never changes.

The question we have to then ask ourselves is, are we truly making the choices that are steering us in the direction we want to go?

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” John C. Maxwell

One thing is unarguably worth knowing, and that is, we are not always making each decision with full autonomy, as we might think.

There are automatic responses our brain plays out when triggered by a specific experience. These responses may feel like they’re us responding but at closer inspection, they are a result of how our brain is pre-wired.

mental Biases in the brain
Automatic responses that are prewired – mental biases

When we’re totally unconscious of this fact, there is very little we do about correcting the response.

However, becoming aware of these hidden decision-makers aka cognitive biases, we stand a chance of taking control back and steering our life in the direction we want it to go.

I want to share 6 of these hidden choice makers that without challenge will attempt to influence the choice we have an opportunity to make ourselves. Changing your lives invariably means learning how to change your mindset towards life and how to make a change in your life.

Once we become aware of these biases, we can then override them and direct the flow of our lives consciously. In short, life change is done by applying simple habits and easy to follow steps.

ways to change your life
Change My Life InfoGraphic

The first one is the status quo bias, I hope you find this one and the other 5 interesting.

1. Status Quo Bias

Similar to loss-aversion bias where people tend to avoid losses rather than acquiring gains, status quo bias is the preference for things to remain unchanged.  

2. Stereotyping

Stereotyping occurs when people make judgments about an individual based on the group they belong to. We expect them to display certain characteristics or qualities though we have little to no real information about them

While it can be helpful in identifying strangers as friends or enemies, people tend to misuse and overuse stereotyping. For example, one study found that to perform a mathematical task, a hypothetical male candidate was more readily hired over a female candidate even when both candidates were equal in their ability.

3. Survivorship Bias

Survivorship bias occurs when individuals overlook failure and focus on successful outcomes.

Similar to the concept of the conquerors being the ones to rewrite history, it’s the successful entrepreneurs you most often hear about rather than the failures, so you might think starting a business is easy. Well, the truth is that probably more failures have occurred than successes – we just haven’t heard about it! We also tend to assume those who have survived and succeeded are better than those who have failed, without regard to surrounding factors. 

4. The tragedy of the Common

This unfortunate tendency occurs when people use public resources in their own self-interest instead of the common good. If it’s not in an individual’s personal interest to conserve a resource, he or she will overuse them. This is why we face the overuse of natural resources and see opportunism and any acts of self-interest over collective interest.

5. Unit Bias

Unit bias occurs when people think a particular size is an optimal amount. In America, for instance, we are generally served larger portions, so we believe this is the norm for everyone, and we eat all we’re given. However, in France, for instance, portions are much smaller, and this is perceived as appropriate. 

6. Zero-Risk Bias

Zero-risk bias occurs when we would rather eliminate all risk in one area rather than lessen the risk in multiple areas. We tend to find comfort in certainty, even when it’s irrational. In general, people tend to prefer that some risks are taken completely out of the equation as opposed to reducing all of the risks. 

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50 Cognitive Biases article


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