It is certain that everyone of us has experienced the yellow car phenomenon or frequency bias at least once in the recent past.
Imagine you want to buy a new car, you don’t know much about them, so you research for about 2-3 weeks to find a unique model, which fits your preferences. Its a bright yellow hatchback, not very common so that it sets you apart.
Until now you hadn’t seen much of it, but suddenly after your purchase, its everywhere. You see it on the roads, on TV, and also hear your friends talk about seeing a similar yellow car. Did you just set a trend? Or is it our minds playing tricks with us?
Because of the fact that the car was recently on our mind, our brain started paying more attention to related information, the yellow cars were always there, its just that our brain got primed to this new information, and that’s what we ended up thinking about and hence seeing more of. (Its a subtle subconscious process.)
There is so much information entering our eyes at any given moment that we cannot comprehend all of it, our mind only responds to the ones which are familiar and the ones that are on top of our minds.
This is a close relative of confirmation bias, which says that our minds selectively picks up and responds to familiar information, reinforcing our previous beliefs.
How can we use the knowledge about the above biases to our advantage?
Our subconscious minds can take up any new problem or information, like the yellow car or a new word, and chew on it for several days to relate it to the past and present experiences.
It will start attaching any and all new information to sew up a story that can be related to others. The story that ends up running in our minds is formed by the day to day stories and ideas we reinforce in ourselves.
This is partly the reason why wishing, praying, daily rituals, and goal setting has a good effect on our lives. If we give our subconscious minds the task that needs to be pursued and some information related to it, it will start solving it for us, our only task is to act in accordance with it.
It is clear that our brain responds more to what we have practiced more of in our lives.
So, if we think that we don’t deserve to get better, our brain is going to find confirmatory information that reinforces that story. It will remind us of more instances that in fact suggests that we are not good enough. Which lowers the morale and leads to inaction.
But, if we change the narrative and start thinking that we are capable of achieving all of our goals and capable of becoming great at what we do, we can reinforce the positive mindset. More so by hyping and reminding ourselves of all the things that are going great in our lives.
We can remind ourselves that we have gotten so much better and come a far way from where we started. We will actually see a shift of perspective and the mind will get primed to the fact that we are capable of being great at what we want to do. This leads to a morale boost, leading to action, forming a positive feedback loop.
What are some things that can help prime our subconscious better?
- Have a book where you set goals, some easily achievable and some huge goals. (Our subconscious doesn’t differentiate between a tough or an easy task, so its better to also give it tough tasks, to use its total potential.)
- Have a list of things that you have done, that make you go proud and remind you that you have come this far and can do anything you want to.
- Be around positivity, via books, good friends, or encouraging podcasts.
- Be open and receptive to new information.
- Look for good in others, as it is more peaceful for both of you and it primes our minds to look for the positive in our lives as well.
- Practice gratitude: One of the best ways to shift perspectives.
- Read about how others have made it in the field you want to pursue, it gets us in the mindset, if they can do it, so can we.
- Meditation, to get a better access to the subconscious and to just to find more peace in this fast paced life.
- Aim at the best version of yourself, and constantly figure out how to reach there. Be in love with the process and not the result.
- Believe in yourself and encourage others when they take up great challenges.
Our Subconscious is a silent yet powerful machinery working relentlessly under the hood. Give it amazing tasks and positive ideas to leverage its power and let it help us realize our potential.
A Student of life.
PS: If this post resonated with you, let me know in the comments. Do share if it has been of value to you. Thank you, and have a great day.
All the images in this post are a courtesy of Pexels.com