I’ve spent more than half my life studying human motivation, persuasion, seduction, marketing, hypnosis, NLP, etc. And, one of my most powerful learnings during these years that benefited me (and others) the most had nothing to do with what (or who) we were dealing with externally. Instead, the most important piece was in understanding what was going on inside of us, within the inner recesses of our own mind.
Filtering, Editing and Deleting
Whether we would like to admit to it or not, none of us see reality as it really is. In fact, there is so much going on around us simultaneously, at all times, it’s impossible for our brain to process everything. Therefore, we have been trained to process a limited amount of information at any given time.
For example, if we’re in a crowded room where everyone is talking at the same time, and several pools of conversation are occurring simultaneously, we can’t possibly follow every conversation even if we can hear all of them. It would be like trying to watch five TV screens at once, all with different shows on.
So, we decide which ones to filter out and which one(s) to pay attention to. While the rest of the conversations are still going on, we simply delete, edit or filter them out.
But, here’s what’s interesting…
Different people edit, delete and filter out different information based on their own preset internal filters, beliefs, preferences, and biases. Consequently, we often tend to miss certain important pieces of information, either by default or on purpose (if the information doesn’t serve our best interest.)
In other words, sometimes we never get to the truth because we don’t want to hear it. We’d rather believe the lie.
Think of that nice young lady whose lover always cheats on her. Everybody knows it and tries to tell her that the guy is a liar and a cheater. Yet, she refuses to believe it.
It’s not that she can’t see the signs herself. She can. It’s not that she didn’t know from the moment he first started cheating on her. On some level, she did. But, her mind simply edited those parts out. Because she’s happier believing the lie than accepting the bitter truth.
The biggest lies are the lies that we tell ourselves.
It doesn’t make any sense, does it? Why would she lie to herself like that?
Yet, the reality is, we all do this to ourselves – on some level. (Whether we’d like to believe it or not.) We keep buying exercise contraptions, weight loss programs and pills because we keep wanting to believe that it will work – or that ‘this time’ we’ll actually use it. We continue to spend money on ‘get rich quick’ schemes and tell ourselves that finally we’ll find one that actually works and starts pouring cash into our bank accounts with the push of a button. We make donations to certain organizations and believe that most of the money will actually go to the needy.
And those are just the common lies.
Most of us don’t know, nor do we care, about all the lies that we tell ourselves. In fact, some of the lies actually help us lead a happier and saner life.
But when it comes to getting the truth out of others, we have to at least be aware of the filters and mechanisms that are already set up in our head. No matter what we do in life, everything starts first in our own minds. So, until we know what’s going on inside us, there’s no way of ever knowing what’s really going on outside of us and around us.
Unless we know what’s going on in our own heads, there’s no way we will ever know what’s going on in another person’s head.
Everything that we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel is filtered through our existing beliefs, assumptions, and biases.
In other words, the biggest lies are the ones that we tell ourselves!
None of us want to hear this. Yet, unless you take care of this all important first step, nothing else will work.