The 5 Most Important Cognitive Biases Holding You Back
We need to actively overcome our cognitive biases to think clearly.We discuss the 5 Most Important biases holding you back.
Table of Contents
- Confirmation Bias
- Status Quo Bias
- Narrative Fallacy
- Survivorship Bias
- Sunk Costs Fallacy
- Actively seek out diverse topics and people in your social media feeds.
- Whenever you see a piece of news you care about, make an effort to look for evidence that doesn’t conform to your previously held belief.
- Look for new takes on old issues, look for criticisms to your dearly held opinions, do the work required to hold an opinion.
- Before a big life-changing decision, actively seek dis-confirming opinions from people around you.
- Before embarking on a big new project, list down all the ways it can fail. Do a little pre-mortem.
- Be Aware. Know that you can fall for this bias, that is the first step.
- Take an outsider’s view of your current situation. Dispassionately analyze your decisions and try to identify if you’re stuck in a status quo
- Find ways to measure change to your life. Things like quantity and quality of sleep, your weight, productivity, mental clarity are good indicators of whether you are stuck in a rut or progressing.
- Realize that there is no one size fits all solution, you will have to make your own way eventually!
- Be honest about what you don’t know.
- Understand the difference between “correlation” and “causation”
- Don’t fall for the ideology or mythology. Most modern and ancient religions like Communism, Capitalism, Christianity or Hinduism have deep symbolism associated with them. But know they are all narratives, not facts. There is a difference, be aware of that.
- Know that life is random. Appreciate the role of luck in your successes and failures. Don’t fall for your own narratives. Take responsibility for your losses, and stay humble in your wins.
- Be careful with anything that guarantees instant results. Be it a hot new stock tip, or the latest fad diet. It’s likely to work with a small subset of the population, only the survivors.
- Be skeptical of your chances of replicating other people’s success exactly.
- Gather more data. Especially from failures. Go out of your way to look for details about other people’s mistakes whenever you are pursuing a new endeavor.
- Be careful when you give advice to someone else. You may be a “survivor”. You may not realize it, but if you’re successful at something, there’s a good chance that you have benefited from some luck in your life. Appreciate your privileges.
- Know It’s A Cost. Don’t live under the illusion that your past decisions were investments. Think of them as costs, and objectively evaluate them.
- Accept that you can’t change the past and that it’s okay to move on
- Re-evaluate your Decision. Rethink about your decisions with an open mind. Nothing in life is set in stone.
- Know Your Stop Loss. Have some humility and accept some losses. Be ready to walk away from past mistakes. Be ready to change your own mind.
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