Earlier this week I talked about deletion on my Instagram page and promised to get a little deeper in this week’s blog so, here it is. Deletion… It is one of the most common tools our brains use to make sense of our world. It is also one of the shining examples of how we alter our perceptions in order to create our reality.
If you didn’t already know, our brains are pattern engines. It’s true, the human mind is an organization machine! It takes all the input we get from our senses, processes it, edits it, and spits back out our “awareness”. A fun example of this is the “new car concept”. As soon as you get a new car, or decide exactly what car you want, suddenly it seems like they are all over the place. The reason for that is your brain now has a new purpose for recognition. That car style and shape has a purpose in your brain. It now has to identify your vehicle in a parking lot, recognize it outside your house, there is now an emotional connection to that physical framework. All of a sudden, you see them ever where because it is the same physical framework that your subconscious now has decided is worth its time to notice. It isn’t that everyone got the same car you did all around the same time, it was just that before, it got deleted at the sensory input level. The brain didn’t even bother retaining the recognition of them. Our brain is aware that it only wants so much going on at a fully conscious level.
That isn’t the only place deletions shows up however. Basically all deletion happens in the subconscious. Throughout our lives as our minds continue to process and learn patterns, they develop expectations of how the world we live in works. Sometimes we get a glimpse of things that don’t quite match up to the mental models our mind creates. When that happens we experience cognitive dissonance. It’s a fancy term for saying, our minds see something that doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t like it. But, that is only when our conscious minds notice it. The majority of the time, most things never even make it that far. In order to avoid cognitive dissonance, our subconscious just edits it for us so we don’t have to stress about questioning it. Like how we can read a sentence with a typo and not even notice it. Honestly, if our brain didn’t delete things in this manner we would be constantly overwhelmed by input and trying to figure out where everything fit into our world. It would take up so much of our time we probably would never get anything done. Again, as I stated in the first paragraph it is a tool, and it is a tool that was developed for our benefit.
There are some areas of our lives however that we can find deletion to be a detriment due to skewed perspective, and it’s these areas that we want to work on. These come up when there is something wrong with the mental model we are working with at the time. Again, pattern engine that likes congruence, not dissonance. That means that even if we say, have a tendency to think negatively or seek out flaws (which is a common instinctual reaction), the likelihood that we will see more negativity or see things in a more negative light, increases. Similarly, if we have a tendency to see positive things, we are more likely to recognize those. Think Law of Attraction, you get what you think about. If you believe there are no options, you will find none, if you believe there are options, you will find them. Your subconscious is doing a lot of that work for you. It isn’t always large scale and long term though. Your perception and what your mind recognizes can change dramatically and quickly in response to emotions as well. The “Honeymoon phase” is a great example of that. The heightened positive emotions cause us to delete negative aspects of the relationship or our partner. Similarly, if we are in a bad mood or in an argument, it is tremendously easy to delete all the good things someone had done that might moderate our reactions if we could think of them. We don’t think of them because… it doesn’t fit the current narrative. There is so much more I could say but I realize this is already getting quite long.
My ask for you all now is just be vigilant with the direction your thoughts and feelings are taking you. By bringing these aspects back into our conscious awareness, we have the opportunity for growth and change. Thank you.
You Are All Exceptional!