Which of the two black lines shown below is longer?
They are actually the same length. However, even after knowing that, the top line appears to be longer. This illusion demonstrates automatic bias, or prejudice. Acting based on an automatic bias can lead to poor results and even derail one’s life. Such results can be avoided by realizing that biases sometimes occur automatically, by challenging automatic biases, and by focusing life on a productive belief.
Cornerstone Centers for Wellbeing acts on the mantra, “Find your Center. Achieve Wellbeing.” It is a play on the double meaning of the word “center.” In one sense, the motto promises that if one finds and takes advantage of the closest physical office or center of Cornerstone Centers for Wellbeing, then one will achieve wellbeing.
There is a popular children’s film that hints at another possible meaning of our motto. In the movie, the five characters living in the child’s mind represent different biases, or core beliefs as follows: “The world can be a happy and safe place,” “the world has miserable aspects,” “caution is necessary to avoid the dangers in the world,” “consuming some aspects of the world can kill,” and “loud, exaggerated behavior can make the world fair.” The first belief mentioned appears to be the “center” of this child’s life focus. In reality, everyone has different beliefs as centers. The meanings of everything one experiences and does is filtered through that center. Therefore, a second meaning of our motto could be that finding one’s center will allow one to achieve wellbeing.
|Oh No! These Facts And Opinions Look So Similar!|
The search for an effective center involves challenging different core beliefs through questions such as, “What is the evidence that supports this belief?”, “Why is this belief better than or different from other beliefs?”, “What are the consequences of having this belief?”, “How does focusing my life on this core belief help me achieve well-being?”, “If I continue to have this core belief as my center, what will my life look like in 10 years?”, and “Is this belief based on facts or opinions?” You need to be careful with this last question. The Kenny Rogers song “The Greatest” comes to mind. The fact was that the little boy couldn’t hit the ball, but whose to say that the fact is not also that the pitcher was not to blame rather than lack of hitting skill. Further, the five core beliefs I listed from Inside Out are all factual, but imagine how different a person would live with each alternative one as a center.
As one discovers and challenges core beliefs, one may realize that having another core belief as one’s center would produce more desirable results. Regularly asking oneself questions similar to the above, can slowly lead to replacing an ineffective center with one that will produce wellbeing. Like most people, I had to go through this process. I realized that I could choose my own center. When that happened, I went from feeling discouraged to feeling hopeful. It is still a struggle when outside forces indicate that I make a mistake, but we all make mistakes sometimes. They do not have to define us.
Wellbeing can be achieved by recognizing biases and challenging core beliefs to determine which ones will lead to wellbeing. I have seen many people, change their centers to one that encourages wellbeing by following the above steps. The top line in the above illusion does not have to be longer.
Don’t get discouraged if wellbeing does not happen right away. It is a challenging process. Cornerstone Centers for Wellbeing counselors are here to help find your or a loved one’s center (both the most convenient physical location for you and your core belief) in order to achieve wellbeing. Reach out to us or call 1-866-280-WELL (9355) to get started today. We offer face to face and virtual sessions.
Live your best life,
Jared Chantrill, LCSW