You’re probably wondering what on Earth is YouSpiracy, and could YOU possibly be a Youspiracy theorist?
Whether you believe or subscribe to any of the many conspiracy theories out there is absolutely your choice. You certainly have plenty to choose from.
But you should know that you’re quite likely conspiring against yourself!
Yes, I said it.
To make sure we are on the same page, let’s clarify the words ‘conspiracy’ and ‘theory’. (Not that I think you don’t know what they mean, but I want to avoid any misunderstandings).
- The act of conspiring.
- An evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan or action formulated in secret.
- A proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
- Contemplation or speculation
YouSpiracy is a bit like…
Let’s take some truly ludicrous conspiracy theory, that the Earth is flat. While there are many trolls out there only pretending that this is what they believe (just to wind others up), there are also (too many) people who truly subscribe to it. There are Flat Earth conventions!
How could someone possibly believe that the Earth is flat, you ask?
Well, quite easily.
(All this is relevant to your YouSpiracy).
We want to believe. We need to believe…
The human brain and thinking processes have many biases.
(Read: Predictably Irrational, The Paradox of Choice, Thinking Fast and Slow, The Chimp Paradox).
One of these biases is Confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values. Simply put, we are biased towards believing and further confirming what we already think is true.
This makes sense because it makes the world more stable and predictable for us, which feels comforting. We want to feel safe and certain. (comfort = safety = survival).
You can read more about confirmation bias here.
So, let’s continue with the Flat Earthers example.
When a “round Earth sceptic” starts going down the rabbit hole of believing that the world is flat, they would naturally search for information supporting that view (evidence that the world is flat) or against the opposing view (the world isn’t round). Remember, we want confirmation for what we believe is true.
And with the almighty internet where anybody can post anything, it doesn’t take long to find a plethora of articles, videos, and forums with (unscientific and anecdotal) “evidence” that the world is flat and reasons why it cannot be round. This further reinforces the belief, and deeper and deeper down the (flat) rabbit hole they go.
It’s human nature.
We want certainty (sometimes more than truth).
Do you see where I’m going with this?
How YouSpiracy begins…
In the same way, just as a flat earther has beliefs about the Earth and its shape, so do you, but not just that the world is round. About everything.
About your place on it, about the people in it, people in your life, about your situation and most importantly, about YOURSELF.
What do you believe about yourself?
What beliefs about yourself are “round”, and which ones are “flat”?
Less metaphorically, which ones are true and based on facts and which ones are more of a conspiracy theory… against yourself, a.k.a. Youspiracy?
To date, I’ve coached hundreds of people, and we all have some conspiracy theories against ourselves. Some are more serious than others.
These are usually the negative beliefs we have about ourselves and what we can and cannot do.
Sometimes the things we believe about ourselves are just as ludicrous as believing that the Earth is flat.
I’m not good enough.
I’ll never be successful.
I’m not confident.
People don’t like me.
People will think (terrible things) if I (fill in your ambitions).
Do these sound familiar?
These and similar beliefs start as thoughts and scepticism about your abilities, qualities and worth, that morphs into a theory (could it be true?), and because of our confirmation bias that makes us selectively focus on the bits that support these thoughts, it turns ambiguous information into evidence, and makes us ignore contradicting information
…and deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole you go…
…Slowly becoming a YouSpiracy Theorist…
…CONVINCED it’s all true.
It must be!
Look at all the evidence.
Ok, so what now?
How do you debunk your Youspiracy Theory?
When it comes to conspiracy theories, I always have this one suggestion:
Question what you believe in the same way how you question what you don’t believe in.
Recognise what is the “story” you’ve made up, and what are the actual facts.
Search for tangible and undeniable evidence.
Do it without your personal bias, emotions, ego, or fear.
Seek the truth.
What I find to be a powerful question is: Why do you want this to be true?
Next time you think, “I’m going to fail at this”
How do I know that this is going to happen?
Do I have a crystal ball? Can I see the future? (If you do, let me know, I have some lottery questions).
What evidence I have pro and against this?
Is this based on facts, or am I just catastrophising?
Do I have reasons/evidence suggesting I can succeed?
Could the opposite be true?
You get the idea.
The point is NOT to convince yourself the other way, but rather debunk what is not true.
Believe facts, not myths.
Take off your tinfoil hat.
The world is not against you.
If anything, it most likely just you are against yourself.
1) Take the Lifestyle Scorecard to see what may be holding back your progress in life: HERE
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The Earth is… round!??! Next you’ll be saying Santa’s not real!
Great article, and yes… the banner IS truly awesome. 🙂
Haha, thanks Ed… Yes, I had a good time making the banner… no cats were harmed in the process.
Don’t worry, Santa is totally real. 😉