Thanks to a scientific term – nocebo – belief doesn’t just make something happen. It kills us.
Nocebo. You probably thought it sounded a lot like Placebo. Well, that’s because they’re opposites. A placebo is something that we believe helps us, so our brain makes it happen, and it does.
A nocebo is when someone believes that something is harming them. And they’re right. Only, the harm isn’t from the thing they’re worried about – It’s from believing it’s harmful.
Where belief goes wrong
Belief in something will always make it happen, but here’s where we get it wrong…
If you’ve read any self-help, you’ve already been assaulted with the power of belief. I’ll be honest; they got me. For some reason, I believed all I needed to do was believe to start playing a decent game of golf.
What self-help misses is belief without reality. Telling every desperate person they are a mindset away from becoming a millionaire is not a reality. There are social, economic and cultural barriers that no amount of belief will overcome.
The next thing we get wrong with our cruel mistress belief is… Belief. I can screw up my face, clench my jaw and think until blood drips down my brow, but I’ll still be the same broke student – no mind power is putting seven decimals into my bank account.
What was I doing wrong here? I could never honestly believe that thinking would put one million dollars into my bank account. The same is true when we set goals in the stars instead of on earth where we can see them.
You must genuinely believe in something for it to happen. And for this, it must be realistic and within the realm of possibility.
Belief has the power to kill you – literally. When you find a meaningful goal you truly believe is possible, you’re halfway there.
Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.Theodore Roosevelt