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October 3, 2023

What Grapes Taught Me About Beliefs

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I talk a lot about the power of our subconscious beliefs and to set the stage for a really eye-opening example of it, let me quickly summarize.

Our beliefs are the unconscious patterns we use to live our lives. We are faced with thousands of micro-moments throughout the day where we are tasked to figure out what we think, how to feel, and how to act. If we had to make a decision on every single thing we encountered every single time, it’d be incredibly inefficient and frankly, impossible.

So what happens is our subconscious mind uses our beliefs - which is an implicit understanding of the way we’ve come to understand the world through past experiences. This is responsible for creating the default lens we see the world through. 

With that in mind, let me tell you about my experience at the grocery store.

I was in a hurry after a workout, wanting to run a quick errand before showering and getting to my first meeting of the day. I have chosen grapes to be my snack of choice because they’re relatively healthy, consumable in smaller portions, and taste good.

I picked up some grapes and as I was checking out at the register, realized that I’d made a decision that I didn’t think about. There were 2 or 3 different brands I could’ve chosen, but I chose the one that I chose last time, and I paused to reflect on why.

I don’t see much of a difference between brands other than price, and I realized that the last time I was in the store I checked the prices and the brand I chose was the cheapest.

Now this is where it all comes together…

A past experience suggested that one of the brands of grapes was less expensive than the others. Given the previous conclusions I’d had (that the grapes are equal other than price, and that this price was the cheapest), I made a decision without even thinking about it. My unconscious mind made the decision for me in a hurried moment!

Taking it one step further, if I were to really diagnose that unconscious choice, what does that say about me?

Here are a few ideas: I didn’t look to see which were organic or not, so I don’t necessarily have a belief that I should eat organic. I didn’t take into consideration the packaging and which option produces less waste, and I’d like to be a more conscious consumer.

In an unconscious moment my main deciding criteria, which was price, is what led the choice. And that was price. 

I bring this up not because we need to put this level of intention into everything we do (although I’d really like to), but to open your mind to how everyday choices are being influenced by unconscious patterns. This is why your environment is perfectly designed to match your beliefs - because the beliefs influenced the majority of the choices you made in creating the environment. 

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