The Placebo Effect and Mindset (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 178)
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being.”
— John Wooden
The placebo effect is a great illustration of how mindset affects our cognition and behavior. A placebo is generally anything that appears to be real or is said to have a certain power to cure or fix something, but it really doesn’t. All placebos do not contain any substance that actually affects a person’s health or wellbeing.
The placebo effect is a scientific study in which a group of participants who were said to have a type of ailment were told they would receive a medication to relieve them of their ill condition. In reality, they were given a sugar pill (the placebo) which had no effect upon their health.
Yet after the trial period was over, the participants reported that the placebo had a positive effect upon their health. Some even reported that their illness had been cured completely. Nothing at all had changed in the status of their health for the placebo was fake, but they believed it had.
Herein lies the power of mindset and the power it has in helping us or hindering us in reaching our goals and dreams.
When we set goals, how much faith do we have that we can actually achieve them? Our level of faith most likely determines when and how our goals come to pass. When we dream, do we really believe in our dreams for the long-term or just think about it at that moment?
Most of us don’t keep our dreams alive until we realize them because we allow negative mindsets to take control. Limiting beliefs stop us from believing that we are capable or even worthy of achieving what we really want to achieve. If we believe we can, know we can, think we can, and say we can, somewhere in there, we eventually will.
Like the participants in the study, if you think you can be successful at something, you have established the belief that you will. Without that initial inner belief and faith, reaching our goals becomes much more difficult. We tend to listen to the opinions of others and succumb to social pressures that make us believe we are less than capable of thinking and acting in a way that makes us successful.
But here is the thing, mindset is meaningless unless it is followed up by action. Plenty of people say they can or they want to do something, but often don’t because they lack action. Success doesn’t come by just believing that things are possible. It comes by actually doing — taking action, working hard. A success mindset and success actions make a powerful package that result in progress and achievement.
“Certainty is a cruel mindset. It hardens our minds against possibility.”
— Ellen Langer