Published in Mental Health - 2 mins to read

I went for lunch with a friend today, someone I consider to be exceptionally intelligent (while I would consider myself to be marginally above average) and we talked a bit about our own misbeliefs. Misbeliefs are a weird thing - once you’re aware you hold one, it should evaporate into the ether, banished by simply being labelled. In our personal experience, as two allegedly intelligent individuals, this doesn’t happen though.

There are many things I believe about myself that I know to not be true. I have rationalised them all the way down to their minutiae, and fully appreciate the extent of their unwavering, uncompromising fallaciousness - they are demonstrably, unequivocally false. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly believe them. What’s worse, I don’t want to be believe them. I know that they’re unhealthy, unhelpful and in cases even unhinged, but it seems they are just as deeply lodged into my brain as Latin first declension noun endings (for readers lucky enough to have dodged a pretentious public school education, this is exceptionally firmly).

Knowing one thing cognitively but not being able to internalise it emotionally serves as a good reminder that my feelings are a lot less tied to my thoughts than I might otherwise believe. Being unable to shake these misbeliefs is also exceptionally frustrating, especially when they’re harmful - it feels like I am watching me hurt myself in slow motion, powerless to stop it, exactly like I talked about with being obsessed. As in that case, it’s something I need to do some proactive research into if I want to make any meaningful headway, but I know that my strategy for dealing with them is likely to centre around making small and consistent progress, chipping away at the lies I believe little by little, every single day.