Responsibility Answers: Unconscious Bias

“If I don’t acknowledge reality, I can’t deal with it.”

Christopher Avery

Responsibility Answers

How can I take responsibility for unconscious Bias?

Intellectually, we know that it’s wrong for us to have racial, religious, gender or other bias. But our split second behaviors demonstrate that we’re full of biases. How can I take responsibility for my unconscious biases? 

If you were to ask me, are you biased? I would want to say, “No, I’m not biased.” But, I’ve learned to acknowledge what’s true. If I don’t acknowledge reality, I can’t deal with it.

You can test this for yourself.

There are unconscious bias tests that you can do online. The tests give you a split second to make a choice, and measure reactions that you can’t control. You’ll learn a lot about yourself from one of those tests.

I grew up in a religion that taught me to be tolerant and open to others, while simultaneously telling me “We’re right and they’re wrong.”

As a result of these mixed messages, I found myself in right/wrongness and Judgment about people from other religions.

It takes a lot of work to get past tolerating other faiths and religions, to accepting that these religions are just as good as yours is. That’s a big step.

You can apply the same thing to gender, race, nationality – any area where you have bias.

How do you do that work? You do that work by installing the Catch Sooner game in your mind.

You can read about the Catch Sooner game in chapter five of my book, The Responsibility Process. The Catch Sooner game teaches that you can change any habit or behavior that you want to change.

The first step of the Catch Sooner game is to catch yourself when you engage in the behavior you want to change.

In that moment, stop and you examine your choice, and make a new conscious choice.

Forgive yourself for the old habit. Forgive yourself for being human, for continuing a habit or a belief that you’ve spent a lifetime honing.

The fourth step is to vow to catch yourself sooner next time.

Over time, as you catch yourself, keep examining where those thoughts come from. Maybe it’s a thought of fear, a thought of tolerating or resenting someone for who they are.

Where did it come from? Do I want to hold onto that? What if I change my thought right now instead of holding onto it?

That’s how Responsibility teaches me to deal with my unconscious biases.

Here’s something that you can do today.

Think of one of your biases that you’re not proud of. Maybe you have a negative reaction when you see someone of a certain race, hear a certain language, see someone driving a certain type of car – whatever that bias is for you.

Install the Catch Sooner game in your head, and remember, just catch yourself having that reaction, stop and change the reaction to a much more accepting, allowing, positive, abundant thought.

Forgive yourself for being human, and then vow to catch yourself sooner next time.

We’re always here for you at the Responsibility Company, whether it’s through our DIY programs (such as this Responsibility Answers series) or through our premium programs. I work for you – let me know how I can help.

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