There are many everyday terms which can collectively mean the same thing: to be ‘under the influence of’, ‘at the effect of’ or ‘under the spell of’. Within an inspirational book Thinking; fast and slow, Daniel Kahneman refers to this external or internal influence as Biased Anchoring. This term I feel, really encapsulates the idea of influence akin to a magnet, pulling us towards unprocessed internal or external beliefs like an anchor with a bias of weighted certainty. It is in this way that bias anchoring becomes an invisible force, pulling us away from scrutinising the source of those beliefs or their contextual or rational relevance.
Spellbound is often portrayed in the context of love, where the pink glow radiating from the spell which love perpetuates not only effects how they perceive the recipient, but extends to an overall positive attitude. Conversely, feeling unloved, low self-esteem, lack of acknowledgment, a difficult living or work environment will almost certainly impose a spell, influencing a perspective to view the world as hostile, threatening and ultimately lonely.
In the context of practice and performance, being spellbound can be used both as a tool of infinite power, or a weapon of mass distraction. Embarking on a learning or performance project, belief systems (both internal and external) play a major part to impact on attitude and inevitably behaviour. If I compare ‘anchoring’ to a magnet and ‘bias’ to four points of a compass which have the capacity to pull in very different directions. It is under the spell of one of these directional pulls, which will mean the difference of starting a practice session. This also includes following through on the desire of returning to an instrument after a long gap or embarking on a new learning project.
It is from nurturing and encouraging self-belief and self-credibility and fostering self-awareness to question and expose mistaken beliefs, that we will rebuff the grip from biased anchoring imposing a spell on the decisions we take and the influences we follow.
The powerful influence of belief systems should therefore not be underestimated as a source of purpose and determination driving our motivation, intensifying our vital receptors to quash outmoded beliefs systems. Sometimes originating from a thoughtless remark or self-generated, their influence spreading shadows of despondency and despair, anchoring us to submissively give in to familiar beliefs.
The seeds of growth and new possibilities are planted within each and every person. It starts with the decision to break the spell and resist the pull from the magnet of familiar patterns and unthinking habits and break free to a place where we have freedom of mind to fully realise our potential