Skip to main content

How To Analyze Weird Ways Your Mind Fools You

Want to know how to understand yourself?

I often get questions from people on the forum who want to understand themselves and their actions better. To answer these I frequently refer to an important concept in self understanding call the “system concept”.

What’s the “system concept” you might ask?

Well, let’s take an example to illustrate it…

Kevins Desire To Be A Good Video-Game Player

Kevin is having problems at college because he is constantly arriving late for lectures. He keeps trying to change his behavior and arrive on time but his efforts always fail. The reason he keeps arriving late is that he wakes up late every day, simple enough.

But why does Kevin wake up late every day? The reason is that he has been staying up late every night.

What is keeping him up at night? He is addicted to playing online video games and stays up late playing against people in other countries online ...and can’t stop doing this.

It may seem like a superficial description of his behavior but there is an underlying reason behind his drive to constantly play video games. Kevin feels a sense of inferiority relative to his friends and peers and is spending his time and energy trying to impress others by becoming a star video game player, winning online tournaments …and thus impressing his friends.

Thus the main reason behind Kevin’s problem arriving on time is not simply waking up late but rather it is a result of his low self-esteem. When analyzing a problem it is necessary to examine the whole system of behavior rather than just a single element.

This is what the system concept is based upon.

Self Understanding and the System Concept

Kevins case is hardly unique. Each of us exhibit certain behaviors that we wish to change but struggle with. Often part of the struggle is that we are not able to understand the root cause of these behaviors.

When we try to analyze the reasons for this behavior we often stop short at the superficial causes (such as Kevin waking up late). Stopping short like this is a defense mechanism. Our subconscious is trying to protect us from the REAL truth (i.e. that we have an underlying problem like a lack of self-esteem).

But with a wider lens we can look at the whole system of our behavior. Understanding the sources of our behaviors and their influences can help up us eliminate these problems and live better lives. This is why psychologists try to dismantle what a persons subconscious is trying to hide. They need to find the root cause of a persons problems  before they can help that person and fix them.

Here’s What You Need To Do…

One of the main reasons I sat down and created this website was to help people better understand themselves and live better lives.

With this in mind – your first step to improving your self understanding is to continue reading. Reading more about psychology, self help, and personal development will lead you to see the bigger picture and improve your self understanding.

You cannot fix a problem until you know what that problem is. This is what a lot of the articles on can help you find out …and then fix it.