I tapped into a thought-provoking discussion today after someone asked whether “me-bias” was impacting their life.
I had not heard of me-bias before. However, the discussion made it sound plausible.
People have a me-bias when they only think of how something will help them instead of other people. For example, when someone claims they don’t have any opportunities for a better life, chances are good they are looking at the world through a me-bias.
They’ll ignore a life-changing idea because they are only interested in what they can get out of it, rather than how they can change the lives of others with the idea, product or service.
Me-bias stems from either selfishness or fear. It’s selfish to do something based only on what’s in it for you, especially when you have the skill, talent and life experiences to make a difference in someone else’s life. It stems from fear if you wonder what others will think of you, if you should fail.
The bias also works to talk people out of great ideas when they imagine everything that could go wrong, even though those things probably won’t happen.
Imposter Syndrome is another variant of me-bias because people convince themselves they don’t have what it takes to be successful and that nobody would be interested in what they say or have to offer. It’s false! People are always looking for help. Google made a fortune connecting people looking for answers with people who can provide them.
Author MJ DeMarco put it best when he noted that instead of thinking, “What can my business (project, idea, service) do for the world or my community?” they only think about “What can this do for me?”
If the answer isn’t resoundingly in their favor at the moment, people often don’t even consider it. Yet, if they had just taken those first steps to get started and stuck with it long enough to work out the bugs, they probably would be very successful.
Yes, people should be mindful of wasting money and time. But, most people over 50 have the financial resources and available time to invest in a new project or purpose without having to worry whether it will bankrupt them, if they fail. Simply start small and nurture it until it blooms.
If the idea involves utilizing your God-given skills or talent as well wisdom born out of your life experiences, then you can consider it a divine assignment — and God always funds his assignments. The Bible makes that clear in 2 Corinthians 9:10-11:
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
“It’s no shock you can’t find an idea when you’ve backed yourself into a corner of having that idea meet your me-bias,” MJ added. “When you drop a me-bias, suddenly the world opens up to you, and opportunities are everywhere.”
If you have an idea that you think is ideally suited for you and you’d have fun pursuing it, then jump in without hesitation — especially if you get a confirmation from God. Don’t let your me-bias convince you it’s easier and safer to do nothing at all.
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.