A means to mental resilience

We cling onto our core beliefs because of deep seated psychological reasons.

We often associate some set of core beliefs with our identity. This might be a political position (I am a liberal), love for one’s country and culture (I am a patriot) or our fandom (I am a Manchseter United fan). When somebody challenges or insults these deeply held associations, our brain feels intense pain – similar to being attacked by a bear. That is why we react with anger and feel experience a great deal of emotional hurt.

But let us flip the coin around. If having our deeply held beliefs feels as threatening to us as a bear attack, if we are resilient to having these beliefs attacked, won’t that make us resilient to a host of other situations that feel threatening? Isn’t that a means to build our own mental fortitude? In other words, if we can separate our beliefs from our sense of identity, won’t that make us more mentally resilient overall?

I don’t know if there is a two-way relationship here, but it is one that is worth pondering about.

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