This is hands-down one of the questions I get asked most often about the pendulum and Truth Testing. So often in fact, that it’s a whole big-ass section in my newest book: Pendulum Mojo. But let me see if I can break it down for you here and give you some simple tips.
Prefer to watch rather than read? Take a peek:
I put up that video back in 2009 but it all still holds true.
Now, for you readers out there (buy my book! LOL. No, seriously. Buy it. Two of my kids just started Taekwondo and that shizzle is expensive.) here’s a quick run-down of recognizing bias (an excerpt from Pendulum Mojo (c) 2015 Amy Scott Grant):
If you have a strong preference or attachment one way or another, you are biased, which means you can definitely swing the pendulum in a certain direction without consciously intending to. Since the whole point of Truth Testing is to get a true and accurate answer, it’s worth taking a few minutes here to learn how to avoid the influence of bias.
Here are several ways you can handle bias when it shows up:
- Ask your question, then say, “Please show me a clear and unbiased answer.” This works for most people, but not everyone. It’s worth a shot to see if it works for you, as this is the easiest method of all.
- If I know I have a bias before I ask, I will often begin by asking, “Am I able to get an unbiased answer on this right now?” If that answer is no, then I’ll ask later or seek out a third-party verification. If I get yes, it seems to suspend my bias long enough to get a reliable answer.
- Begin by swinging your pendulum in a way that is not one of your signs. For example, if your signs are universal, then you might swing it around in a circle. Close your eyes and hold the question in your mind. Sit for a few seconds, and then open your eyes to see an unbiased answer. This is my husband’s favorite method for asking when he knows he has a bias (or when I accuse him of having one).
- If the answer seems suspect, you can ask, “Is that a true and unbiased answer?” Nine times out of ten, you’ll get a no if bias is present. When this happens, this is a good time to call in third party verification. If they get a different answer from yours, you can bet you’re the one who’s biased, at which point it helps to call in another third party verification as tiebreaker.
- Distract yourself by asking your question and then close your eyes and think of something totally different, but not another question. For example, if you ask, “ATC, is it optimal for me to go to the movies tonight?” then you might distract yourself by thinking about what you had for breakfast, or trying to recall what Great Aunt Josephine sent you for your birthday last year. HINT: it was probably a card and a check. Did you call and thank her? By the time you bring your attention back, you can open your eyes and see your uninfluenced answer.
- If I know I have a strong bias, I will sometimes distract myself by thinking of my next move if I get the answer I don’t want. For example, if I really want to get a yes, I’ll ask my question and then look away and think about what I will do next if the answer is no. This helps to lessen my attachment as I focus on alternative solutions. As a bonus, if I get the answer I don’t want, it’s no big deal because I’ve detached from needing it to go a certain way, and I’ve already thought of a suitable solution. Win-win!
I recommend trying all of the above methods to see which one you like best. I’m a big fan of whatever works.
In the book I also show you how to obtain third-party verification. But in the meantime, play around with the above and see what works for you. And let me know how it goes.
Go for it!