Growth Liabilities Pt. 3: Self-Serving Bias

In this series of natural human tendencies that warp our view of reality, we’re looking to bring awareness in order to claim some power of choice. If our world is being colored in ways we cannot see, we will be at the mercy of such bias and won’t be empowered to overcome these biases for the best chance to grow.

So far we’ve established that growth occurs at our edges and often with the frame breaking disconfirming information. In many cases, these biases shield us from the disconfirming information we need to grow. We’ve specifically discussed the confirmation bias and the Dunning-Kruger Effect and the limits they place on our growth.

Now, it’s time to address the self-serving bias. This nearly ubiquitous human tendency warps how we understand success and failure. It goes on to declare that under the self-serving bias that we believe our failures are due to external factors, yet that we are personally responsible for our successes.  

When it comes to development this would leave us blind to potentially critical feedback about our shortcomings. If we took responsibility for them, like we do our successes rather than blame external circumstances, we could use this information to guide a new, better direction. In addition, it’s worth remembering we can have success come our way on accident or from actions outside of our doing. Believing that our success is always directly correlated to our doing can hide dangerous blind spots about ineffective processes that are perpetuated without a need for change amongst the success.

Removing the self-serving bias (at least temporarily) would require an ego check. Assume you’re responsible for your failures and look to give credit to others in your successes as a strategy to better see what growth is available for you.

Logan Gelbrich


2/28/19 WOD

Accumulate 20 Muscle Ups..

Then, complete 5 Rounds
In :90
150m Row
Max Wall Balls (20/14)
-Rest :90-