You’ve likely heard of the placebo effect, or the event in which a person experiences anticipated effects of an inactive substance posed as an active treatment method. For instance, if someone is given sugar pills for their depression, they might convince themselves the “medication” is making them feel better, when really it’s their belief in it that’s doing so.
This is a common phenomenon that many people discuss but also overlook. Humans are naturally drawn to evidence and scientific explanations. Trusting a concept that can’t be “proven” can feel uncomfortable and even terrifying, especially when you’re investing so much time, energy and faith in it.
However, as we become more open-minded, the placebo effect is beginning to receive recognition—and for good reason.
"The placebo effect is more than positive thinking—believing a treatment or procedure will work,” said Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It's about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together.”
Dr. Joe Dispenza, neuroscientist and author of You are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, fostered this connection when he was struck by a car and deemed paralyzed if he chose to resist surgery. Not liking the few options he had, he created and committed to his own choice: Healing his body by using his “invisible consciousness,” or what he also refers to as “the giver of life.”
Dr. Dispenza’s book focuses on the power of our minds, how we can both harm and help our bodies by simply thinking. We can manifest exactly what we focus our energy on by tapping into our innate intelligence and abilities. Certainly, this can benefit our careers as well.
The concept is simple yet life-altering, and it can help anyone who feels lost at their job, trapped in a nine-to-five or too timid to take that leap into entrepreneurship. Here are the techniques I learned from reading You are the Placebo and how you can apply them to your own career.