Are we brainwashed to believe we can’t be experts in our own lives?

In various teaching and employment workforce roles I have had I am often led to work with people’s ability to “think around corners”, “think for themselves” or “develop critical thinking”. 

I have been dealing with various levels of human “dysfunction” related to negative patterns of behaviour for many years, often because of my own levels of dysfunction.

I have smashed some of my own “dysfunctions” (namely recovering from a brain injury and several other injurious events and addictions).  Sometimes people call me “amazing” or “remarkable” as a way to deflect from the fact that if I can do it – so can they.  I am always telling people they are the experts in their own lives and that I am no more amazing than the average gnat.

So I have ended up a facilitator of thoughts and ideas and often get emails and a throng of my ex students who credit me with changing their thinking.  I remind them that they changed their own thinking – I did relatively little, they did the work.

They laugh at this and then agree.  Hooray!!!!

Are we so brainwashed as a culture that we have to believe our experts have all the answers all the time?

Are we not losing site of our own capabilities and depending on experts for answers we already have?

How do we know that the expert is right?

Do we want to be right or do we want to be happy?

I’ve been where most people seem to want to go.  Mortgage, cars, income over 100k (just one income too) and I returned from that place and rejected it.  Now, by many peoples standards, that makes me a “loser”.   Ironically, most of it has been a choice and a lot of it has been because of illness and burn out.  But even then – I know I chose to burn out.  But I also got here (and I am 100% liking where I am going now – which is not to another mortgage) because I spent most of my time trusting the words of experts.  Sometimes negatively, sometimes positively.

I gave medical experts the “proverbial middle finger” 22 years ago to overcome an injury caused by four days in a hyperbaric chamber after getting neurological decompression injury.  I went to a neuropsychologist who told me I could rewire my brain (neuroplasticity) – something that was not accepted science then.  I was told by many I was wasting my time, but it turns out that now neuroplasticity is now considered cutting edge.  I chose to go with my gut and try something new, but if I had listened to mainstream experts I wouldn’t have even tried.

Now I check the experts status against my own understandings of what works for me and what doesn’t.

My own checklist for testing if they are patronising poops or got a clue.  I keep abreast of research on brain function.

I’m working with an OT at the moment cause I’ve had some major dramas with old injuries and my cognition again.

My new OT has introduced me to the joys of neuro-diversity.  This posits that we all think differently and this fits with the neuro-plastic scientific view that we are all wired differently.

Check this out –


I know why it’s happening and it’s a tricky situation.  It’s putting off any adventures for the moment and I’m a bit cranky with myself for letting it happen.

Never mind, next challenge.  Oh and I am no longer prepared to accept the term “brain injured”.  I am replacing it with neuro-divergent.


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