Article 042: The power of the placebo effect

In a 2002 study, 180 people underwent three treatment routes for their arthritis. In one group, surgeons removed the patients’ loose knee cartilage. In the second group, excess fluid was washed away. The third group, received fake surgery, meaning that they were put under while a surgeon made an incision on either side of the knee. When they woke, they were told that the surgery was a success. In the end, the placebo group reported better mobility and less pain than either of the groups who received genuine surgical intervention.

Once we believe in something – whether it’s a medicine or a higher power – it can be transformative. Doctors have prescribed sugar pills, saline filled injections, even fake surgeries – only to see that their patients were able to rid themselves of the effects of debilitating conditions on their own.

Belief systems are a key ingredient in the recipe for success, but real beliefs do not appear out of nothing. They require substance in order to be embedded in our subconscious. They may begin by being grounded in our upbringing, our religion, or they may be based on science. In some cases, a belief system can be fostered in a second. Take a person who has woken up after a fake surgery. A doctor has told them that they have been cured, and so they instantly believe in the effects of surgery. In each instance, these beliefs are either the result of conditioning, or they’ve been handed to us by an authority figure.

However, there is another way to develop a belief system: constant repetition. In order to reap the benefits of a certain belief, it needs to be backed up through repetitive thought. When a belief becomes ingrained in your subconscious it has the same effect as a placebo, and you can then harness its power. It becomes a ‘knowing’ that it’s just going to happen and this knowing is incredibly powerful.

A rebel entrepreneur must have self-belief. Through the practice of repetitive, positive thinking you guard yourself with the mindset required to see your goals through. Affirmations that a company, product or service has the potential to scale, together with repetitive positive questions on how to achieve it, will have an impact on its realisation. When positive self-belief is conditioned, the placebo effect kicks in and gets to work on actualising the results.




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