Cognitive dissonance is a term that simply describes how our brains work when we have beliefs. But, more specifically, contradictory beliefs. And that is where things get bad, confusing and sometimes dangerous.
If we believe that…
- Things are really crappy in our marriage
- 2020 has been the most horrific year
- The world is unsafe and unpredictable
- People are not to be trusted
…then, to protect us, our brains will constantly look for evidence / proof of these beliefs.
Let’s take the ever happy and non-divisive subject of politics —
Our egos are so strong that even if the opposite side makes a really good political point, we can’t hear it. We’ll spend every loving moment of the day looking for things that support our beliefs. And that’s cognitive dissonance — in a nutshell.
Believe it or not, when we’re so attached to our belief system, we often choose to agree with things that defy common sense.
(Side note: I hate talking about politics. I don’t even let my husband talk politics — even if it’s just to me. I’m like, “Zip it!”)
Applying Cognitive Dissonance To Your Personal Life
If you believe you’re in a lousy marriage, then you’re going to ignore any momentary sign that you’re actually in a decent marriage.
All the positive occurrences that take place between you and your spouse are (subconsciously) rejected because you’re too busy confirming anything that supports your belief.
Why We Engage in Cognitive Dissonance
To protect ourselves. But ironically, we’re actually hurting ourselves. If you think that…
- You don’t deserve money
- You’ll always be broke
- Hitting menopause means the decline of your looks
…Then, not only will you look for proof of this, you’ll behave in ways — unknowingly — that support your negative / unhealthy / bad belief.
It’s a vicious cycle because the more we behave in ways that support our negative/unhealthy/bad beliefs, we start to see more of those negative/unhealthy/bad beliefs come to fruition.
And when we see what we think is evidence, our cognitive dissonance (i.e., negative cognition) gets stronger and stronger.
Now, all of this is interesting to note because you can do the exact opposite and begin to align your actions with your desired feeling. Yes, your brain is that powerful!
You can learn just how to do that, plus…
- How manifesting is different from goal setting and why
- Why we often manifest the wrong way
- How to regain control when things are chaotic
…by listening to The Chalene Show episode below:
And if you’re looking for weekly shows dedicated to your personal growth, then you must subscribe to TCS now!