Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Hey y’all! It has been nearly FIVE months since I last blogged and – ya know what? – I am not beating myself up about it. Personally, I’ve been working from home since March, I bought a house, and I’m trying to navigate how to be fully present with my clients while honestly grappling with the fact that we’ve been experiencing a global pandemic for a solid portion of a year.
Experiencing a pandemic SUCKS, I know AND it is our reality.
Somedays I wake up and wonder to myself if some folks just think it will disappear if they pretend it doesn’t exist? And then these are the same folks who complain about it not “being over.” Hm. "I'm uncomfortable, so I am going to say it's all fake and pretend it doesn't exist.. so I can return to life as normal and not feel guilty that I could be infecting others"
Cognitive Dissonance. – refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of those attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors to reduce comfort and restore balance.
A quick example is when someone who smokes (behavior) knows that smoking causes cancer (thought/cognition) but they continue to do it anyway – this is cognitive dissonance.
Let’s dive deeper. Cognitive Dissonance was coined by Leon Festinger in 1957 after an observation study completed on a cult that believed an apocalypse was to happen on earth and that they would be saved by a UFO. The study focused specifically on the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult – and then the event did not happen.
While the not-as-committed members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves, the most committed members were more likely to reinterpret the evidence to show that they were “right all along” (that the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members.
Did those committed members actually believe it was because they were so faithful to the cult? Or did they HAVE to change their narrative to hold onto that shred of commitment for fear of being “found out” or ridiculed?
WHYYYYY is it so damn hard to admit fault? This conversation can go into the current political climate but I may save that for another day.
Ever cut someone off in traffic only to say “well I didn’t see them” or “they shouldn’t have been there.” This is cognitive dissonance.
We know we did something “wrong” and yet even to ourselves, we rationalize why it was okay or confirm to ourselves that we are still a good person.
Guess what – you are going to mess up. I am going to mess up and have countless times.
You are going to be wrong about things. I am going to be wrong about things. This is inevitable.
The perfect human does not exist. Mistakes and wrongdoings will happen.
Know that it does not dictate your worthiness as a human. It doesn't innately change who you are. It may just make you feel uncomfortable for a bit and THAT'S OKAY!! How has this affected your relationships? How has this affected your ability to receive constructive feedback? When you admit fault, particularly in leadership positions (parents, coaches, teachers, bosses, managers, etc) you are giving others a blueprint to do the same.
Admit when you are wrong. Allow yourself to sit with the discomfort, and then move the heck on.