We just bought a new car – so fun!!
It's about every 3 to 4 years that we get a new family car, and it was time.
We really like this new car and are excited about it.
But do you want to hear how the last few days have gone in my mind?
“We don't need a new car”
“This car is really nice and I kinda want it”
“But the car we have is also nice”
“We've been talking about it for awhile and this seems like the perfect option”
“Should we really be spending this much money”
“I am so grateful we have the money”
“Maybe we should wait it's happening so fast”
“I'm so glad we are taking care of this now”
And on and on and back and forth like that.
Please tell me I'm not alone ;)?!
This silly illustration is an example of a thought pattern called cognitive dissonance. A fancy psychology term that basically means having contradicting thoughts at the same time.
Why is this a problem? Because it keeps us from making decisions, moving forward in life, and experiencing peace. It creates a lot of mental discomfort.
We usually experience this cognitive dissonance when it comes to our behaviors or beliefs. So maybe we want to lose weight but we have a long-held belief system that tells us we've tried everything. Or maybe we want to not yell at our kids, but we believe they only listen/obey when we yell.
When we decide we want to start believing something new, the discomfort of cognitive dissonace will come. But it is possible to be uncomfortable and get results.
[READ THAT AGAIN]
Here is what works best for me. I decide what I want, and practice believing it, even though it's super uncomfortable. Even though I experience cognitive dissonance. I allow it to be there. And I plan on it being there.
I then start poking holes in the old beliefs that I have. The ones that are keeping me from taking the action to get what I want. I just slowly question them and try on the idea that they may not be true.
Doing this consistently helps ease the discomfort and shows our brains that many things are possible. Our brains will then go to work proving that that new belief is true (rather than our old beliefs).
This concept of conginitive dissonance is a powerful one to know because it opens the door to our dreams, to things we never thought were possible. If we can just accept the discomfort, we will for sure be rewarded on the other side.