🎧 Prefer to listen to the audio version? Click here!
Cognitive what? I know it sounds a bit difficult, but I’m going to break it down for you because it’s something that we all experience, and once you understand it, you’ll be able to see it at work in your life. Once we recognize cognitive dissonance for what it is, we can close the gap between what you currently believe and what you want to believe.
Let’s start with a definition. Cognitive dissonance is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
Let’s break it down a bit more because if you’re not confused, I am. Basically, cognitive dissonance is when we know how we want to act, we know the “right” beliefs that could get us to take the actions we want to take, but yet we don’t believe those thoughts enough to take the action we desire consistently.
Phew. I know, it’s a mouth-full!
Cognitive dissonance can also work in reverse where you have taken steps towards your future self and are doing the things that you want to be doing but your old self and thoughts are trying to tell you that you can’t do it. I call this identity crisis which I will speak about in a future post.
Cognitive dissonance examples:
- Knowing sugar isn’t good for you but eating it anyway.
- Knowing that we want to get up early tomorrow morning having a rested and clear mind but staying up late and watching Netflix anyway.
- Wanting to snuggle on a Friday night with our honey but staying at work late instead.
The work I do as a coach helps you see your current beliefs and how they are serving you. What that means is we uncover the things you are thinking that are keeping you from achieving what you want in your love relationship. Once we understand how we feel is coming from how we are thinking, we can then start looking at what other beliefs we might want to begin working towards.
The trick is that once we decide where it is we want to go with our new belief, cognitive dissonance steps in between that new belief and our old one. How long it will take us to eliminate the dissonance truly depends on our willingness to do the work of banning the old thought and how long that old thought has been lurking in our brain. It also requires that you take believable steps in your new belief creation; downloading the thought laddering worksheet found in my post “Getting From Here To There” will help tremendously in this process.
The process of closing the cognitive dissonance gap is one of the biggest reasons we hire coaches. First, a coach helps you discover the pesky belief holding you back; then your coach helps you close the gap of disbelief and keep you moving towards a belief that will serve the life you want to create for yourself. On our own we will always gravitate towards the belief we’ve identified with, our coach helps us uncover how we are doing this so we can keep making progress.
The gap between what we currently believe and what we want to believe can seem difficult to overcome. As much as we dream of the desired results and as much as we despise where we currently are, there is comfort in the mess that we sit in. Take a look at the industry I served for over thirty years, the “fitness division” of the health and wellness industry—so many people miserable where they are yet stuck in that misery. “About 82.1 million adults spend an estimated $28.6 billion on gym memberships each year. And yet 6.3% of these aspirational gymgoers never end up using them.” That, my loves, is some cognitive dissonance!
Where we want to be and what it means to us.
Most of us have dreams of being somewhere other than where we are in life and I believe that’s a beautiful thing, I’m all in on growing, learning, expanding our horizons. The problem is how we think we will feel when we get there, our reason for getting there is that we think life will be better “there.” Most of us think our lives will be better when we have the love, have the car, have the job, have the goal weight and so we keep chasing that better life. Here’s the problem though, we’re not enjoying where we are, what we have achieved so when we get there we will be looking ahead to the next, never satisfied.
Pay attention. Look at some goals you have achieved; maybe you’ve married the man (or woman), bought the car, and landed the job, but you’re still not happy. That’s because you are always in search of the happiness outside of yourself, in that next best thing, never truly enjoying the current victory for more than a moment before you move on, not truly in love with where you are.
I love asking myself, “What is perfect about right now?”
It’s when we can fully love ourselves and our current life that we can actually start drawing more to us, but not because we need them to feel happy, but simply because we want to. When we know where we want to be, we can recognize that the achievement will be the reward and that life will still be 50/50 when we get there; that’s when we start making true progress towards our dreams while fully enjoying the space between here and there.
Where we are and our belief in attaining our goal.
Most of the time, our belief in ourselves and our ability to achieve our goal is in the dump. When this is the case, it’s difficult for us to believe enough to invest in ourselves.
Working in the fitness industry for thirty years showed me how much money people will throw at promises to look good. Yet, we are reluctant to invest in what will allow us to achieve our fitness goals, sustain those goals, and achieve our life goals. Why? Because we don’t believe in ourselves, we want someone else to tell us what to do so we can look to them when things don’t go the way we expect. Learning how to manage our mind allows us to create our own path, the path that will produce lasting change.
The price of the coaching program doesn’t matter when a person’s dissonance is large. If the program is cheap, they may buy-in, but only because their rationale is that they might lose that money and they are ok with that. When the program is worth its gold weight, they doubt themselves so much that the price becomes the obstacle to starting.
Once we learn how to be all in ourselves and believe that we can create our desired results, that’s when we wouldn’t even consider the “cheap” program because we believe in the value we will produce for ourselves. We know the value is priceless and that we will be making an investment that will easily pay itself off.
Stepping into belief and closing the dissonance gap.
One, you could decide today to be all in on believing in yourself and your ability to produce the promised results with your new coach’s help. This is a stretch for most people, and that’s why I offer so much free value here on my blog, in my free courses, and on my social media platforms. It allows people to start the work independently, start closing the dissonance gap and start taking steps towards self-belief, self-trust, and trust in me as their future coach. As you create the results on your own you will know that continuing this work with a professional will put you in the fast lane.
My job is to show you how to believe in yourself, help you to believe that you are worthy and capable of the results of this work.
Personally, I have watched the cognitive dissonance be reduced in so many areas of my life, the biggest one is seeing, believing and investing in the work of cleaning my own mind.
I used to yearn for the dream; I believed my dream was worth millions, yet I didn’t believe hard enough to justify investment in a coach to guide me. The truth is, I didn’t believe in my ability to create the results, but I did the work of narrowing my cognitive dissonance, and then I believed enough to dive into the deep end.
I will NEVER regret that decision.
🎧 Audio version of blog here!
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of