Cognitive Dissonance Defined
“Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one’s behaviour, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, or by justifying or rationalising their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours.”
Two Beliefs in Conflict
B. Everywhere I look around me, everyone was going on about their business as if there was nothing wrong and everything is smelling like roses. Even the global recession was said to be over which so many pundits spruiked. I didn’t believe for a second and history shows that I was correct in this belief.
Since then, a lot of time has passed, so I don’t think this way much any more, well not as often as I did. I have come to realise that cognitive dissonance is the first stage of awareness about an issue, and although it is very confusing for a while, you suddenly realise that these massive issues are not all full of doom and gloom, but are filled with hope and opportunity.
Thinking of the worst case scenario only paralyses people (and yourself) with fear, and you fail to act. By describing a message of hope and a better life without loss of lifestyle, it is an easier way to engage others and keep them interested in the simple changes you have made yourself. It took me a while to figure this out, but hey, I have always been one to learn from my mistakes (eventually).
I have found that when I talk about my lifestyle at work in a positive way, I get far more interest than if I had started telling people about the big issues that face us.
Actions Help, and Seek Like Minds
So, take hope if you are feeling cognitive dissonance right now, because it will pass as you learn more. I suggest that you don’t ignore it, but act upon it.
Have you ever had environmental cognitive dissonance, and how did you react to the opposing thoughts or ideas? I would love to hear your experiences via a comment.