Do you find yourself running from negative feelings? That's what we call cognitive dissonance.
What is cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is when we have two opposing thoughts or beliefs that play a tug of war in our brains. Are you doing something or behaving in a certain way and feeling uneasy, agitated, or ashamed? It’s because your behavior doesn’t align with your values, and you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Have you been there? Are you there now?
We want to feel a certain way and don’t know how to own our needs and wants, let alone ask for what we need and want in our relationships. What to do? Either keep doing what you are doing and live in juxtaposed worlds or resolve the dissonance by being true to yourself. Sounds easy, but it’s not if you’ve struggled with being too flexible in your relationships: not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, you can’t say no, avoid talking about difficult issues, and fear rejection. Unfortunately, avoiding choosing between the opposing thoughts/beliefs keeps us stuck in this uncomfortable mental duress. Ever hear the phrase what we resist persists? It persists until we choose to change or wait for the other person to find out, and they decide how to react or respond to your behavior.
Once our stressors overwhelm our coping strategies, the scale tips in their favor because we’ve got nothing in our toolbox to help us deal. That’s when we seek out help, self-medicate to shut down the system so we can shut off the internal noise of disparity. or keep running away.
“Come to the edges, Life said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, Life said. They came. It pushed them… and they flew.” - Christopher Logue.
Consider contacting a therapist if you want help navigating your way toward your True Self.