A conflict between our beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, emotions and perceptions is called cognitive dissonance. It raises feelings of discomfort, imbalance and thus we feel that we need to eliminate or at least reduce it immediately. We innately try to avoid such inconsistencies.
These are 2 key strategies to reduce or minimize your cognitive dissonance:
- Evaluate the helpfulness of your chosen behaviours. Examine whether your behavior indeed supports your beliefs or does it add to the dissonance you feel. Choose to adapt more effective and suitable behaviours.
- Challenge your thoughts- Seek new information that disputes or proves the conflicting thoughts. New facts, not opinions nor emotions, might serve to reduce the discomfort that you are feeling. It will help you evaluate the thoughts in a more rational and realistic way, which will help you resolve the conflict.