From a young age, we develop our own identities, through self-image and through that self-image we create perceptions of how we view ourselves, our beliefs and our world.
We genuinely believe we see the world realistically and act in rationale ways. Sadly, when our own thoughts and behaviour are challenged, or accusations are thrown at us, the self-image we have developed will take a knock. Our experiences often create cognitive dissonance a form of tension and stress is the reason why we fail to take responsibility.
Stress arises when we attempt to have or hold two conflicting beliefs, ideas, opinions or attitudes at the same time. For example, we know smoking is bad for us and yet we continue to smoke.
On the one-hand we want clarity through closure, but on the other hand we continue to contradict ourselves because we know what we would need to do to have clarity and closure, but we justify the means for it not getting done.
It’s a human failing, because we find reasons to continue to justify our thinking. We work things out, usually as we go, but that doesn’t mean we will get things right. When we make mistakes, the gap made between our self-image and questionable behaviour creates the ‘cognitive dissonance.’
We can either admit that we made a mistake and re-evaluate our thinking, or we can continue to justify our behaviour, so that our thinking is not in conflict with our self-image. When we continue to justify ourselves, we will always come to evaluate our own understanding of things, not what’s right.
Sadly, in those moments where we put a different slant on things and on the way we want things to go, we will always avoid taking responsibility on doing what’s right.