A couple of weeks ago, a business deal I really wanted to go through . . . fell apart. It was a project I’d put a lot of time, money and personal effort into. And in the end, what I wanted and what I got did not match. At. All.
I should have been seriously bummed out (like the picture of my daughter when she was a baby).
But my rational mind played a nasty trick on me.
My rational mind started telling me things like:
“I didn’t really want that deal anyway.”
“It would have been a lot of long hours.”
“Now I have time to focus on [insert any shiny object] instead.”
What was going on?
What was my brain doing?
I was experiencing what communication researchers refer to as “cognitive dissonance,” where what you know or wish to be true and what really exists do not match. The human brain doesn’t like differences like these and tries desperately to self-correct when they occur.
When we experience cognitive dissonance, our instinct is to avoid similar situations so that we don’t experience the uncomfortable difference between current and desired states.
But if I am straight with myself, I realize that my rationalizations about this business deal are not true. They are a result of my cognitive dissonance.
I’m taking the straight road with myself on this one. I acknowledge the disappointment. I mourn for the lost deal. And I look to the future for the next similar opportunity.
Shoot me a quick email with the cognitive dissonance are you are rationalizing . . . and then let’s kick it to the curb!