Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance, Yet Again

First, I came upon Jessica Hische’s wonderful website, Thousand Under 90.  It asked me: “Are you a creative person that constantly submits to competitions but never gets in?”  Then it provided me with the opportunity to create an award for myself.

Here it is.  Isn’t it cute?

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 11.19.41 AM

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But then I read this insightful article, The Surprising Secret To Selling You, that told me that being awesome may not be as awesome as I think that it is.

“We have a bias — one that operates below our conscious awareness — leading us to prefer the potential for greatness over someone who has already achieved it.”

~ Heidi Grant Halvorson

This left me flummoxed.  Did I not just create an Awesome Award for myself so that I can feel like I am the best?  Was this not the best thing for me to do?  Is gaming the system with my self-created award, perhaps, counterproductive to me winning at the game, whatever it might be?

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I was, as usual, left with that familiar feeling of cognitive dissonance that has underscored most of my life.  You know the one.

“… the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs…. a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, [wherein] something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.”

~ Kendra Cherry

And I begin to wonder if the best change that I could make to reduce my cognitive dissonance might be to keep my Awesome Award secret between you and me, my gentle readers– while continuing to sell myself to the world as someone with potential.

I think that might be the best way to proceed.  As if my Awesome Award, like so many awards, doesn’t mean a thing.  😉

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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

21 thoughts on “Dealing With Cognitive Dissonance, Yet Again”

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being your own cheerleader every now and again. If it keeps you from seeing your own faults or downfalls, then that’s a problem. But you strike me as a well-balanced person who can Keep It Real.

    Congrats on the Award. I think, of all the practitioners of AllyBeanery, you are the AllyBeaniest.


  2. You have to be your own cheerleader! No one else will promote you like you, yourself. You’ve always been very humble about your abilities…’s time to be awarded, even though it’s coming from you!! I applaud you on all of your past, present and future accomplishments!! Go Ally Bean:)


    1. Beth, that is the essence of what the article in Forbes was saying. That if you present yourself as having potential you’ll be hired. If you rely on describing yourself via past accomplishments, you’ll be passed over. Which, of course, is why I’ve come to be suspicious of the worth of my Awesome Award, cute as it may be.


  3. First, you are awesome! Totally! Second, it took me several hours to wake up enough to wrap my head around the potential v. achievement statement. In order to resolve my own cognitive dissonance, I decided it’s a journey v. destination scenario. You know how when you achieve a goal, there’s always further to go? That can be awful for my self esteem or I can view it as potential to be even better. As far as selling yourself goes, I think that attitude is preferable to the mindset of “look what I’ve achieved.” Oh, and now that I re-read your comments, I see that you already came to that conclusion. My potential is to read comments before I write one!


    1. Zazzy, well said. I think.

      It was only after reading the article in Forbes that I realized that my Award had even less value than I initially thought that it did. As I am not a “look at what I’ve achieved” sort of person, I feel that I can get over the cognitive dissonance implicit in my wanting/creating, but not needing, an award to prove myself to the world– even though on the surface of things it would seem like having an award would be necessary to prove my worth.

      Which it isn’t. I think.


      1. Awards are nice. External validation often feels needed to me. I think I should be happy being pleased with something I do myself – but I still want recognition. I don’t need it, I guess. I will keep writing and doing other creative things without it. But once in a while, it’s nice when someone gives you props.


  4. Re: Awesomeness
    Remember what Ella says, “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing.”
    (doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah, doo-ah)


  5. If we all give ourselves Awesomeness Awards, they will be devalued and mean nothing. 😉 It’s like school when everyone gets a ribbon. lol


    1. Margaret, I see what you mean. I wouldn’t want to be part of anything like that. Yet, the ego wants what the ego wants, eh? Plus this Award is so darned cute. Oh, the first world probs that I am forced to deal with! 😉


  6. The award recognizes completed steps on the journey to your potential—the means, not the end. That would be the way I would think of it, at least :-).


    1. winsomebella, now that explanation of the Awesome Award I can understand and accept. Thinking about it like that makes me feel empowered– not arrogant or undeserving. *poof* My cognitive dissonance is gone!


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