Day 4 – Cognitive Dissonance

I wasn’t particularly fond of this year’s Write 31-day graphic…but I’d spent some time creating it and then I posted it and then I was stuck with it.

But was I really?  Who’s the boss here and what are the consequences?  None.  You probably didn’t even notice I changed it and furthermore, you probably don’t give a damn.

Cognitive Dissonance (I highly recommend Mistakes Were Made, affiliate) is my new favorite topic…I find it absolutely fascinating.  But then again I find all things that help me understand myself better fascinating.  I mean think about it for a minute.  Ever do something and then wonder why in the world you did it?  How did you get from point A to point B?  But you still find a way to justify it. Or find yourself in such a web of lies that you finally throw your hands up in surrender and vomit the truth.

Truth Vomit

This so happened to me last week.  I called the bank pretending to be my oldest son, Trevor who is 20 and no longer considered a minor.  I was trying to expedite setting up a new account under his name so I could transfer college funds.  Totally above board (honest) and timely (because I’m efficient if anything.)

When asked my name I said, Trevor.
“This is Trevor?”
Heart pounding “Yes”
A couple of other security questions and then the dreaded “Are you sure this is Trevor?”
“Ugh, okay, FINE, this is his mom and I’m trying to get something done.”
Totally laughing at myself by this point.
Dissonance resolved.


Cognitive dissonance — the stress we experience when we hold two contradictory thoughts, beliefs, opinions or attitudes. For example, you might believe you are a kind and calm person, so when you yell at your spouse or child, you experience dissonance. One way to cope with it is to deny your mistake and insist the spouse or child should have done what was expected, or at the very least, it’s your prerogative to correct people when wrong.  Or maybe while driving you cut someone off and totally blame them.  If they were better drivers you wouldn’t have to cut them off ????.  The other way, the narrow road, is to admit your mistake.

What in the world does this have to do with a logo/branding?  Personally, once I’ve committed down a road I feel compelled to continue.  A couple of my self-concepts are commitment, steadfastness, and “make it happen, captain.”  But, what if what I’m making happen isn’t working or right for me?  But if I quit I find myself in cognitive dissonance. Fascinating.

Until tomorrow,

Miss a day – read more “The Crazy Things We Do”

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Donna Matthews is a blog writer at the DJRanch where she strives to remain authentic while not taking herself too seriously. She is also the creator of Slay The Chaos (, where she writes about productivity and organization. She is a member of The Writers Guild and Write Space in Houston and is currently writing her first book.