I am new to SCS and joined in order to stop overeat, overdrink, overspend, and procrastinate, all activities I believed were the total makeup of who I am and why I am flawed and will always struggle.
I finally found new terms with Brooke’s message, that made me realize that while there’s a big work for me to do, I CAN solve all those issues and that there is nothing wrong with me. I am a human living in a world of temptations.
I am trying to understand better the terms URGES and Cognitive Dissonance, as I feel the real work lies within how I respond to them.
An urge to overeat will be offered to me by my brain due to an efficient habit that my brain had memorized. I got very skilled at fulfilling my desires and now that I want to have a new desire (to be slim, to not want alcohol, to reduce my debt, to succeed in my business), these new desires stand in front of well ingrained and practiced older desires.
The key to learn my new desires then, is to raise the volume, so to speak, on the reason to follow the new desires.
When I tried to overcome the congitive dissonance the last week, first, I accept each desire as it was offered to me.
When the learned and old desire came up, I understood why it was offered to me.
My brain had repeated it for a long time.
Then I reminded myself of my new desire and how I want it to desire that new one more.
What I noticed that happened for me then is that my brain is coming up with thoughts like: just this once, this one time won’t matter, I can afford having it, and so on.
It’s as if these are ways my brain reduces the cognitive dissonance between the two conflicting desires, by reducing the effect of ‘harm’ that will be caused if I choose the older desire over the new one. It’s as if it modifies the reasoning in order to support the satisfaction of my urge.
These justifications almost make it look like in the moment I made a careful decision.
How do I solve for this? Perhaps I am not getting it right…