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Cognitive dissonance


The dictionary defines authenticity as something that seems real or true. One could define an authentic person as someone who has consistent thoughts, words and actions. There has certainly been a move towards the commodification of authenticity (if that is not a dichotomy) on social media, with the more 'real' profiles gaining the most engagement.


We are all fighting the 'cognitive dissonance' that occurs in our heads a thousand times per day, when we have sometimes fleeting, sometimes long-term contradictory thoughts and feelings. It almost feels that a typically authentic person is just that little bit more aware of not being full of s**t.


'Cognitive dissonance' is that uncomfortable feeling you get when you hold two contradictory thought patterns in your mind at the same time. This dissonance is common, entirely natural and often very productive, as nuance and compromise is often the answer to many of the world's problems.


That said, uncontrolled cognitive dissonance can lead to accusations of hypocrisy. I expect one rule for me and one rule for others. I saw a wonderful poster outside a Persian restaurant a few weeks ago. It said 'No one is free until we are all free' Can we sit comfortably enjoying our own freedoms, demanding ever more. While others have none?


Sadly, I think the answer to that appears to be.. yes.


On a lighter note, authenticity in the digital fitness world comes from self-awareness and a comfort in one's own skin. This is unique to certain characters. Those individuals are comfortable when they are speaking, but also are relaxed when there is silence, letting the music do the work. Research shows that authentic personalities are often less defensive, as they tend to benefit from a reduction in the level of which they perceive threat from others.


Authenticity also correlates with other psychologically beneficial traits including greater adaptive coping, less mental disengagement, less tendency to blame and offer denial* We work hard to allow our instructors to be their authentic themselves at Johnson Digital, but this topic always leads me to the question-



How can we be authentic when we do not even know ourselves?



* Brenner (Psychology Today- Oct 2023)


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