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  • Writer's pictureAubrey Harris

Do You Feel Stuck?

Updated: Apr 2

Cognitive inertia (also known as confirmation bias) is when a person resists or blatantly ignores new information that contradicts existing beliefs.

It’s prevalent in individuals with hyper-independent tendencies and/or untreated mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

Cognitive inertia is also linked to a pattern of correlating belief systems to our identity. Suggesting that changing one’s mind would result in losing themselves.

However, this belief neglects an essential truth that our idea of “self” is always changing, whether intentionally or passively. 

Whether mental, emotional or behavioral, the feeling of being “stuck” is our brain alerting us that the behaviors we’re fighting to justify are no longer serving us. 

The solutions to breaking out of cognitive inertia are fairly simple:

Embrace self-awareness. Consider how information contradicting your narrative could expand your perspective and interactions with others. Even if you choose not to believe or apply it, ignorance is not bliss. 

Act in ways that contradict your beliefs: 

  • You're not a morning person? Start consistently waking up at 6AM.

  • Breaking out of depression feels impossible? Do one thing each day that you’re saving for when you feel “better.” 

  • You can’t rely on anybody but yourself? Start asking for small favors, even if you could easily do it yourself.

Take a note from Socrates. Who stated, “All I know is that I know nothing.” Our capacity for meaningful relationships and life experiences becomes limited if we’re unwilling to learn and embrace things that contradict our personal perspective.

Curiosity allows us to transition from being gridlocked in justifying stale beliefs to exploring the abundant resources for growth, connection and healing around us. 

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