Our brains are hardwired to show positive bias towards the decisions we have already made, decisions based on values, beliefs or ideas we are familiar and comfortable with. That's what we know and like. On the other side of the brain, cognitive dissonance is the stress and discomfort we experience when we're confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

We start to question our thinking and the hardwiring begins to hurt. It can be difficult enough to hear someone else question why you did something, let alone, your own self.

Our baked-in bias influences our lives every day. We strive to reduce the distress caused by multiple decisions by acting on habit - like not thinking about tying our shoe laces or whether we want sugar in our coffee. In everyday situations, cognitive dissonance can make us overly stressed about the multiple decisions we make and we often try to reduce this.

However, there are plenty of times when questioning your decision or habit is a good thing. As much as feeling confident in your decision can reduce stress, it can often breed ignorance of the reality. "Don't fix it, if it's not broken" suggests that we can only improve things if they are broken.

Sometimes it is good to question your decisions and perceptions of a given situation or action you have taken. Through honest and unbiased thinking about your organisation, product or service, you can unlock potential opportunities which cognitive bias maybe conceals.

I've often worked with clients and brands that don't look beyond what they are comfortable and familiar with. Often this prevents true growth and exploration of opportunities. For those who mute their cognitive bias, there is often rich outcomes to be found.

Image credit: Regan76