“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in the the core belief.” Dr. Frantz Fanon.
A bit about Dr. Frantz Fanon. He coined and defined the concept of cognitive dissonance. He was a French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher. Notable ideas: double consciousness, colonial alienation, to become black (Wikipedia).
Examples of cognitive dissonance are when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer ( cognition) they are in a state of cognitive dissonance.
Not everyone feels cognitive dissonance to the same degree. People with higher need for consistency and certainty in their lives usually feel the effects of cognitive dissonance more than those who have less needs for such consistency. (psychcentral. com>blog)
Proven Ways to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance. (1) Change your behavior. (2) Change your belief (3) Justify your beliefs and your behavior. (www.drnorthrup.com
In my opinion our first step is to become profoundly familiarized with the concept. Give it long and hard thought and find areas in your thinking that you want to re-evaluate. Make the changes and grow.