The Allure of Unjust Justifications

Justifications keep us stuck in a mental loop of unfulfilled wishes, unmet desires, dashed hopes and dreams. Even when people are unhappy and dissatisfied in their careers, reasons to remain are justified.

“I stay for the flexibility, I wouldn’t get it anywhere else.”
“I’ve already negotiated part time work and all new jobs want full time employees.”
“I need to stay for the maternity leave pay in the future.”
“I don’t want to start again from scratch in my career.”

There are two major types of justifications we use to stay stuck and passive in our careers:

  1. Blame – judging ourselves or others
  2. Cognitive Dissonance Reductions – reducing the discrepancy between two conflicting beliefs


Judging others is the role of our Rule Makers.

Do you like everything to be done a certain way? For everyone to behave according to the ‘rules,’ even if personally, you don’t follow them? The Rule Maker is the part of you that worries about all the possible consequences of your actions and talks in terms of should, musts, and have tos. Strong Rule Makers cause black-and-white thinking, intolerance, judgement, and rigidity. It will have you feeling somewhat superior and better than others because it’s all their fault.

Judging ourselves is the role of our Inner Critic.

The Inner Critic is the part that tells you off, feels like you are never doing well enough, and focuses on your faults and weaknesses. It compares you unfavourably to other people and has you feeling less than others. The Inner Critic’s sole purpose is to criticise you into being perfect, it just goes about things in a rather self-destructive way. Often using words and phrases from your boss, partner, mum, dad, siblings, friends, or colleagues that feel hurtful. In extreme cases, if the voice gets too strong and out of control, it can become a Killer Critic and even result in suicide. And yet, even at a minor level the inner critic is debilitating.

This part of you has a special relationship with all of the other ‘selves’. It serves as a police officer, checking to see if you are abiding by the selves’ rules. If you break a rule, the Inner Critic will step in to castigate you. Beating you up with your own thoughts. It is terrified of being shamed by others and so monitors all your behaviour to avoid this.

So, The Rule Maker supports the notion that you are ‘better than’ others, whereas the Inner Critic has you firmly set in the belief you are ‘less than’.

Cognitive Dissonance Reductions

A term first coined by psychologist Leon Festinger. If a person is being ill-treated by another, perhaps a senior leader, manager, or colleague. They experience the discomfort between two beliefs.

The person respects them, and ill treatment is unacceptable.

What are they to do now?

The person tries to reduce the discrepancy by changing one of those beliefs. They either change the belief that they are respected, or they change the definition of ill treatment. By doing this, a new version of reality is created where they can remain stuck. Either they believe they are not deserving of respect, and unworthiness traps them, or they no longer see the ill treatment as unacceptable and find a new way to tolerate the intolerable.

Justification vs Accountability

Blame and cognitive dissonance reductions keep us firmly stuck in unsustainable situations, whereas accountability moves us into taking inspired action, which is the realm of coaching.

When belief systems and ‘selves’ are in charge, it feels like we have no choice – this is just the way it is.

The more you pin your career on your identity, the more you will ignore evidence it is not aligned for you. They key is to continually update, expand, and edit yourself at the identity level and that’s what we will be covering in my next free strategy session.

Intentional Careers WebClass, Sunday 7th May 20:00-21:30 BST
How to accelerate your career, without imposter syndrome keeping you small
Free. Reserve your place 👉 here (no replay).

Come an learn your personal ‘selves’ stress tag team and how to separate from their agendas and regain real choice in your behaviours and actions. Because, if you try to navigate your career from, “I’m not quite good enough.” The results you get will be wildly different to if you identify which ‘selves’ are keeping you stuck in that pattern, and getting space from them, to enable the power of choice. Because when a ‘self’ is driving your career, you don’t have control over the destination.

Leave With…

✅ An understanding of your unique ‘selves’ stress tag team and how to move beyond imposter syndrome by separating from their agenda and regaining real choice in your behaviours and actions
✅ How to utilise the 5-step VOICE™ methodology to break old patterns of behaviour and unlock your true potential

✅ Three gold standard tools to quieten the Inner Critic.

Register to attend the WebClass by clicking on the link below ⬇️

Register 👉 here

I hope to see you there 👀


PS The Intentional Careers WebClass is a live event, sorry there will not be a replay. If on the last WebClass you identified you were in the career = identity trap, then this is the WebClass for you!

Intentional Careers WebClass, Sunday 7th May 20:00-21:30 BST
How to accelerate your career, without imposter syndrome keeping you small
Free. Reserve your place 👉 here (no replay).

PPS Catch the latest episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence Podcast iTunes / Spotify 🎧 with Dr Natasha Rhys talking about her journey with her ‘selves’.