“The Ness Labs’ Take on The Self-Consistency Fallacy: Debunking the Myth”

Breaking Free of the Self-Consistency Fallacy: Straying Away from the Past

Have you ever watched a play where the actors repeat the same lines over and over again, with just some small variations in their tone each time? It is likely that you would have been bored pretty quickly. However, unconsciously, that is what we often do when making career and life decisions. Our past is crucial and influences our future in various ways. However, we tend to place more rigid limits on ourselves than actually exist, thanks to self-consistency fallacy.

Understanding the Self-Consistency Fallacy

Psychologists refer to it as the “continuation bias”, economists talk of “path dependence,” and philosophers might frame it as a battle against determinism. The self-consistency fallacy simply refers to the misguided assumption that “I have always acted in a certain way; therefore, I must continue to act in this way.” In simpler terms, it is why you may choose a new job based on your past roles, and why you may stay within your field of study even when your interests have evolved. It affects every aspect of our lives, including relationships, health choices, and career decisions.

Breaking Free from the Self-Consistency Fallacy

We can’t deny that our previous choices and current beliefs form an important part of our identity. However, they should not become an artificial boundary that guides our future choices. We are dynamic beings, capable of change and growth.

John Maynard Keynes states, “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.” Therefore, to break free from the self-consistency fallacy, you can start by asking yourself the following questions:

Are there opportunities that I have dismissed because they don’t fit my existing trajectory?
What new paths might I be able to explore if I were not bound by my past choices?
What would my ideal career look like if I could start from a blank slate?

The role of these questions is not to make you abandon your current path. Instead, they can help you open your mind to new opportunities that are not aligned with your present priorities. Opportunities such as the “weird” projects that pique your curiosity, the fun ideas that present no clear professional benefits, and the collaboration with a long-time friend that has nothing to do with your career may end up being the best ones for your learning and growth.


We don’t know everything, and it is often from those tangents that arise the best opportunities for learning and growth. Our stories may be squiggly and strange, but at least they won’t be boring. The self-consistency fallacy is a subtle force that can shape our lives if we let it. Therefore, we must let go of preconceived expectations and be open to exploring potential paths forward. After all, we are not just nouns but verbs who are capable of change and growth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Royal visit – Agile Apex – Visite royale

“Despite Garth Brooks’ involvement, Bud Light sales continue to plummet”