Confusion usually comes up for us when we are resisting something.
We ALWAYS know what’s best for us and what’s the right next step for us. We’re Co-Creators in our lives. We have the 100% choice on what we do and when. And if you think about it, when you finally decide something, how long does it take for you to implement? Not very long (at least as long as you don’t allow fear or worry to stop you, but that’s a topic for a different time).
Confusion, when it’s about our own path, seems like we need more information before we can make a decision. However, more information actually leads to analysis paralysis.
Because whatever you WANT to do will have information to support it. But there will ALSO be information that is unsupportive.
That’s why we tend to have confirmation bias; where when we’re looking for supportive information of our opinion or desire, we find it and take it as truth, because it was what we WANTED to find. We’ll go deeper into confirmation bias in the future as well.
But there’s a few things that can help you get unstuck or out of the confusion quicker than simply “waiting” for the answer.
Ask yourself questions to journal
We can’t process things completely in our minds — even though our minds like to think we can. But just check in with how many times only processing in your mind has actually led you to the right answer. My guess is that you either weren’t able to finish processing OR you got into overthinking and decided to either do nothing or you acted impulsively.
No shame, no guilt. It just is what it is and it’s the same for everyone.
So to get out of this loop, break out a piece of paper and get writing.
Transferring your thoughts to paper not only help you see it outside of you, but it gives you a new perspective on it as a whole when you can then process the information you PREFER to write down.
The way you write something is slightly different than the way you speak or think about it.
That’s why some people are speakers and some people are writers. Usually you have a preference of one or the other.
And if you’re a speaker and prefer to process out loud, find yourself a trusted friend or advisor to help hear you out, NOT TO INSERT THEIR OPINION, but to simply help you get out what you need to and ask you questions to help you find your truth.
This is actually a very big reason people hire coaches; because coaches (depending on the coach, that is) but for the most part, coaches are there to help guide you to your core truth. That’s at least what I do as a coach, because NO ONE knows what you want to do more than you. There’s just mental blocks or something in the way, and I help remove that block.
Anyways back to the point.
Get your thoughts out of your head. Whether that’s in a journal or with someone else who you can trust to help you get to your core truth.
What questions can I ask myself?
The questions you ask yourself heavily depend on the situation you’re going through, but here’s a few generic ones that usually work for MOST situations.
- What am I deciding?
- Why is this decision important?
- What is my fear for choosing either option? (or all the options, however many there are, what are the fears for each option?)
- Which option would I choose if there were no negative consequences and it went as well as it could?
- What part of me is telling me that I can’t go this way or that it won’t go well?
Essentially, you’re going to be looking for any catastrophizing, any limiting beliefs, any ego fears for safety from perceived danger, etc.
You could even give these questions to your trusted person to ask you as well.
And make sure you’re being 100% honest with yourself as well! If you aren’t fully honest and open about your answers, you’ll be keeping yourself in confusion and just wasing your time. So be 100% open and honest with yourself!
What if journaling it out doesn’t help?
If journaling it out doesn’t help, there are either of two things that can be at play here.
1. You might not be 100% open and honest in your answers.
When you’re being truly open and honest in your journaling session, you can find the root cause of the confusion. But some people aren’t used to this type of deep dive within themselves yet, and that’s okay. If it’s not working for you, it may be time to get someone to process with you, such as a friend, a close family member, a coach, a therapist, whoever you trust to help you walk through the situation and help you find the blocks and remove them. Remember: without their personal bias or opinion.
2. You may be too close to the situation to see it clearly.
Again, this happens to everyone. There’s things I go to my coach about, and things I process through myself. It just depends on what it is. So if you’ve tried journaling it out and it doesn’t work, don’t blame yourself for not being able to figure it out. It’s normal. And most likely, it just means that you deeply care about the situation. That’s a good thing! But not being able to see it clearly and make a decision is even more important in these instances. So find some support! Call your best friend. Schedule a coffee chat with them. Do something with the person you trust and ask if they can help you process this situation.
I know there’s a handful of people that don’t like seeking out help, but let me lovingly point out that not seeking out help is actually limiting you from making strides forward in your life. Would you rather stay stagnant and unable to make this decision for an indeterminate amount of time? Or put the pride aside and ask for help to figure it out much quicker?
But if you’re still against asking for help, here’s another way that’s really helped me and my clients in the past.
Commit to a “Day of Total Presence“
This is what I called it when I did this for myself the first time and the name just stuck from then on when I recommended it to my clients and friends.
A Day of Total Presence is exactly what it sounds like. Let me explain.
You know how most of the time we’re on autopilot going through our day? Or we get constantly distracted by social media, people, thinking about the past, worrying about the future, all that super fun stuff?
A Day of Total Presence is the exact opposite.
It’s where you commit from morning to night to be present in the moment of what you’re doing.
Where when you drink your coffee in the morning, you are solely focused on drinking that cup of coffee.
When you’re scrolling on social media, you’re focused on each post that you scroll by.
And as you go through this day, you don’t plan ahead. You just FLOW with what you want to do, when you want to do it.
Meaning mindless tv is out the window! If you’re watching tv, you’re focused and actually WATCHING it.
Nothing in this day is autopilot. At least to the best of your ability.
Why a Day of Total Presence?
When we spend too much time in the past or the future, we lose focus and meaning of what NOW is.
Except, everything that is reality is happening NOW.
So bringing yourself back into the present moment reconnects you to WHO. YOU. ARE.
Confusion is based on the fact that we don’t know which way to go. Which to some degree, means we don’t know who we are.
Think about it. If you’re a singer, you sing. If you’re a writer, you write.
If you’re the type of person who drinks coffee, you drink coffee. If you’re the type of person who hangs out with their friends on the weekend, that’s exactly what you do.
Confusion about a decision comes from not knowing which identity we want to be. A person who does the thing, or a person who doesn’t and does the other thing.
And you’ll find that if you feel exhausted, drained, burned out, etc. most of the time, it’s because you actually DON’T want to do the thing you’re forcing yourself to do.
And noticing this brings up all sorts of limiting beliefs, which we won’t go into here because that’s a long list, but recognize that if you’re feeling this way, you may be ready to stop doing it or choose something else.
I’ll gve you an example from my own life.
What does this look like?
I had to take a Day of Total Presence recently because I had set myself a morning and day routine but I just felt SO exhausted and drained of energy, that I didn’t end up doing ANY of it.
Through my own journaling I found that I was dreading the routine, but I couldn’t figure out why.
So I decided to take this day to reconnect with myself.
I did everything that day intentionally, I allowed myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do.
I ended up starting to learn a new language, starting to look up singing practices, and got rid of my entire routine that I had mentally chosen before this day.
I noticed what I did that day and when.
I then took THAT day and structured it as my new routine. Because clearly, that’s the way my energy was flowing best and having the most fun.
And low and behold — ALL of my exhaustion went away. I was no longer drained. I had energy and excitement to do the things I wanted to.
And ALL of this came from just one day of total presence.
I know that eventually when my energy shifts again, it’ll be time to take another day of total presence to figure out how to structure it next. It’s an ever-flowing process because you’re an ever-changing human being.
You aren’t the same person you were a year ago. And if you are, it may be time for a change or a refresh.
The bottom line
When you feel confused, you don’t need to tell yourself “I don’t know!” or “I can’t figure it out!”
Because yes, you can. It’s just whether or not you will ALLOW yourself to figure it out.
I’ve just given you three fantastic tools.
Put them into use and see how your life changes and shifts to be what you truly want.
So, have you tried any of these before? Or have you found something that helps you out of confusion that I didn’t add to this list? Let me know!