Confusion. Such a lovely emotion, hmm?
Always there when we’re trying to make a big decision, like whether we want to become a mother. Or whether we want a career change. Or what we want for dinner. (Hey, that’s serious stuff.)
Confusion keeps us stuck.
Stops us from moving forward.
Steals our dreams before we even know what they are.
The good news is, when we’re ready to work through the confusion and make a change in our lives, we have all the power we need—and questions are a great way to tap into that power.
5 Questions for When You’re Feeling Confused
Tip: Write down your answers to these 5 questions on paper. It makes all the difference, promise!
1. Why Do I Feel Confused?
Not to go all elementary school teacher on you, but did you write down your answers? If not, grab the nearest writing utensil and get on it, lady!
So, do the answers you wrote down sound anything like this?
Because I am confused.
There are too many freaking options.
There are good things about both choices.
There are bad things about both choices.
It’s so overwhelming.
Everyone and their mother has an opinion about what I should do.
Here’s the key thing you need to know about all the reasons you feel confused: They are all thoughts. Sentences in your head. Totally subjective interpretations you’ve made about your life.
If you’re feeling confused, there are thoughts causing that confusion for you. You have the power to keep thinking those thoughts and create the feeling of confusion for yourself as long as you want. But you also have the power to explore new ways of seeing things, which we’ll cover in #4.
2. Why Am I Indulging in Confusion?
Once we recognize and accept that we’re creating the feeling of confusion for ourselves (by what we’re thinking) we can explore why we’re doing it.
A lot of us have a complicated relationship with the feeling of confusion. We want to move forward, we’re frustrated that we’re stuck, we wish we could figure things out. And at the same time, if we pay attention and are honest with ourselves, confusion somehow also feels … safe. Doesn’t it?
You might call confusion an indulgent emotion. An emotion we allow ourselves to play around in even though it doesn’t help us in any way. A lot of times we do this because the alternative is scarier to us. We’d rather feel the crappy confusion that we’re so used to than the discomfort that comes with actually making a decision.
Does that resonate with you? If not, why are you indulging in confusion?
3. Am I Willing to Be Uncomfortable Enough to Figure Out What I Want?
If you want to get out of confusion and move forward with a decision you love, you have to be willing to feel some discomfort. Why? Because making a commitment to figure out what you want will create discomfort. You’ll kind of want to crawl back into the confusion hole where it’s safe and warm and the pain is a dull thud that lulls you to sleep.
And on top of that, even if you do all the preparation in the world and make the most informed decision ever and really truly love your reasons for making that decision, “negative emotions” are still going to come up. So you have to decide it’s okay to feel uncomfortable.
I experienced lots of discomfort as I worked through my uncertainty about becoming a mother. And when I finally made a decision to try to have a child with my husband, I went in knowing that I loved every single one of my reasons for making this choice. And still, still, there was fear. It’s just part of the deal. The difference is, when we’re not stuck in indulgent emotions, the negative emotions feel different somehow. Less like suffering, and more like something that will run its course and set us free.
So, are you willing to feel uncomfortable? More uncomfortable than confusion? When the answer is yes, you’ll truly be ready to move forward.
4. How Else Can I Think About the Situation to Help Me Figure Out What I Want?
If you want to end the confusion enough that you’re willing to be uncomfortable, willing to experience feelings that might at first feel worse than the confusion, then it’s time to brainstorm a new perspective that’ll ultimately get you where you want to be.
Consider new perspectives like the following:
I’m committed to figuring out what I want.
I’m finding the answer.
I’m taking the next step.
Thoughts like these (when you believe them, and when they feel good to you) will help put you in a more empowered, determined place. Brainstorm some of your own! Bonus points if they contain the word “badass.” 😉
5. Can I Find Some Comfort in the Discomfort?
As you move toward figuring out what you want, search for ways to experience peace and ease or whatever feels good to you, even as you experience discomfort. Maybe that means telling yourself how proud you are of yourself for making this effort. Or reminding yourself how much you’re growing through this process. Or crying and laughing at the same time … my everyday life. 🙂 Whatever feels most like love to you.
In many ways, confusion is an invitation to evolve into the next best version of yourself. How will you respond?
Send me a message if you want some personalized tips for your specific situation. I’m always happy to help. <3
What Women I’ve Coached Are Saying:
“I would absolutely recommend the mini coaching session to anybody in the middle of a difficult decision. I wish that I had found this resource earlier on in my own process. I believe it would have made the decision quicker and easier than it was for me. … The mini-coaching session was a game changer for me.”
—Tamra, mathematician, Los Alamos, NM