Recently, a client came to our coaching call with a conundrum: she was having trouble committing to things and following through. Every time she sat down to plan her business, she felt confused and unsure of the first steps to take.
This is something we all experience, so I wanted to share a little insight into confusion. Why it appears, what it might be telling you, and how to move through it.
First up, confusion is just one way your brain tries to protect you. Its number one job is to keep you safe – so it will do whatever it takes to avoid pain and seek pleasure (i.e. eat cake, avoid working on hard tasks). Growth takes energy. Growth is risky. Brain avoid pain and just eat cake, nom nom nom.
Step one: See what’s really there
Step one is to see confusion for what it is: a code. A clue. Likely, there’s a more icky and uncomfortable feeling underneath it all.
And it’s usually fear or anger. Or crushing overwhelm when there are just far too many options or things piled on your plate. It all becomes too much, so we get stuck. And voila, you’re in Confusion City, babes.
When we focus on the feeling. Witness it. Allow it to exist in our body. When we do that, we already start to shift it. You’ve shone a spotlight on the thing and seen it for what it really is: a self-protection mechanism.
Step two: Shift the energy
When I’m spinning in indecision, I tend to twirl my hair, furrow my brow, and stare at my computer screen.
You might do something similar. So the best thing is to shift the energy. We want to break up the confusion loop in your brain.
Stand up and do 200 star jumps (jumping jacks). Go for a walk or run. Bake something. Create something. Talk to someone. Watch an inspiring movie or TED talk…
Just get up, move, and break the chain – even just for a moment or two.
Step three: Set your intention
Next, ask yourself “What do I want right now?”
Maybe you need to make $10,000 to pay off your debts.
Or to quit your job so you can work on your terms.
Perhaps you just want a day off from thinking about things.
Maybe you want to approach your work feeling calm, energised and optimistic. To have clarity.
Get really, really clear on your intention.
Step four: Check it’s for you
At this point, it pays to pause and make sure the thing you want is actually for YOU.
Sometimes, the reason we’re stuck or spinning is because we’re chasing something we think we should create, do, be, buy. Is there a should beneath your confusion? Is this REALLY for you? If not, adjust the intention so that it is.
Give yourself permission to follow your heart. To create the life and business that lights YOU up – not one that looks like everyone else’s, or fits what our capitalist culture dictates is worthy and acceptable.
My client realised she was stuck because when it came to planning her business, she told herself “It needs to be like this or that.” Once she released that expectation and allowed herself to approach business using her heart, intuition and vision, she experienced a lightness in letting go. Her intention shifted from “My business has to look like everyone else’s” to “Well…what if it didn’t? What if I instead chose to create something that reflected my ideas and philosophy – and I gave myself permission to play within that framework?”
Step five: Take the first step
I remember a famous personal trainer once said you can’t wait for motivation before working out. You have to start moving your body, and then the motivation to continue on will come.
In other words, if you’re waiting for the Motivation Train, you’re going to be standing at the station a loooong time. It’s better to start walking in the direction you want to go, and hop on the train when it arrives at the next station.
So once you have your intention, you can ask “What’s the smallest, simplest step that takes me in the direction of what I want?”
Selling $10,000 worth of products today might be totally overwhelming (and keep you stuck in confusion and inaction). But sitting down and having a money date (with yourself and/or your partner) to plan your finances and look for ways to earn less and spend more sounds like a good first step. Or perhaps just looking at your bank statement would work. Anything to get you moving and feeling the momentum to keep going.
Step six: Get support
Now, what if you don’t know the next step to take? First, release any pressure to be “right” or make a “perfect” choice. There isn’t one. We’re just looking for some action here.
But if you still don’t know, reach out to someone for help. Who’s been here before? Who knows a lot about this topic? Who can give you a fresh perspective on the problem?
Our culture has taught us to figure things out ourselves. But hey, a problem shared is a problem halved. We need each other. So get help if you need it.
So that’s it! 6 steps to move through confusion and get that momentum you’ve been seeking. Hope it helps! And if you need more support, you can book a short call with me here.