The state of utter confusion and how to come out of it
Updated: Jan 7
Whether it is about taking a work-related decision or it is about choosing a life partner, most of us end up being more confused than sorted in our daily lives. We don’t know what will be the right decision. We are not sure about the outcome either. We end up with so many thoughts running in different directions. In the absence of an answer, we also unnecessarily scroll through social media and search for it on Google. Not just that, but sometimes the situation lingers for so long that it impacts other aspects of life as well.
The above explanation is what aptly defines the mental state of confusion. The same could be explained in more technical terms too, but I guess we all have experienced it and are quite familiar with this mental state. It doesn’t really need sophisticated language to be explained. What we are here for is a way to come out of it and move forward with a concrete decision.
But before we do so, let’s also understand that a dilemma is not much different from a state of confusion. Both are more or less the same. Whether you have to decide between two options, or there is too much confusion to even see the options clearly, the mental state is more or less the same. To proceed further, we need to understand more about the state of confusion to understand how to get out of it.
Understanding your mind soaked in confusion
What does a confused mind feel like? Think deep.
There are usually too many flashes of visuals, too many voices cut out in phrases, and more information coming from outside and getting intertwined with the visuals and sounds inside. The body feels unnecessarily exhausted, time seems to be stuck in the situation and you aren’t able to move ahead with life. Isn’t it? No matter what the situation is, this is how we feel when we are confused.
Usually, this state irks us because too many pieces of information are not organized and thus lead to no conclusion. It’s like small strands of thread spread all around. And it’s definitely difficult to pick them up and put them together.
Exactly here is the catch. Flashes that you see and phrases that buzz in your head must be written down. No, don’t think that this is a common recommendation. It won't make a difference! Try it till the end, it will make a difference. In the form of thoughts, confusion usually looks overwhelming. However in reality there are very few thoughts. They appear so often and in so many forms that our minds seem to be filled with them. As a result, when you begin writing down your thoughts, you also realize that there aren't too many actually. The multiplicity of repetitions and their incorporation into new information caused them to appear so.
Use the following technique to resolve a situation in your life where you are too confused to make any sound decision.
Getting out of confusion and dilemmas
Let’s take an example situation here. Imagine you have two job offers in hand and you have to choose one so that it meets your financial needs while also not interfering with your personal life.
Now take paper and a pen and follow the instructions.
- On a blank sheet of paper, write the title of one job offer/company.
- Write all the points in your mind which are associated with this job offer. Points could be about anything related to this offer. Simply put them the way they come to your mind.
- Do the same for the next one as well. Put all the points directly related to the second offer on another blank sheet of paper.
- Now take the third blank page and write all other thoughts wandering in your mind. These are usually thoughts that you're unable to address due to confusion and thoughts associated with the situation.
Once you have put it all on paper, you will realize that you have emptied yourself. And these were not even hundreds of thoughts. These were very few, and they repeated themselves often, or we brought them to the forefront ourselves so we could deal with them. You can even add to these lists later if something pops up. First, it was important to empty the mind.
Once you are done with this part, take a fourth page and write the outcome that you are looking for. Describe it in one or two lines.
Below it, write the criteria you need to meet to reach the outcome. Put them in bullets. Write as many as you can think of.
Once this is done. Return to the previous options (job offers) one by one, and tick mark next to the criteria you meet in each offer. Let’s say you are able to meet 3 and to meet more you would need to meet someone, drop a mail, or obtain some information from somewhere. Write this in brackets towards the end of this page.
Follow the same process for the second job offer too. Tick mark the number of criteria that you are meeting. Towards the end of the page, write in brackets what more needs to be done to meet the remaining criteria.
This is where you actually come out of confusion and move into the action zone.
It's not that you have come to a conclusion yet, but you will be able to take action towards a decision when you see all those thoughts in black and white together. This is what you weren't able to do while you were in a state of confusion.
Many times, it is not about taking a decision but rather about getting clarity and being able to move forward and not stay stuck. Consequences come much later but stagnation is what takes away peace of mind so when you do this activity, you are able to move a step ahead. Furthermore, you become aware that some information is missing and hence was the confusion.
So first fill in the missing information by taking whatever action it needs like sending a mail to someone or speaking with someone or something else. Once you have obtained this information, go back to the activity and find out how many more criteria you can meet in one of the jobs. Continue doing it until you have all the information in front of you on paper.
Once everything is in black and white, take a leap of faith and embark on a journey with a concrete decision.
The state of confusion is more about unorganized information or missing information than the outcome. When we are focused on the outcome, information continues to scatter within our minds. Our mistake here is that we fail to gather and organize all the scattered information into one place. Once we do this, the next step i.e., the outcome itself comes in continuity.
Hope this helps you!
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