5 Smart Things to Do When You Feel Confused

Dead people have clarity. The rest of us feel confused.

You’ll find a two-headed chicken in the Odditorium of St. Petersburg’s Museum of Natural History. You probably know what being two-headed feels like.

Solution-seekers feel confused. No confusion – no solutions.

Stop seeking solutions if you can’t accept confusion.

Solution-seekers feel confused. No confusion - no solutions. Image of a little person thinking.

7 causes of confusion:

  1. Options.
  2. Possibilities.
  3. Opportunities.
  4. Decisions.
  5. Problems.
  6. Turmoil.
  7. Solution-seeking. A leader who never feels confused is out of touch.

3 reasons feeling confused is useful:

  1. Motivation to pursue answers. Awareness that you don’t know drives exploration.
  2. Vitality. Confusion brings your brain to life. Confusion happens when the illusion of knowing pops.
  3. Acceptance of reality. Conflicting ideas feel confusing. You don’t feel confused until you see the reality of conflicts and inconsistencies.

5 smart things to do when you feel confused:

#1. Enjoy it.

A little stress brings your brain to life. A lot of stress makes you stupid.

Confusion is opportunity to grow.

Humility enhances joy. Accept your limitations.

#2. Seek improvement, not perfection.

Pressure to find perfect answers paralyzes. The question is, “How can we make things better,” not, “How can we make things perfect?”

Play when you feel confused. Image of a kid playing on the beach.

#3. Distract yourself.

Forget about it. Play pool. Take a walk. Lie in the grass. Give your brain space to work on its own.

Play when you feel confused.

Attend the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival.

#4. Consider the worst that could happen.

Stress often goes down when you consider the worst that could happen. There are obvious exceptions to this rule.

#5. Use words as guides.

Restate the problem. Approach it from multiple angles.

Craft an ‘I want’ statement.

Use your ‘I want’ statement to guide efforts. How does this help you get what you want?

Big tip: When you feel confused, go with your highest point of clarity.

How can leaders address confusion?

What shouldn’t you do when confusion sets in?

Still curious:

4 Questions When Seeking Clarity

4 Ways to Stop Resisting Breakthrough