I always admired people that were able to simply move forward in life. People that have an idea and then simply go about creating it. People that know what they want and consequently commit to getting it.
I admired, of course, what I perceived lacking in myself. Because, for me, confusion has been a life long companion. I used to get confused about everything.
I got confused about what to wear for the day. About what to eat for breakfast. Whether I should now rest or better exercise? Do I want to talk to that person or do I rather meditate? Do I want to be with this man or not? Do I want to be a writer, a painter, an actress, a healer, a language teacher or maybe just have a simple life as a mother?
Maybe it’s because I’m Pisces and try to swim in two directions at the same time. Or maybe it’s because life nowadays IS confusing with so many different choices and opportunities abound and I AM the new normal. Maybe there is nothing wrong with confusion?
Wait a minute, I’m not buying that one! There must be something wrong with confusion because it feels horrible, right? If you ever have been in it, you know it’s rather uncomfortable. Quite unbearable in fact.
So where does confusion come from?
Since I have been confused most of my life, I do see myself as somewhat of an expert on that matter. If it had been a subject at university, I would have earned my Ph.D. by now. On that, at least, I am very clear. So learn from the master, folks:
Confusion comes from the fear of making a mistake
Simple. If you want to get clear, let go of your fear of making a mistake first and take an action. Any action. Most people feel the other way around: First I need to get clear and then I will take action. Which is what keeps them stuck in confusion longer.
Because it’s a kind of freeze that we experience when we get overwhelmed with too much information. We cannot track our feelings fast enough about what’s happening to us and around us. We feel overwhelmed and our system shuts down in order to give us time to digest what is happening.
It’s a natural process. This digesting time really works, too. I’m sure that if you have felt confused about something and you chewed it over for a while, eventually you gained clarity. Depending on the ‘matter’, that might have taken you half an hour or 5 years, however.
The problem here is that, probably, you suffered over it. You didn’t like being in the state of not knowing. Weighing up all your options, juggling them around in your head over and over again and still not being able to figure it out. All the way feeling like your life is on hold while you are trying to make up your mind. It’s exhausting and frustrating.
And the funny thing about it is that you are feeling so uncomfortable because you are feeling overwhelmed with information in the first place. And through the process of trying so hard to figure it out, you are actually just adding more information and adding more to the state of overwhelm. That’s why people stay stuck in it.
The 5-minute process
The first thing you need to do is to convince your nervous system that it’s ok not to know.
Now, that might work for you to some degree on a conceptual level only. But the likelihood is you will have to dig deeper if it’s something that has more charge. You will have to get in touch with the fear of making the ‘wrong’ decision.
The best way to access that is on a somatic level. Let’s take an example:
Should I study law or medicine? Your mind has been making the mental splits for a while, weighing up the pros and cons. ‘With law, I will be able to achieve that, with medicine that. Dad wants me to do law, mum wants me to do medicine. Law gets paid better . Medicine has more working hours.’ On and on it goes.
I’m getting confused just writing this! My heart starts pounding because I get to the realisation there is no CLEAR answer. It’s not black and white. There is an infinite amount of information to be taken into account and I don’t have access to all of it. So basically, it means, I will never know! And because I don’t know, it’s a guess, and therefore a risk: it might be the ‘wrong’ decision. No wonder I feel frozen!
Sit with that feeling. ‘I might be making a wrong decision.’ Where in your body do you feel that?
Many people will feel it around the solar plexus, the diaphragm. But it is different for everybody. Now, if you can relax into simply sensing what’s there, you are one step further to clarity.
And it doesn’t matter that what’s there might be a ‘big knot’. Breathe gently into the area without pushing against it, without trying to let go or to fix it. Just be with it.
It’s ok not to know. It’s ok to make mistakes. In fact, there is no such thing as mistakes, because we are always given a chance to grow and learn from experiences.
How do the above thoughts feel in your body?
When I allow myself to fully feel those words, my body starts relaxing. I start feeling safe. My diaphragm starts opening up. There is more breath and more spaciousness inside. From this space of ‘ok-ness’, you move onto the
Take action. No matter what, just move. Don’t wait for clarity. Clarity arises through action.
If you take action, one step at the time, and check-in with yourself how it feels along the way, you will receive the information you need to proceed.
My teacher Christian Pankhurst uses this analogy:
It’s like using a GPS. Your feelings are your GPS. If you take the wrong turn your device will simply re-route you to your destination. So you will always get there as long as you are moving and checking in with yourself. The only way you won’t get there, is, obviously, if you don’t move.
The key here is to feel. You take a step and then feel whether it gives you energy or takes energy from you. Based on that information you take the next step. Often when we just move there is a sense of relief. With the sense of relief comes straight away more spaciousness and more clarity. And when it’s really the ‘wrong’ choice trust your body and soul that it will give you the right hints and stay flexible to change your mind.
Many people make the mistake of moving from freeze into rigidity. They move from not being able to make any decisions to making a decision and then sticking with it no matter what. Because it was so uncomfortable in the unknown they stick with the path they chose and forget to tune into what they feel.
We are constantly evolving and becoming. That means our values and perspectives change. It’s ok to change your mind.
Confusion, after all, is the mind’s way of working through illusion
In this process of making a step, trying something out to see how it fits, you get closer and closer to your feelings and therefore your core. When you are connected to your core, you become clear. It’s a body sensation more than a mental ‘got it all together’.
Confusion comes from a mind trying too hard to work it out. Clarity comes from being connected to your body and your core. Put your mind at ease by changing your attitude. There are no mistakes, I learn every day. I’m allowed to fuck up. That’s the attitude based on play and trust.
From here you can enjoy ‘movement’. Action based on curiosity. You can even find excitement in not knowing. It’s exhilarating to take risks, to push beyond our comfort zone. That’s how self-confidence and trust are born.
Can you really do it in five minutes? Depending on how confused you are, probably not at first. But with practice, for sure. As I said I used to be “Miss-Universe of Confusion”. Now, I just go do it. Some things take longer to understand, others are easy. The more I’m connected to my core, my feelings and needs, the more I can make sense of the information around me. The easier it is to make choices.
The trick is, I don’t take myself so seriously anymore. And that saves a whole lot of mental masturbation. Instead, I feel and I have fun.
Wishing you to playfully embrace your confusion and just do it!
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Kasia Patzelt works as an Embodiment Coach and writer living in Ibiza, Spain. She helps individuals to move out of trauma into a more wholesome, joyful life through one-on-one sessions and retreats. She is the editor of Embodied Thinking.