If there’s anything I’ve noticed from coaching creatives for the past 20 years, it’s that confusion is a given. Yes, confusion is super NORMAL. That includes confusion about what direction to take in business, what niche to choose, how to promote yourself the right way, how to grow your career and where to invest your time + effort.
Creatives are often more personally invested in their work, so their confusion is more personally painful. Especially if the confusion phase continues for days or weeks. It can be a very painful process because confusion can stir up a never-ending spiral of feeling stuck, insecure, not good enough or “being a failure” in opposed to feeling in control.
We think that if we are confused or feel lost, then there must be something WRONG with us! Luckily, this is far from the truth!
In reality, confusion always comes before a real breakthrough. It’s a sign of great and powerful change. A sign of growth.
When you feel confused, it’s a sign that your mind is expanding. It’s a sign that you are allowing your heart, mind, body and soul to make room for something that wasn’t there before.
The good thing is that by becoming aware of what confusion really is you can start changing things around.
What confusion really is and how to deal with it:
#1: Confusion is NOT a sign that you are broken
When you feel lost and confused, remember that it’s a normal part of life. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed.
Accept that you are in the confusion phase and think about it as a positive sign of you getting closer to a breakthrough or turning point in your life.
Breathe through it if you feel anxiety and stress arise. By focusing on big deep belly breathing you calm your nervous system and remind yourself to be present in the now. Live life one moment at a time. Clarity comes when it comes.
Before clarity, there’ll be chaos. This means that whenever you feel confused, there is something happening within you – you are growing, expanding your mind, evolving into a better you.
Finding acceptance, respect and patience for this process will help you tremendously. Try not to judge yourself or become angry with yourself. Find compassion for what you are going through. Support yourself like you would support your best friend.
#2: Confusion is the fear of getting it wrong
I often see creatives use confusion as a “shield” against wasting time and effort on the wrong things. Instead of testing our amazing creative ideas out in reality, we spend time finding negative aspects of the idea, we look for all the reasons why we shouldn’t test the idea and then in the end you have used your energy and feel drained + confused.
This is where you no longer see the point of the idea anymore. The truth is, we kill the idea quickly because we are afraid it’s going to be a waste of time or a failure, so we better avoid it at all costs.
We convince ourselves that our idea is pointless or bad. This releases more confusion because the next thought is going to be; “but what am I going to do then?” and the cycle continues.
Instead of looking for a guarantee that what you create or do will be valuable, know that today is valuable. You’re using time well by starting, testing and trying out your ideas.
And what if you go in the wrong direction? So WHAT!! The success is found not in the result but in the process of discovering new skills and gaining new knowledge.
#3: Confusion is the fear of making decisions
Confusion is also the mind’s way to avoid having to make decisions. One reason we allow ourselves to stay confused is because we don’t want to take responsibility for making decisions.
We’re terrified of how we will think and feel if we decide something and feel it was the wrong choice later.
In reality we are rarely confused, we just don’t want to make a decision. Often we know the decision in our heart (or gut) but we are afraid to make the decision, because making a decision means we have to take action.
We use confusion as a weapon against making hard decisions. Staying in confusion mode becomes an excuse for not taking massive action. This is why many people stay stuck in the same place or end up unhappy.
Often when people are confused they feel pain, depressed, insecure, frustrated, anxious or completely powerless, but what they don’t know is that 90% of that pain often comes from not making a decision.
When you make a decision, when you choose a direction you move on and then you get momentum and momentum is freeing. Momentum and taking action is what gives you confidence and change your life – but you gotta make those hard decisions first.
Notice Confusion, Accept Confusion and Move On
Dealing with confusing in a constructive and positive way, has truly helped me change my life. I trust my ability to make fast + hard decisions and then take action without looking back for regret.
I only focus on moving forward all the time – even small decisions every day to make things better is essential. I never wanna waste my time in confusion land – I wanna live life to the fullest so I jump.
I’m often afraid but I jump anyway. I often feel confused just like everyone else. I just move fast through it. I notice my confusion. I accept my confusion and then I move on.
I’m not afraid of making mistakes or taking a wrong direction – I have changed my business so MANY times and so can you. You twist it as you go. You don’t have to have all the answers to start. You just gotta have your heart in it. If your heart isn’t in the entrepreneurial journey it it’s better to get a full time job.
I also want you to remember that all good things takes time. I started my first business when I was a teenager and I started my online photography business 10 years ago, so I have had many years of practice.
I was not born a super focused entrepreneur – I GREW into who I am, I grew into my skills by trying, testing, falling, failing and getting back up again. I kept walking even when I felt confused and afraid and that’s what matters!
Begin taking a step forward and see how it feels. If it feels good, keep walking in that direction. Keep it slow and steady until you are ready to take that leap of faith.
The beauty about life is that there really is no wrong turn or wrong path. Every road traveled is a blessing in some way, so take the stress out of life’s decisions and trust that all roads really do lead home.