How to Think Better: confusion

You know how sometimes you hear something that changes everything? This happened to me the other day while listening to a podcast at the gym.

Here’s what I heard: Don’t indulge in confusion.

I nearly flew off the back of the treadmill. I’m pretty sure I shouted, You’ve got that right! because several people nearby turned their heads to stare.

And even now, days later, I’m still a bit in awe of this nifty new tool in my toolkit.

Such a simple piece of advice. But oh so powerful.

Because how often do you allow yourself to postpone making a decision, wallow in I don’t know…”, or weigh every possible option to the point your head spins?

In other words, how often do you indulge in confusion?

For instance, perhaps you’re grappling with whether to change jobs, take a shot at that promotion—or even what to do with the rest of your life.

Yes, you might need to gather more information to make your decision. Perhaps do a bit of brainstorming or revisit your values.

But a lot of times when trying to figure out something, we allow ourselves to indulge in confusion.

We think saying, I don’t know. I’m so confused gives us a pass. But it doesn’t really.

At some point you still have to decide.

And if you wait too long to make a decision—then it’s made for you by default. The job opportunity passed. The promotion went to someone else. The life you intended to live never happened.

So don’t coddle and indulge in your confusion. Next time you feel uncertain about the way forward, refuse to give confusion free reign. You can start by asking these questions:

  • What does my gut say?
  • What would a great decision look like?
  • What factors will make the most difference to me?
  • What decision aligns with my values?

Think of a decision you’ve been putting off. If you were to stop indulging in confusion, what would you decide?