Are You Making this #1 Mistake When Planning?Jan 06, 2019
Sometimes when I call my eleven-year-old son Jack out on something he did that’s off-brand for him or out of bounds, he insists, “But I didn’t KNOOOOOWWWW, Mom.”
You can go ahead & mentally insert his little irritated sigh & eye roll at me here.
He uses confusion as his excuse. Like I’m supposed to absolve him of the transgression because he insists he didn’t know the rules, the expectation, or the requirement.
I used to do it as a kid, too. Claim I didn’t understand something - or used an unclear communication from my parents as a way to get around a rule I didn’t like.
With my kiddo, I know it’s mostly bullshit, but sometimes I fall for it. I think sometimes he even falls for it!
It got me thinking about how we adults use confusion as a way to bullshit ourselves.
For example: someone asks us, “Where do you want to meet for dinner?” and we move into overwhelm and confusion. There are so many choices! So many things to consider.
So we say, “Ohhhhhh, I don’t know. I can’t THINK about that! I don’t care. You decide.” We can wipe our brow of the sweat and say, “Disaster averted! It’s now not my responsibility.”
It’s a way to not take action, and we do it all the time. It keeps us from meeting our goals.
This is a version of living in confusion. You might think it’s apathy or overwhelm, but it’s actually a way we keep ourselves in confusion.
I hear the words “I don’t know” often during my coaching sessions with clients. I’ll ask a question, and then the immediate response is,
“Ohhhh. That’s a good question.”
Then a pause. Then, “Hmmmm. I don’t know.” And a shrug.
It’s cute how my clients think they can get away with that with me.
I have my ways around “I don't’ know” with my clients. I mean - they pay me to do that, right? Can you imagine hiring a coach who lets you get away with your nonsense?
What’s the point of that!?
But in real life - outside of a coaching situation - we like to indulge in confusion.
Here’s why: Confusion seems to be an acceptable excuse for why we’ve made a mistake, can’t commit to a decision, or don’t get something done.
Here are a few examples - do any of these sound familiar?
“I didn’t know the meeting started at 7! I thought it was 7:30.”
“I wasn’t sure what you wanted to do about the holidays this year, so I never got back to them about whether we’d go to the party.”
“I’m not sure what I want to do with my business next, so I’m just going to wait it out and see what happens.”
“I have no idea how to make my blog a business, so I’m not going to pursue that dream.”
These are all varied forms of confusion.
It generally stems from muddled thinking and/or not wanting to make a decision!
Sometimes confusion stems from us having TOO many choices and feeling overwhelmed by them.
And sometimes we do it to ourselves.
I have a friend who absolutely over-complicates every decision in her life. She has 3 kids and wants everything to be even, fair, and perfect for them.
She has a lot of stories about what it means to be the perfect mom and what kind of life her children SHOULD have.
Therefore, when she makes plans of any sort, they are always incredibly difficult and overly-complicated, with many moving parts.
She’ll then launch into how she feels exhausted, overwhelmed, and confused about why she’s so tired - and why she can’t get everything done.
It’s exhausting to listen to her talk about all of it because my brain goes into “simplifying mode.” Mentally, I delete steps she’s planning. I mentally crossing shit off her list because she’s making it harder than it has to be.
Of course, I can’t tell her any of this. She’s really committed to her complications. And thereby committed to her confusion.
Overcomplicating things creates confusion.
Perfectionism creates confusion.
People pleasing creates confusion.
When I hear stuff like this, my brain is saying, “OMG. Why is this so hard?” but many people are making things hard for themselves.
They’re creating confusion through complication!
Have you ever had that friend who over-complicates her life? She’ll share a plan with so many moving parts that your eyes glaze over and you stop listening…
You think, “This is sooo confusing!” And maybe you just nod along because you’ve learned not to say anything. Many people are committed to over-complication & confusion.
They’re addicted to it!
But WHY? Why do we create confusion?
Well, it makes us feel like we’re doing something. You know - all that planning & thinking & activity…it gives us purpose and keeps us from making a real (hard) decision!
But mostly, confusion keeps us pretty stuck when we could be moving forward instead!
How many times have you put off making a decision because it’s easier to just say, “I’m confused”?
It’s easier to not have to think through all the options?
Even something as easy as where to go to dinner!
For many of my clients, it’s exactly pushing off this work that causes them to grind to a halt.
That’s the #1 mistake I see them make.
They don’t want to take the time or energy to sift through the information and remain in confusion instead.
What should I do next to reach my goal? Ohhh my god there are so many options. I can’t even give it time. Forget it! I’m not doing anything!
This week, notice where you’re indulging in confusion.
Do you tend to over-complicate things? Put off decisions because they seem too hard?
Or notice where you’re using confusion as an excuse - a way to keep yourself from making a decision or moving forward.
Where you might be saying, “I don’t know what to do next” so you just don’t do anything at all!
This work isn’t easy because it requires us to be honest with ourselves. And our brains are SOOOO good at keeping us from doing that because it’s really uncomfortable!
The women in my online coaching group are doing the hard work to call themselves out on this stuff this month! We are diving deep into how to overcome confusion - because our number one goal in that group is to create more time
So that we can meet one big goal in 90 days!
Are you interested in any of that?
Come check out The Idea Space: give me 90 days, take 4 steps, and reach one goal!
We have about 10 spots left at the Founder rate of $97/month for 3 months.
Join us for support, resources, and community. Learn how to get that one BIG goal!
Join us & change your life!
…And if you’d like to get through the holiday season with less stress & more time, join my FREE 6-week Time Mastery Accountability Group. Click below to join, and share with your friends & family!