Confusion: My new friend

I don’t understand. I’ve scrunched up my eyes and I’m even scratching my head. It just doesn’t make sense…

I have a shiny-new academic label for this feeling now, “cognitive dissonance“. An uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.

I’ve been trying out a reframe of this uncomfortableness. What if, instead of confusion being a negative experience, it is a positive signal? A signal that an opportunity to learn has just arrived.

I’ll need to be quick to grasp the opportunity. What question can I ask to get to the core of the confusion? A sincere and humble question that is free from bias and judgement. Think quickly.

This works for me. Maybe because I treat it like a game and it appeals to my sense of curiosity.

Can I train myself to the point where my response to confusion isn’t discomfort? It will be fun finding out 🙂

Might this work for you too?

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Rob is a consultant, technologist, facilitator and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife in Henley-on-Thames.

4 thoughts on “Confusion: My new friend”

  1. interesting perspective. Confusion tends to frustrate me at times…maybe even scare me. I like the view better from your angle.

  2. Frustrate and scare seem like strong emotions. I wonder if there is value in exploring why confusion does that to you?

    Might be a good topic for a coaching session.

    I’d be glad to practise my coaching skills on you if you don’t mind being a guinea pig?

  3. Good question. It comes down to being out of our comfort zone. Some like to know where they are headed and plan accordingly, while others don’t mind being swept by the current and it takes them where it takes them. I am of the first camp and “confusion” tends to blur my vision.

    What camp are you in?

    Your post has generated good discussion.

  4. What if we can extend our comfort zones?

    I believe we can. This may be a product of my experiences in ‘change’.

    I think I’m in camp 2. I do like to have a plan but am very happy to deviate from it along the way. I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with uncertainty and confusion.

    I’m not there yet, but I want to have a crack at mastering the feeling so it doesn’t cloud my vision.

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