Episode 92: Overcoming Confusion and Making Decisions

Episode Summary

When we make a decision, we are choosing one thing and eliminating the other options. This feels scary because we’re afraid that if we make the wrong decision, we might impact our happiness and then we’ll have regret. 

But regret is not created by whether you made the right decision or the wrong decision. Regret is created by our thoughts.  It is created by what we think after we make the decision. Whatever we feel about a decision— regret or peace, anxiety or confidence—it is never created by the decision itself.

On this episode I’ll teach you how to make powerful decisions without regret and show you how to replace fear with confidence no matter how big or small the decision is.

Episode Tools and Questions

Feeling lost and confused is a tough experience made even worse when we need to take action. Decision-making requires, well, decisiveness. When we’re confused, we don’t trust our own minds to find the answer or make a call, and the indecision is a whole extra layer of agony. When our brain insists we just don’t know what to do, how can we possibly make the right decision?

Here’s the secret: we totally can. Today, I’m sharing:

  • the truth about confusion
  • why our brain loves to say “I don’t know”
  • 3 steps to realizing no decision is truly wrong

The truth about confusion

Just as a blanket statement…confusion is always a lie. Whenever we think we don’t know what to do, what decision to make or what we want... it’s always a lie.

Our brain is using confusion when it thinks the course of action we want to take might produce some negative emotion for us.

If I want to market my business, my brain might be confused about which social media platform I should use, what I should post, how often I should post.  Instead of possibly feeling rejected or vulnerable or embarrassed, it’s easier to be confused.

So whatever you’re confused about, ask yourself: if I took action on this, what would I be scared of feeling? What emotion am I really trying to avoid?

You are never confused even though it feels like you are. It really feels true that you don’t know what to do. But you have to be onto your brain. 

Why our brain loves to say “I don’t know”

Saying “I don’t know” is what the brain does to try to avoid discomfort. Confusion is very uncomfortable, but for the brain, confusion is preferable to many other negative emotions.

The brain would rather be confused than be rejected. The brain would rather be confused than fail. Sometimes the brain would rather be confused than lonely. Sometimes the brain would rather be confused than feel regret.

When I was launching my group program, I told my coach “I’ve never done this. I don’t know how.” That felt 100% true to me. She said, “If you did know how, what would the steps be? I insisted, “No really, I don’t know how, I’m not just saying that.”  And she said, “Okay... but if you did, what would step one be?”

Turns out, I knew the steps. I just didn’t want to take them in case I failed. My brain was trying to avoid failure by not knowing. And the brain will avoid knowing for as long as you let it. 

Let’s apply this concept directly to decision making.

Decision-making is taking action. Remember, the brain produces confusion when the action we want to take might lead to a negative emotion. You want to make a decision, but your brain is scared because you might feel a negative emotion.

So the brain says, “I don’t know what to decide.” What is the brain trying to avoid by not deciding?

The root of the word decide literally means to cut off. We eliminate all the other options except the one we decide. What we’re afraid of is regret. We’re afraid that if we make the wrong decision, we’re going to cut off our path to happiness and then feel regret.

3 steps to realizing no decision is truly wrong

  1. Recognize that the determining factor in whether your decision is right or wrong is you and your brain. No matter what you decide, how you feel will be created by you.  The job you take, where you live, who you marry, none of that creates your happiness.  What really matters for your happiness is how you manage your mind.
  2. Understand that if your feelings are created by you, then the decision doesn’t really matter. And you can just choose what you want to do. You know what you want. It’s just covered up by fear and anxiety.
  3. Once you decide, you have to commit to how you are going to think about it. We often think that if we choose the right thing, then our brain won’t give us any doubts.  That’s not true. Doubts come up. We are going to have thoughts. But they don’t make the decision wrong. The doubts are just trying to protect you from future negative emotion.

Remember: you make your decision right OR wrong by the way you think about it. 

If you know that whatever you choose, the circumstances will be 50/50 and your experience will be created 100% by the way you think about it, then you can give up your fear, overcome your confusion and make a decision.

There are no right decisions. There are just the decisions made right by the way you think about them and yourself….and that, my friends, is 100% awesome.

Episode Notes

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