The truth about (my) confusion

smiley-confused

I was at an event earlier this week. It was a great event with a great host and a great group of women. I had the good fortune of being chosen to go up to the front of the room and work with the host, Christina Morassi in person (in front of the audience). What she was demonstrating was how you can take all of your work and life experience and bring all of it into your business. She’s brilliant at helping women do this in their business and it’s a very different experience and energy than trying to find a “niche” to fit into.

Those of you who know me well know that I have a varied, unusual background and a lot of different types of work experience, some of which I know how to bring into my business and some which still remain a question mark.  As time passes I am getting more clarity about how my path in life, my background and experience has perfectly equipped me to do what I am here to do.  And there are still question marks so I was jazzed I was chosen to work with Christina in person. I have been following Christina by email for over two years and have watched her development in business from a distance, so I was pretty excited to meet her in person.

What I learned from my experience of being on stage with her had less to do with how to bring all the disparate parts of my experience into my work and much more to do with the defense mechanisms I have around being seen and being big and taking up “space”.

As much as I wanted to follow along with the exercise and be present (and not too distracted by the fact I was in front of so many people), I found myself becoming very confused which led to me saying stupid stuff. I looked back afterwards and couldn’t figure out what happened. The piece de resistance was when she was making a list of my work experience and I added as an after thought to a rather long list of experience that I am also a coach. “Okay, good, so who do you coach?” she asked me. “People!” was my response.

Really? People!?!? You couldn’t be any more clear? That was what was going through MY mind anyway. I felt very stupid and very confused—as if all my intelligence had up and deserted me in that moment.

Funny thing is, at the lunch break right before I was chosen to work with Christina on stage, I had been speaking with a woman and was conversing intelligently with her about what I do and how I support people in their business. Then I get on stage in front of 150 people and everything changed.

Christina–bless her for her tenderness and exquisite skill–moved through the process like the pro she is. She didn’t make me feel wrong or stupid, and in fact, reinforced my experience by thanking me for being the teacher in that moment for the rest of the room. By the end of my time with her on stage I had settled into a place of knowing and clarity, and a willingness to claim my skill set and myself and my own power. It was a powerful experience for me, and for many others in the audience too, going by the comments I received afterwards.

I was still puzzled though about what had happened to me up there on stage…until the next day during an exercise that Christina led us all in after someone shared about how confused they were feeling. Confusion is a defense mechanism, she explained. We use it to keep us small. As we moved around the room during the exercise, switching back and forth between being in a state of confusion and a state of knowing, the lights came on for me. I love it when that happens.

What I realized is that confusion is a safety mechanism for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed in some way. When I’m confused there are some things that will never occur. I won’t take action, I won’t be “big” or “out there”. I won’t be seen because I don’t want to look like a fool. I will want to get very small and go and hide…preferably under my covers.

When I am on the brink of being seen or about to be very visible in a new way (especially if it’s in a new way), confusion becomes a convenient “excuse” to stay small. It’s like the part of me that is afraid of being seen creates confusion as a way to keep me from moving into a bigger place.

It’s this inner conflict that stops me. When part of me is saying yes and wanting to move forward and another part of me is saying no and sabotaging my forward progress. Thankfully I have learned some new tools, first for inquiry and then for resolving that kind of inner conflict. The first thing that has to happen is awareness, and I got some of that clarity and awareness around my pattern of confusion this week.

Now, I can look deeper. The awareness and clarity now gives me an opportunity to inquire deeper. What is this part of me really afraid of? What does it need? How can I give it what it needs so that we can partner as allies and move forward together—with all parts of me saying yes, creating peaceful resolution instead of inner conflict.

As I move forward as a business owner I am discovering more and more that success is not so much about taking the right action, as it is taking action from a place of alignment. Sometimes that alignment is an external need, aligning things that other people see, like how your work and experience fit together in your business. And sometimes, like for me this week, the alignment is an internal need. Bringing disparate parts of myself together into alignment, and removing the conflict and the “no” that prevents me from moving forward—even when there is a part of that is saying yes.

And, what a blessed experience it is to have that internal alignment. The dark clouds of confusion turn into a bright sunshiny day! Yay yay! And that is a perfect segue into one of my favorite songs that has been on my mind the last few days. “I Can See Clearly Now” by  Jimmy Cliff. This is the song that I am going to put on and move my body to the next time I feel confused  so that I can shift from confusion into clarity and peace. It’s a great song to get your “chill” on with, no?

I would love to hear from you. How do you experience confusion. What is that like for you? And what tools do you find effective for moving through it? Leave a comment.

Click here to listen to “I Can See Clearly Now”.

Click here for a youtube version.

Lyrics:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all the obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin’ but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin’ but blue skies.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day…

 

 

 

Comments: 2

  1. John McMillan October 21, 2013 at 5:23 am Reply

    I love your work.
    Candour and honesty rule – i find that – for me – when I’m aware of confusion doing it’s thing, USUALLY it is in that space that things are shifting into a clearer space.
    Where CONcepts are becoming FUSEd – courtesy of a business coach I worked with, Giles Fabris.
    Rock on Sista x

  2. Julie Jakopic October 21, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply

    I love this and how you are doing business through your creative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *