From Confusion to Clarity
Since we live in a world of duality, like two sides of the same coin, confusion is the other side of clarity. Other examples of dualities are: pain and pleasure; success and failure; good and evil, right and wrong; happy and sad, etc. One without the other is completely meaningless.
So, is confusion bad? Not really. In fact, it’s just the beginning of the road to clarity. As Socrates famously noted, he found light in the midst of darkness. Confusion is typically the result of certain occurrence in one’s life over which one seems helpless. Below are some tips to help you overcome any such incident.
1. Is this true?
In certain uncomfortable situation, you may find yourself blaming something or someone else for the difficulty you encounter. Just pause, take a few deep breaths to quickly balance your energy. Then, ask yourself if something or someone else really has the power to dictate how you feel? Even though you may not see at the moment how it is possible for you to react differently, you will rapidly realize that you are responsible for your feelings and reactions. Responsibility empowers you to eventually choose differently.
2. What is the title of that story?
Many times our thoughts are repetitive and involve the same story. You may find yourself rehashing the same story over and over. When thoughts come up along that storyline, I can say ‘Oh…here is my ‘poor me’ story and just let it go. Like a movie you have seen several times, the attraction has greatly diminished as you are more than familiar with the plot.
3. Can I change the outcome?
When we replay the same story over and over, we usually explore a variety of different endings; giving us the opportunity to mentally rehearse what we wish would’ve been different. Can you really change the outcome of what has happened? The answer is obviously no. Accepting the outcome ‘as is’ enables us to ‘get unstuck’ and move forward.
4. Let them float away
Imagery is extremely powerful. These mental images are used by our subconscious to store all the data, memories and experiences it contains. Our subconscious reacts the same way to a mental image as it would to a real situation (for example, like when absorbed in the plot of a scary movie and getting scared when the white mask appears on the screen). Pretend that you can place your negative thoughts into a balloon and then imagine releasing it, floating away from you. When another negative thought arises, put it in another balloon and watch float by.
5. Affirm your greatness
One of the subconscious’ main functions is to ensure our security and safety, using basis mostly developed in our first years of life. The safety and security views of your 5 year old self may greatly differ from those of your adult self, creating gaps conducive to cognitive distortions and negative thought patterns. Do not underestimate the power of your own suggestions and use them to reframe what your subconscious holds true about yourself. For example, you may use ‘I love myself’, ‘I approve of myself’, ‘I appreciate myself’, ‘I care about myself’, ‘I deserve good in my life”, etc.
Using affirmations to boost your self-esteem helps you adopt a strong stance to confidently face any demands that may arise with clarity.