Two weeks ago, I accidentally broke a valuable item owned by my wife. After her initial reaction of shock with a hint of disappointment, she laughed and told me that she should be happy because it would be replaced with a new one. From then on, she bugged me about the replacement. However, since we have a busy schedule, we did not have the time to take care of it right away. She had no choice but to wait. After a few days, I observed how she became less invested in the notion of me replacing the item. Then, suddenly, she told me that she no longer wanted me to replace it. She just wanted to have it fixed instead. When I asked her the reason, she said that she was now over her confusion. The long wait allowed her to think clearly and concluded that having it fixed is more advantageous than getting a new one since she loves and values the said item. In addition to that, it is a more practical decision.
When I thought about it, she actually went through all the following steps, which I, myself, observe when I face a confusing situation:
- Take a breather. Taking a pause helps me clear my mind. It is the best first step to take when confused about something. You have to be aware that your emotions are high when you are in a state of confusion. Therefore, by stopping and refreshing your mind, you prevent yourself from making a rash decision that could lead to an undesirable result.
- Avoid thinking about or listening to negative conjectures. Keeping a positive mind is very important. This step is also the supposed result after you take a breather. Once you have taken a moment to relax your mind, you have to maintain your relaxed state and veer away from thinking of negative possibilities. Aside from that, you have to steer clear of people who might infect you with their negative assumptions.
- Weigh your options. After ensuring that you are in the proper condition to make decisions, you can start thinking about the best action to take concerning the cause of your confusion. Being confused means that there are different choices. You got confused either because you have no idea what the options entail or because you like more than one of them. So, in a refreshed state of mind, carefully assess the different alternatives before you to identify which one is the best.
- Ask for advice/opinions/suggestions. Indeed, it is essential not to listen to other people’s negativities, but it is still vital for you to ask for other people’s views regarding your choice. Learn to ask the right people. Seek advice from those who encourage and inspire you. You must accept that confusing situations need more than one mind to assess and overcome.
- Strategize and plan for your next course of action. After finally deciding which option to choose, you start taking action towards your choice by planning. You still have to be careful and smart in your execution to ensure desirable outcomes. This step requires more of your patience.
As evidenced by the above anecdote, these steps could save you from regret, further disappointment, or heartache due to wrong decisions. My wife might not have intended it, but she followed all these steps and ended up choosing the best decision – having her valuable item fixed and asking me to buy a bigger one on her wish list (she used the yes-or-yes closing technique on me with this one!).
What do you do when confusion strikes?
(Photo by Liviu Gorincioi)