When I first heard this neurolinguistics concept, I started seeing it everywhere…
1. I walked into my obscenely-cluttered office and didn’t know where to start. So I closed the door and walked away.
2. I went to a company’s website, but it was congested with conflicting messages. I was confused and left without a purchase.
3. Bob asked me to refer him business, but I am confused about what he does, so I’ve never referred him.
4. Jane asked me for a job, but I am confused about what she could do for us, so I’ve never hired her.
5. I’ve witnessed some mentoring participants flounder, confused by the process or their goal. Typically they withdraw declaring, “I’m too busy.”
6. I had a team member not start a project because he didn’t understand what I needed.
7. I read an article about research that reveals the foundational cause of procrastination: confusion about where to focus one’s attention and energy.
A confused mind takes no action.
When we are confused about what to do, where to go, or where to focus, we tend not to act.
But action cannot depend on clarity. We gain clarity only through action. And not even the right action – just any action, no matter how granular:
- Discard one thing.
- Write one sentence.
- Ask one question.
- Make one phone call.
- Send one email.
- Do one push-up.
Because the reality is that we cannot be in action and stuck at the same time.
- where are you confused?
- what granular action can you take immediately?
- where are you causing confusion for your people or an audience?
- how can you lift the fog to help people move forward with confidence?
Ultimately the ability to take action in spite of confusion distinguishes the fruitful from the foiled.