I’ve been thinking a lot about limit and limitlessness this week; and, I’ve been thinking about the connection between knowing we are unlimited, and confusion and clarity.
Where do you suppose confusion comes from? Or, lack of clarity? And, how do you suppose limited thinking is connected to confusion? Lastly, how does having clarity reduce confusion, and our own limited thinking? Hm. Not sure. Well, let’s take a look.
Here’s what we’ll cover.
- Where does confusion and lack of clarity come from?
- How is limited thinking and confusion connected?
- How does having clarity reduce limited thinking?
- 5 Simple steps you can take to reduce confusion and increase clarity.
Here we go.
1. Where does confusion and lack of clarity come from?
A lot of confusion comes from over active minds. In some ways, human beings are programmed to think and think and think. Think about the past, think about the future, yet not so much the present. The issue?
When we are thinking about the past or the future, we are not present. In these moments we are literally living in the past or the future. And, when we are not present, we are confused about our current reality.
We cannot see our current reality, right there in front of us, when we are thinking about what we should or could have done yesterday, or when we are thinking about what we are going to do tomorrow, next week, or next month. Impossible.
In a sense, we are confused and don’t even know it. How can this be? We are too busy thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, as we act today. When this happens we are living in yesterday or tomorrow.
All the while the present moment is being missed.
When this happens we also have less clarity. Simply because the mind is so busy thinking about other things, worrying about something that was said or not said, or something that was done or not done. When your mind is that active, you cannot have clarity. There is no space for it.
Clarity comes when we are able to leave the past in the past and the future in the future. Simple. Well, not really. Takes lots of practice. And, yet it is possible, and is quite amazing to have the space for more clarity. With more clarity, of course, comes more insight. Fun.
2. How is limited thinking and confusion connected?
When we are confused because we are focused on the past or future, we are also limiting our thinking. We are concentrating on events that are not in the here and now. Because we are not focused on the here and now, we are limiting the possibilities that live in the present moment. Limited.
Think about a time that someone asked you a question about a topic or event, and you, instead of being present to the conversation, started to think about how something similar didn’t work last time, or how the result will need to be this way or that way.
We are actively limiting the potential of the moment, because we are living in another time. Literally.
We have, in effect, created limitation. Important to note here that the limitation being created is not created intentionally. It just happens. That is why noticing when we are focusing on anything other than the present moment is important.
Limited thinking, then, is connected to confusion in that when we are confused we limit our thinking. Meaning that all the things that are possible in any given situation or event are limited. They are limited because we are paying attention to the past or the future instead of what is right in front of us.
3. How does having clarity reduce limited thinking?
As we’ve discussed, when there is less confusion there is more clarity. When we are focused on the present moment, we have more space for insight, and for all possibilities that might present themselves in that moment.
Conversely, when we are confused and are limiting our thinking, we have less space for those same insights and possibilities.
Therefore, clarity is created by focusing on the present moment, and letting go of thoughts about the past and future. Again, I know it sounds simple, and in language it is. In practice it is more difficult. Why?
As was aforementioned, we are in some ways programmed to focus on the past and the future. As I’ve written about in other posts, humans are meaning-makers. Which means that we are always creating meaning about what we are doing, and we are also always relating it to what we know.
And, what we know lives mostly in the past.
Additionally, we are socialized, especially in the U.S. to focus on results. When we are focused on a result, we are now focused on the future, not on the present.
Both focusing on the past and the future detract us from the present. What can we do to increase clarity and reduce confusion? Let’s take a look at 5 simple steps you can take to begin to increase your clarity.
4. 5 Simple steps you can take to reduce confusion and increase clarity.
When you notice that you are thinking about past events, whether it is something you wish you wouldn’t have done, or something that you wish you would have done, shift your thinking to the present. It takes practice.
Notice without judgement. Once you are more aware of your thoughts, you may get frustrated when you catch yourself focusing on the past or the future.
It’s okay. Normal. Don’t beat yourself up. You are human.
When we get frustrated, we can actually create more confusion. Think about it. If you are focused on the past and you notice, and then get frustrated, you have now filled your mind with both the past and frustration in the present moment. More confusion.
If you get frustrated, notice that, and let it go. Again, it takes practice. Here are the steps again.
- Notice when your thoughts are in the past or future.
- Shift your attention to the present.
- Notice frustration if it arises.
- Let go of the frustration.
- Repeat again and again.
It works the same for future events. Same process, same steps.
Remember, we don’t create confusion and lack of clarity for ourselves intentionally. It just happens. However, there are steps you can take to increase clarity and reduce confusion. How to begin? One step at a time.
And, when you get frustrated, which will invariably happen, remember that frustration will only attract more confusion. Take it slow. Breathe. Practice. And, please give yourself the grace you deserve.