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Feel Confused? Try Wonderment

Written by: Zovig Garboushian, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Confusion is a natural part of the human experience. When circumstances feel high stakes and emotionally intense, it can be hard to generate a clear picture of a prosperous future state. We can find ourselves at a fork in the road and confused, which can often be accompanied by a healthy (or paralyzing) dose of fear.

A piece of art of a two different human brains.

Emotions get tangled in facts, feelings spill into our stories and worry blankets a cloudy haze over our deepest desires.


I see my clients experience confusion. They’re brilliant, hyper-productive women who lead teams and whole companies. But, when it comes to what they want, what they really want, they, too can feel confused and get stuck.


I noticed the pressure rise when I asked, “What do you really want?” I intended that the question to allow them to open themselves to what could be instead of what should be. I wanted them to feel freedom, and it had the opposite effect—it shut them down.


Reframing to wonderment.


I had to come up with a different approach. What if, instead of eradicating the confusion that forced a single solution, we reframed the experience to one of wonderment? An open-ended, no-right-answer exploration of what they want to create.


It was a simple change of words. But it seemed to make a difference.


Confusion can feel forceful, like an unnecessary urgency to solve a problem right away and perfectly. Conversely, wonderment calls on curiosity and lets us experiment with our thoughts.


It’s a beautiful thought—to be in wonderment about our futures instead of the must-solve-now-or-die scenario.


Are wonderment and confusion really that different?


In short, yes. Both are states of mind at the entry point for making a choice or change. But one allows freedom, and the other squashes it. But for fun, let’s make a side-by-side comparison.


Confusion asks: How do I guarantee I will be successful if I make this change?


Wonderment says: I wonder how else I could define my success.


Confusion asks: How do I figure out my passion?


Wonderment says: I wonder what activities would make me lose track of time.


Confusion asks: What if I don’t like where I go?


Wonderment says: What if I considered my next choice and experiment without a right or wrong ending?


Confusion asks: Where do I even start if I open my own business?


Wonderment says: I wonder who I already know that I might talk with me about how they started their business.


Wonderment turns fear off and turns curiosity on.


It allows you to remove the mental blocks (pragmatism, obligation, responsibility, guilt) that can keep you thinking small or zap your creativity so you can explore ideas that might otherwise sound wild (but could be just wild enough to work out).


Confusion puts you into a victim mindset. Wonderment puts you in charge.


Wonderment allows you to ask questions and proactively pursue those intuitive hits you have about your future. I had an intuitive hit about being a coach in 2013 but didn’t listen closely to it until 2018 because I was very committed to my future looking a certain way (secure, predictable, and linear). I prioritized a clear path toward what I thought was a success over spending time getting curious about what else I could create. While I have no regrets, I wonder what would have happened if I had listened to my intuition sooner.


Here’s an exercise to get you out of confusion and into wonderment.


Sit. Grab a pen and paper and write down all your intuitive hits, hobbies, flash-in-the-pan interests, and deep passions. And, by the way, if you get overwhelmed by thinking about your passion, know that it doesn’t have to be that serious, and you can have more than one. Think of passion as an activity where you lose track of time.


Now, with no agenda other than wonderment, complete these sentences:

  • I wonder what it would look like if I pursued … as a career. It might look like…

  • I wonder how I would feel at the end of the day if I spent it doing … I might feel like…

  • I wonder who I could help if I spent my days … I might help them by…

  • I wonder where else I could live if I tried... I might try living…

  • I wonder who I could collaborate with if I were doing … more often. I’d love to collaborate with…

  • I wonder if I tried ... for six months, what would change about my life? It might change by…

Both confusion and wonder show up when we are at a choice point, a place of not knowing the future. The difference is that wonderment calls on you to think expansively and unrestricted, to tap into your deeper desires, your essence, naturally.


There’s no magic way to get to wonderment. You simply choose to change the inner dialogue and put some rigor around keeping confusion out of the moment and give yourself the space and grace to think wild, think big, and dream.


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Zovig Garboushian, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Zovig Garboushian, CEO of Boldness Ablaze Coaching, is an Executive Coach and Speaker who focuses on advancing women in leadership and in their careers. Her vision is a world where women go after what they want boldly and unapologetically. She works with leaders by helping them deepen their self-awareness, ease their extremes, trust themselves deeply, and self-manage with clarity, competence, and consciousness.

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