Here is Why Being Confused is Good. It Means You Are Learning.

Here is Why Being Confused is Good. It Means You Are Learning.

This does not make any sense. How confusing!

Familiar feeling? When confronted with a math problem, a legal document, a situation you don’t know what to make of or someone’s overreaction.

Confusion is frustrating. Confusion often leaves us feeling let down by our brains, less empowered to tackle situations, followed by a general loss of control.

In short, it has us in disarray.

Every day, we experience something, large or small, that bewilders us. We are deeply uncomfortable with the uncertainty that follows this experience.

The world is an inherently confusing place. And try as we might to make sense, there will always be interactions that don’t keep us guessing. It can be a new technology, rule, or problem — everything that challenges the information we hold inside.

Being who we are, we love the status quo. We hate change. And anything that remotely disturbs that equation is uncomfortable.

It will be helpful to know that you can turn this situation on its head and use the confusion to enhance brain plasticity — the capacity of the brain to adapt and mold itself to new circumstances and new information.

In short, learning.

In these times, any information we seek is available on our little devices. We rarely allow ourselves to ‘stay’ in the confused state. This is a rare opportunity to channel the confusion towards learning something new.

What if we spent time thinking or addressing the problems on our own, using our past knowledge?

Instead of looking for ready answers, what if we let our minds wander, make connections on their own and arrive at an answer?

Or sometimes, push us to acquire new information that validates or negates what we thought was right?

Let your confusion lead you by the nose in seeking out a solution. Like Alice, you may stumble upon a wonderland if only you give your mind a chance.

I agree, the motivation to wander and do the heavy lifting ourselves is low. From managing relationships to managing spaceships — google just about has all the answers.

We need the answer ‘now’, and we want to use precious brain power elsewhere.

Why reinvent the wheel?

Then imagine a world where people who faced a confounding challenge refused to follow their curiosity towards a possible solution. And then think of all the inventions we take for granted in our life — would they have existed?

Being frustrated with a problem is a mark that our brain is preparing for deep processing to address the source of this frustration. It needs to embrace confusion to diagnose, infer, solve, demonstrate, and explain whatever is bothering us. This act involves complex learning, connecting the dots, seeking information from various sources, and then making sense of it all.

Use what you know, seek sources that build on that knowledge and use your faculties to make connections.

And there are times when our brain gets overloaded. Nothing in our knowledge bank strikes a cord, and Google also fails to give us in response.

In this case, the gap in our knowledge is rather large to resolve the challenges ourselves. The positive side, though, is that we have the option to collaborate and find an answer.

Welcome confusion, allow your mind to grapple and grow. It is one of the best opportunities you have to make a difference.

See a related article about learning practices for retention and recall.

Hi, I am Nalanda. I write about Adventure Travel, Personal Effectiveness and stories from the rich tapestry of LIFE!

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