Kristi, one of my clients from over a decade ago, described a time where her smiles were depleted and she dragged from one day to the next without purpose. She couldn’t explain this cycle she was in, only that she felt in a slump.
She was in her Cloud of Ambiguity. The Cloud of Ambiguity occurs when your purpose and/or vision is unclear, your thinking is in disarray, and you feel stressed or stuck. Taking focused action becomes particularly problematic.
The Cloud of Ambiguity also happens collectively in organizations. We’ve seen it after mergers, acquisitions, or when an organization is shifting their culture. We’ve also seen it during the pandemic with homeshoring employees.
While in this state, you may even be intentionally making a significant shift but don’t yet see the results you’re wanting. Things around you occur unusually difficult and you start to question yourself or decisions.
Rather than try to avoid it, it can be empowering to acknowledge the current state. Choose to be curious about the lesson you may need to learn or the personal growth opportunity that is getting you ready for the next experience.
For example, let’s say you allow others to cross boundaries. One day, you realize the impact that has had on your life, like stress or overwork. Finally, by the weight of allowing others to cross your boundaries you to decide to set and keep your boundaries. As you keep your boundaries with the relationships around you, you notice they become strained.
Others around you are accustomed to experience you as someone who gives in to their wants and needs. These relationships get strained. You may find yourself in the Cloud of Ambiguity second-guessing yourself. This doesn’t mean you should not hold to your boundaries, but simply acknowledging the state can have you move through the discourse empowered.
In Kristi’s case, she had a life-altering personal life event that transformed her view of life. Her Cloud of Ambiguity was that she felt like a different person but didn’t know how to fully express it in the world. Through one of our coaching programs, she worked through identifying her vision, values, and a blueprint for all areas of her life, she began taking focused action.
She also worked with her natural wiring, which becomes amplified when you’re under stress or navigating uncharted experiences. As someone who was wired to create order, the aligned blueprint gave her the clarity to move ahead with intention. Most importantly, she learned how to approach things differently. She used her innate wiring of creating order, yet recognized when that wiring no stopped her, and how to manage it with grace and ease.
If you’re in your Cloud of Ambiguity, acknowledge it. Sometimes, we stay in the cloud until we learn what we need to learn. Be curious and ask, what is the lesson here?