When in Doubt, Sketch it Out

How often in life do you come across a situation where you’re faced with confusion and uncertainty?

Chances are that happens pretty frequently, because that tends to be how life works.

In the video above I share how you might approach that uncertainty and confusion by making use of simple tools like pen and paper.

Here are the highlights:

  • Doubt is both a cognitive experience (confusion) and an emotional experience (tension).
  • In order to make sense of the situation, it’s helpful to get those thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto the page.
  • By sketching them out with a diagram or drawing, you’re giving the details of the situation space to breathe as you look for themes and connections.
  • By making marks on a page you’re benefitting from cognitive offloading – instead of relying on your limited working memory, you’re creating an external artifact that helps your brain make sense of the situation.
  • There’s also an element of emotional offloading when you choose to sketch things out. Some of the weight is lifted off of your shoulders and is carried by the page.
  • By seeing the elements of your situation sketched out, you’re better able to explore potential paths forward, and decide which you’d like to take.

Throughout the video I share a decision that my wife and I are currently facing: if and when to move from the city to the country in order to be closer to family and nature.

Are you facing a situation that involves uncertainty and doubt? Try sketching it out with a mind map and maybe a scene or two. Give the details a place to live so that you don’t have to carry them all within you.

For more support developing your visual thinking skills, check out our library of courses.

And if you’d like to bring these skills into your organization, I’d love to host a custom workshop for your team. Reach out and let’s chat: doug@verbaltovisual.com.