Confidence: Reaching Simplicity

My dear friend and sage web advisor, Kara Gamber, said “Sometimes reaching simplicity is a complex journey.”

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s explore the process to see why this happens…and how to use it to our advantage.

Inherent complexity

We tend to start any endeavor by making it more complicated than necessary. The reason we do this is that we want to make sure that we don’t overlook anything that is essential to our success.

Each new factor that we consider triggers other potential factors that could influence the outcome we achieve. Consequently, we find ourselves considering dozens of factors in devising a path to our destination.


As we layout our approach, we identify steps (factors) that make the make the achievement of our goal clunky and unwieldy. Our natural reaction is to look for something that will make life simpler and more enjoyable.

With each next step we not only simplify the current step under consideration, we learn things that can improve on earlier refinements.

Over time, we continue to evolve to simpler and simpler ways to accomplish what we desire. It’s this iterative process that helps us become more efficient and more productive than our early efforts. Ultimately, we latch onto a simple system that’s easily replicable and works so consistently we know, with absolute certainty, that it’ll work every time.

For you

Human beings naturally abhor complexity. All too often that results in us giving up on whatever we hoped to accomplish. By understanding that complexity is the initial step toward simplicity and that simpler, more efficient ways of doing things surface as we continue our pursuit, we set ourselves up for greater success and more satisfying results.

The byproducts of giving up are a sense of loss, disappointment and inadequacy…not exactly the foundations of confidence.

When you feel inclined to walkaway from something you desire because of the complexity involved, remind yourself that complexity is the starting point on a journey to simplicity. You’ll enjoy greater success…and more of what you want in life.

For our kids

When you see a child feeling overwhelmed with complexity, share with them the fact that “Reaching simplicity is a complex journey.” Let them know that simplicity is the result of an iterative process in which the complex becomes simpler and simpler until it becomes efficient and effective.

Oh, by the way, live this message and your kids are more likely to employ it. They mimic the behaviors of the adults in their lives.

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.

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2 Responses

  1. Bill Prenatt

    Dale, You are the master of simplicity! It appears to me as though the zero-attention span world we live in makes it more difficult to follow your wisdom here.

    What are your thoughts about how our ready-fire-aim approach affects simplicity?

    • Dale Furtwengler

      Bill, I believe that the result is the same…that we instinctively strive for simplicity. One of the reasons is that complexity is exhausting. When we reach a certain level of exhaustion our bodies force us to rest. During these rest periods our subconscious mind provides simpler alternatives to what we are striving to accomplish. What I’m less sure about is how the zero-attention span impacts exhaustion. I suspect that in some people it accelerates their movement to exhaustion. In others, it may keep them amped up and prolong the time before exhaustion hits. I’ll continue to give this question some thought. When I find an answer, you’ll see it in another blog post. Thanks for another insightful question.

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