Clarity. I love that word. We’d all really like to have some. How many times have you heard yourself, or someone else, say “I’d just like some clarity …” For most of us, most of the time, life is about as clear as … mud. Clarity can seem pretty elusive.
What is clarity? According to Merriam-Webster, clarity is “the quality or state of being clear”.
One would think, as they proceed through life, that clarity becomes easier to find. This doesn’t seem to be the case. At least not from what I’ve experienced. I’ve noticed that some people are pretty comfortable focusing on their day to day with heads down, not concerning themselves with a bigger picture. The ostrich approach. It works for them until one day it doesn’t. Some people have made it their life’s mission to seek clarity in all matters, not wanting to move forward until a plan is crystal clear. That can paralyze you and it would seem that no movement isn’t the answer either. Regardless of our approach, our days are filled with decisions, all of which would be more easily made if we had greater clarity. Some of those decisions are small and on the big scale of life, pretty inconsequential. But – life also brings some big transitions where gaining any clarity would be so helpful in the decision making process or resetting process.
So – how do you go about finding clarity? It’s not as easy as we’d like it to be, and usually takes some time. To begin with, I’m not convinced that you FIND it. It’s not a magical place of destination where you arrive and you know you’ve found it. It’s more than a feeling. Perhaps more accurately, it’s more like your mind and your emotions are centered. Every part of you is on the same page.
Having tools to facilitate the process is a helpful place to start. Bear in mind that every one of us approaches finding solutions in our own unique way, so as you read on, consider whether any of these suggestions might be helpful for you, and then try them out. Discard or keep them depending on whether you’ve found them useful.
Steps for Gaining Clarity:
Option 1: Start with questions. Listed below are a handful of suggestions. Choose ONE that feels like a workable starting place for you.
If you were given a blank calendar and an unlimited bank account, what’s the FIRST thing you would do?
What is one thing you think would make a big difference in your life if you could change it?
What are you tolerating/putting up with?
What do you want MORE of in your life?
What do you want LESS of in your life?
What are three things you are currently regularly doing that aren’t serving/supporting you? (Perhaps they were at one point in your life, but now aren’t.)
Write your answers. Leaving them to just bounce around in your head often adds to the confusion. Writing down your thoughts is often the best way to sort out what’s really swirling around. Let some time pass, and then re-read them. Has your answer changed, or is it still accurate?
Option 2: Some of us process thoughts by verbalizing them. Repeatedly. If that’s you, then talk with friends/family/supporters who are willing to offer opinions you value and trust. If you’re not sold on the opinion you get from one person, try another. Keep in mind that no matter who you talk to, you’re going to get their version of their reality. However, if they are people you admire and whose energy you’d like to emulate, go for it. It can be a useful tool – or it can add to your confusion.
Again, write down thoughts about the conversation. Same thing as above. Wait a few days and then re-read.
Ultimately, you are 100% responsible for finding your own clarity. In the end, it will be your choice. Trust yourself. Take time to just be still and listen to your own wisdom. After all, you know yourself better than anyone.
Finally, take a step. We’re never guaranteed that we’re on the “right” path, and almost always the best way to find out is to just start. It’s like being at a big intersection. We don’t have Google Maps to direct our lives, although wouldn’t that be awesome?? Pick a path. Start. It’s trial and error. If it’s not the right one, you’ll know. Turn around and head back for your starting point. Pick another path and go! You’re not going to make progress on gaining the clarity you’re seeking if you don’t start!
Be in motion. We do not learn by standing still!
Your biggest fan,
Image: Everest Basecamp Trek, 2014.