We all know money can’t buy happiness – it also can’t buy another gift: CLARITY.
Even the definition of the word includes “freedom”.
Clarity: “clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity” (from dictionary.com)
“Freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity” – is that an impossible dream for entrepreneurs, given the daily bombardment of “shoulds” and the lure of distraction?
Clarity is an introvert. It seeks calm, quiet spaces.
It can’t be scheduled in your diary.
Clarity sneaks in quietly – at unexpected moments.
Clarity’s nemesis is overthinking. You can’t just think your way to clarity (believe me, I’ve tried). It’s other foe is defensiveness and insisting that you’re right.
It can be a fickle and fragile friend – if it walks out on you, it’s asking you to change something and you will feel abandoned.
So if you want clarity back, you must up your game of seduction.
It wants to be cherished. It has beauty and truth.
Clarity is a tortoise, it won’t chase you, you have to slow down and let it find you.
If you cram your head with stuff, sprint through your days or panic – there’s almost no chance clarity will reappear.
Clarity will only visit when you’re still and open. When you’ve made a space beside you. It loves to catch you unawares, thinking about nothing in particular.
Even when you issue an invitation (or a prayer or a desperate plea) clarity will arrive out of the clear blue sky.
When it comes, it is sometimes all at once, like a stampede of shoppers on Boxing Day. But more often it’s a whisper that only you can hear. (It often chooses the shower,the outdoors, exercise and the time between sleeping and waking).
Sometimes clarity doesn’t want to scare the pants off you by giving you the whole staircase, but it might show you the first step.
It’s wise, yes – butit’s also practical, showing you the way and encouraging you to act.
And doesn’t it FEEL great! Here is what some of my friends said:
Lane says “a sense of ease”
Brian says “for me, when clarity arrives, I move right into action effortlessly, everything just flows with ease”.
Kate says “permission to move forward”
Helen says “a sense of knowing, that is not from the mind”
Paul says “with clarity life becomes winning and easy”
Kundan says “in my body I feel spacious, ease and awe”
(Clarity brings ease, have you noticed?)
And my beautiful friend Brigit had a poet’s soul when she wrote, “it’s when my soul hums along to my intention”.
So how do you let clarity find you?
I’d love to give you a magic bullet, but there isn’t one.
Clarity deserted me a while back – I felt unmoored and full of doubt – for months actually.
Last week was different. Writing in my journal, suddenly my next steps were “there” and I’m filled with purpose and inspiration.
As much I would like to snap my fingers and gift you clarity, I can’t.
Imagine preparing for romance. That means slowing down, making space, quality time, asking empowering questions, being honest and true with yourself and really listening.
And not getting frustrated if it doesn’t show up on demand.
One: Make space and time:
As we said, overthinking and trying to constantly problem solve can only make things worse. Put it aside for a while. Make friends with feeling a bit lost. Slow down and leave more space in your day. I journal each morning and spend around an hour a day outdoors with my dogs, which is my meditation time.
Slow right down on the constant consuming of content and cramming more stuff into your head. So many of us are on a continual learning loop, giving ourselves more and more to do. How will clarity find you?
Choose a part of your day to turn off stimulation and just be (or take longer showers!!!) Creating time/space will pay off in every area of your life.
Talk with a wise friend who listens generously and lets you meander. Tell them you’re feeling a bit lost and unsure as to what to do next. Choose someone you feel safe with and give them permission to challenge you. Don’t expect them to give you “the” answer, ask for their help with perspective and better questions.
(Bullies make clarity defensive, clarity turns tail and runs when told it’s wrong). Clarity likes kindness and coaxing. Clarity especially loves respect.
What is working for me (because …. chronic overthinker) is journalling or free writing.
This is your best friend when clarity walks out, because you’re making sure it can make its way back via pen, paper and better questions.
- who needs me?
- why do I want this?
- what does (fear / envy / doubt / confusion insert struggle) have to tell me?
- what do I need to let go of?
- what has to change?
- and when you’re purged and ready, ask: “what is my best next step”
Clarity also likes drawing, frameworks, mind mapping and creative thinking – so if writing is not your thing, try diagrams, flow charts or challenge yourself to create a model.
Four: Take some things off your table
You might not know what to do next, but you might have tried a bunch of things that didn’t work.
What can you stop doing now, that drains your energy but isn’t working?
What do you really want? How does your ideal life look and more importantly FEEL?
Clarity about how to proceed comes to those who know what they want, so it is important that you have a trajectory for your life, so you can invite the kind of clarity you can act on.
Try this exercise:
Put a line down the centre of a page. On the left write all the things you don’t want in your life anymore. Now flip all those things around and write them on the right. The reversals are what you want. Let one of those give you a first step.
Five: Take positive actions
Ignore the fact you feel lost or overwhelmed and do something positive to advance your business.
Random examples. (Please suggest more)
- Write up a new offer and post it in a facebook group.
- Write a list of all the stuff you could teach someone who is 2 years behind you.
- Likewise, if you envy someone, use that envy positively to inspire you to a next action, to get you closer to where they are.
- Commit to a healthy new 10 minute a day habit, (I recommend a journalling habit or mindfulness meditation)
- Choose a word for your year
Six: Be patient and ready
As I mentioned, clarity doesn’t come on schedule. It will most likely come when you’ve let go of all expectations and assumptions, have your guard down and journal at the ready.
When the spark arrives, go with it, explore it, write it out or diagram it. Don’t argue with it, clarity will leave as soon as it’s come if you’re going to be defensive or second guess it.
Clarity leads to action which leads to things happening. It is the start of everything.
It’s a blessing, treasure it!