Having clarity. Seeing clearly. Become clear. Sounds almost like those claims preached by a clairvoyant! Though this is not what we are referring to. You do not have to be a fortune teller nor consult one to create a vision for your future. It does not involve either a psychedelic experience in the pursuit for enlightenment.
How come getting clarity in your life is relevant after all? What are you trying to get clarity about? Did it ever happen to you to feel so unclear and insecure about something (or someone) that you were consumed by a sense of overwhelm and chaos? A time where despite all the uncertainty you still had to make a decision to move forward, as you could not afford to stay put. It is almost like going through this haze where you must put one foot in front of the other clueless about what you will find next.
Now let us consider the opposite scenario. A moment where you have felt so certain and confident about something (or someone) that you had no doubts about what your next step would be? Such a clear picture of that something that it would be madness not to go for it?
Take your time to go through your memory box. I am sure you had this experience before, even if in small scale. Perhaps it was a job interview you nailed as you were sure your skills were a perfect match. Maybe it was buying the house of your dreams as you felt like home the first time you set foot inside. Or it was when you said ‘I love you’ to your at the time partner-now spouse way too early in the relationship as you knew you have found the love of your life.
In the first scenario, somehow you make it to the finish line – when you do – feeling still disoriented and unsure how you got there. Regardless of the efforts applied and challenges overcame that sense of clarity never comes. You can indeed feel proud of what you have accomplished! The question is if what you have achieved matters to you or not; if it fits your dreams. Whereas starting from a place of clarity gives you the required confidence and brightness to guide the journey as well as a sense of fulfillment and connection to your life purpose.
This first week of the new year, we focus on 5 strategies to help you get the clarity you need to embrace and conquer 2022.
1. Create mental space: Get rid of the clutter! Do you know that moment when you realize you have too many open tabs in your search engine?! There are so many that you can barely follow your thoughts anymore. Same happens when you have several mental tabs, in other words, endless to-dos you can no longer keep track – though you convince yourself you can. There are numerous activities and techniques to quiet the mind which we have mentioned more than once (meditation, yoga, mindfulness). In today’s loud world, it is up to us to silence the noise and listen more attentively to our bodies, to our thoughts, to our assumptions. Using the silence to open space to novel ideas, challenging thoughts, unfamiliar feelings. It is often by welcoming the new that we allow a clear picture to form.
2. Name your non-negotiables: You should know them by heart! What are they? Your non-negotiables are strongly connected to your core values. They are principles grounding and driving you along the way. If you did not have a chance so far, take this opportunity to think about what matters to you the most, these same principles that keep you grounded and define who you are at your core (revisit one of my posts on core values here). Think about the main areas of your life – relationships, physical and mental wellbeing, work, financials, spirituality and write a couple of words that describe what is essential to you in each area. Afterwards, make them visible. Write them down in a place where you can be reminded constantly, so you keep incorporating them into your daily life. Being clear about your non-negotiables is not negotiable!
3. Challenge your limiting beliefs: If you tell yourself something such as “I cannot get clarity because I do not know what I want”, this is a good example of a limiting belief. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Meaning that deep down you know what you want, even when you deny it. These and other self-limiting beliefs prevent you from leaving your comfort zone. They do quite the opposite, keeping you in a bubble and limiting you to a world of half-truths where you have no other option than to accept who you are and what you believe in. To get clear about your future, about your life purpose, you must defy your limiting beliefs.
4. Foster healthy habits: Think about your typical day. How do you usually start your mornings? What do you do that energizes you and prepares you for the day ahead? Perhaps it is taking a warm shower, listening to your favorite playlist, or exercise. Same applies to your middle-day and evening routines. Pausing every hour to stretch, do a lunch break even if small, keeping a journal, meditating before going to bed, reading a few pages. Whatever these healthy habits are, make sure you foster them, especially in times of increased stress. Good habits promote emotional and mental space keeping all clutter aside, thus highly contributing to a sense of clarity.
5. Explore and experiment: Your future is not written in stone. Not even after you have defined clear goals and put in motion a structured approach. To get clarity, often we need to welcome chaos. By chaos I do not mean complete disorganization and irresponsiveness, rather using your curiosity to learn new things, explore outside your own realm, think differently. You may try and fail; you may feel more confused than when you first started your exploration. Instead of focusing too much on the outcome, observe what you are learning along the journey. Getting clarity involves also knowing what you do not want, what does not work well for you.
You can spend your whole life taking random steps and decisions hoping to get somewhere that makes you feel empowered, happy, proud, alive. No one can tell when – or if – it will happen and how you might feel when you get there. Or you can get clarity about your goals, your future, your purpose and experience a life of joy, gratitude, and fulfillment. When you get clarity about what you want, you become intentional about your next action, your next step. Until one day you look back and what you see is a clear thread – no matter how tangled it once was – connecting all those dots along your way. Your journey.