I had a breakthrough this week. While taking an online course, my mind cleared, suddenly. “Burst of clarity” – now it makes sense! I knew what I had to do. Momentum followed. Rolling with it, I cleaned up the mess to welcome the sparkly new. Here are the lessons I learned, along with some tips on how you can get clarity too.
What is clarity?
Dictionary.com provides my favourite definition of clarity:
- clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
- the state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye
I associate clarity most often with clearness. Yet it’s more than a state of mind; it’s a feeling: “freedom from ambiguity.” It’s visceral too. I felt like the scales were removed from my eyes.
The Gifts of Clarity
I wondered, “What are the gifts of clarity?”
Cut Through Clutter. I am curious by nature which means I can go down rabbit holes easily. My curiosity is a blessing and a curse because it means I accumulate mental clutter. With clarity, I could eliminate the extraneous, simply let it go, instead of carrying that baggage, anticipating some future nebulous use for it.
See the Path. Removing rubble from my way let me see the path forward. The path is straighter than I thought! Now I can decide how fast I want to travel, see the scenery, and build benches along the route. I’m using my energy the right way to move forward. No more spinning wheels.
Feel Lighter. The best part? I feel relieved. The burden of clutter has been lifted and I can clearly see where I want to go. With less emotional weight, life feels easier.
It starts with wanting it. I held on to my baggage for many reasons. Familiarity. Inertia. The need for control. The hardest part was accepting what I got from it. For many years, it justified – and reinforced – my saboteurs. And so, my saboteurs controlled me instead of my Leader Within, the voice of inner wisdom.
Most of this was unconscious. Quite frankly, I had no self-awareness of my saboteurs. I knew I had baggage, but it took many years to understand that experiences don’t happen to me but for me.
The Clarity Process
Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Most of the time when I ask this question, I hear a variation of “I don’t know.” Often, people revert to saboteur talk by saying, “I should … “ Those of you who read this newsletter regularly will recognize that “should” is a saboteur speaking.
Instead, try asking, “Who am I?”
This question stumps people as well. People fall to descriptors like “I am smart. I am creative.” In fact, these qualities describe strengths. Valuable to know, but it doesn’t address who you are at your core.
At your core, you have values. These are the unwritten rules that drive your behaviours and, most of the time, you may not even be aware of them. Your values created your habits.
You have a purpose. Knowing who you are is about finding what fulfils you, what brings meaning to your life. In essence, you want to make a difference. It’s about more than leaving a legacy. It’s a pro-social need to leave the community better.