5 Ways to Create Clarity
Clarity rarely appears just because you want it to.
Yet people often want that to be the way it works. When the clarity they seek doesn’t magically appear straight away they feel frustrated that the reality doesn’t match how they want it to be.
Creating clarity is a lot like growing a plant. You need to plant a seed in the right environment, with the right conditions, and then nurture it to grow and flourish.
The same is true for getting clarity. You need to create the right environment and conditions in which it can evolve.
Here are 5 ways to start creating the right environment, conditions, and circumstances for clarity to develop.
1. Create time and space to think
If you are constantly busy and your schedule is always full you probably feel like you don’t have enough time and space to just think. But without time and space to think it is difficult for clarity to emerge. Your mind and focus are too busy with other things. Create some time and space to just think.
2. Research and experiment
Researching and experimenting as much as possible can help with getting clarity and identifying the next steps to move forward.
For example, when I wanted to leave my corporate career but didn’t yet have clarity on what I wanted to do I spent time identifying my values, what really mattered to me, and thinking through what would be fulfilling and meaningful to me for my next chapter. I then looked at what might fit those things and researched them. I found ways to do little experiments to test my thinking. Doing that ruled things in and ruled things out, thus moving closer to the clarity I wanted to design the next chapter of my life and work on my own terms.
Also, when I knew I wanted to live somewhere different from England, I spent time defining my ideal place and then researched to find a good fit. That research resulted in moving to Ireland to live for seven years, and then on to Canada.
What do you need to research and experiment with to aid the development of the clarity you want?
3. Get into action
Action is often a precursor to clarity. Figure out things you can do that would help you foster the clarity you are looking for. What new things could you try? Clarity is often hiding in new experiences. Taking action adds reality to your thinking.
What action could you take that would support you in cultivating the clarity you seek?
4. Ask yourself questions
When people are struggling to find clarity they usually talk in statements. Things like, “I feel stuck,” “I don’t know what to do” etc.
That doesn’t move you forward. It keeps you stuck.
If you start asking yourself questions instead, it can help you get unstuck and move in the right direction. Questions generate curiosity, new ideas, different perspectives, new ideas, etc.
Start getting into the habit of asking yourself questions and see where they lead you.
5. Just "be."
Have you noticed how sometimes you get a great idea or clarity when you are in the shower, walking, exercising, on holiday, or doing nothing?
That is because the mind is in a relaxed state with fewer distractions. When the mind is in this state it generates more creative thinking. If the brain is in a creative thinking state, you are more likely to find clarity.
Some of the most important moments of clarity I have had happened when I was just "being". For example, as dawn broke on 1st January 2000, I was sitting at the top of a mountain watching the sunrise on a new millennium. In that moment I gained clarity about why I was feeling so unfulfilled in my corporate career that I had been wrestling with for some time. That moment of clarity sowed a seed that I then nurtured which ultimately led to a career change.
That was not a one-off incident. During a holiday many years ago, I got clarity on my desire to change the environment I lived in. That moment of clarity ultimately led to the decision to leave England and live in Ireland. Similarly, the clarity to leave Ireland to build a new life in Canada came on a camping trip.
Give yourself permission to just “be” more often. It creates the environment for the seed of clarity to grow and flourish.
The bottom line…
Clarity flourishes when you create the right environment, conditions, and circumstances in which it can grow and flourish.