5 Ways to Create Clarity

Clarity rarely just appears just because you want it to. Yet people 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.   

The reality of creating clarity is that it 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 on what matters most to you. You need to create the right environment and conditions in which it can grow and flourish.

With that in mind, 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 on other things. Create some time and space to just think.

2. Research and experiment

Researching and experimenting as much as possible around the thing you are seeking clarity about can help clarify ideas and move you 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, strengths, weaknesses, passions, etc. I then looked at what might fit those things and researched them and experimented with them, where possible. Doing that ruled things in and ruled things out, thus moving closer to the clarity I wanted and needed to design my ideal life and work.         

Also, when my husband and I knew we wanted to live somewhere different from England, we spent some time defining our ideal place and then researched as much as we could to find a good fit. We experimented by taking trips to those places and instead of looking at them through the eyes of a tourist, we pretended we were living there to get a feel of what the reality was like. 

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. For example, say you feel at a crossroads or want to create some kind of change in your life, work, or business and are trying to figure out what the next chapter is. You have a few ideas and options but are not clear which way to go. Get into action with each one. Make it feel like it is real already. You could find people already doing that thing or have experience of it and shadow them or just talk to them. Get into the area you think you want to be in and find a way to experience doing it in some way. Taking action will add some reality to your thinking. Clarity is often hiding in new experiences. 

What action could you take that would support you with 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 moving in the right direction. Questions generate curiosity, new ideas, different perspectives, new ideas, etc. Start getting in 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, or walking, or exercising, or 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. The brain is still processing even when we aren’t aware of it and when fewer things are draining its power it goes up a gear on creative thinking.

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, my husband and I were sat at the top of our favourite mountain watching the sunrise on a new millennium. In that moment we gained clarity about challenges relating to our corporate careers we had been dealing with for some time. That moment of clarity led to creating career changes.

That was not a one-off incident. Back in 2004 we were on holiday in Scotland and got clarity on our desire to change the environment we lived in. That moment of clarity ultimately led to our decision to leave England and live in Ireland. Similarly, the clarity that we would leave Ireland to build a new life in Canada came while we were camping on the West Coast of Ireland. 

Give yourself permission to just “be” more often.    

The bottom line…

Clarity flourishes when you create the right environment, conditions, and circumstances in which it can grow and flourish. Proceed accordingly. 

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