Imagine this: You’re presented with an opportunity that looks good but you don’t have much information about it. You step back…squint a little… walk around a bit (literally and figuratively)… then you make your decision with slight hesitation. Your stomach turns and you wish you could run in the opposite direction and start over. Sounds familiar? Good! That means this is for you!
Many times, our ability to make well thought out decisions are hindered due to a lack of information and a lack of clarity. Clarity is important in everything we do. It is by definition the clearness or freedom from indistinctness. (Did you catch that?) FREEDOM. FREE to be DISTINCT. Free to be different. Purposeful. Free to be intentional.
We all seek clarity.
At some point, we all seek answers to the questions of life. We reflect on what we want to become, what do we want to be known for, and what our lives mean. At the core of it all… we just want to matter.
Ask yourself the following questions- and be honest…
· Do you know what you want?
· Are you clear about who you are (or want to be)
· How do you want to live?
If you cannot answer these questions with clear conviction, don't feel insecure- we all have to start from the beginning…Never despise the small beginnings.
There are three things that you should do prior to searching for clarity in your life:
The first thing to do when you are seeking clarity is to breathe. Embarking on such a journey is not a light-hearted matter. It forces us to come to grips with our past, present, and future. Pray, meditate, exercise, etc. Do what you need to do to prepare, as you need.
Do Not PLAN Clarity
Second, putting a time limit on finding clarity is a bad idea. Trust me. I’ve tried it. God laughed at me…twice. If you put a time limit on this, chances are you will never find IT and you will cheat yourself of a fulfilled life. That is Major. You are meant to be great and greatness takes time!
Be 100% Honest and Accountable
And finally, be honest with yourself. Remove your feelings (and ego) from the equation and be real with yourself. We all have made choices that have placed us in our current situation today. If you are struggling with finances- own your part in it. If you are struggling in relationships- remember that it goes two ways. I could continue on but I am sure that you get the point. You are 100% responsible for the life given to you and how you live it (If you disagree or have more to add, leave a comment and we can discuss).
It is important that we start working on our inner self in order to have the outward rewards. Many people talk about the “Glo-Up” but if you are not progressing inwardly, it’s a lost cause. I don’t care how many YouTube tutorials you watch and Sephora trips you make. It is like being the kid in school (or the co-worker) with body odor issues. Nobody finds them pleasant to be around and as a result- avoids them.
Now that you have prepared yourself for this journey, here are 5 ways to begin the clarity process and love it:
1. Clear out your clutter
Clutter is a thief of joy (it’s sibling is comparison but we will discuss that in another post- I promise!). Clutter inhabits our mental space and our physical space. So much so that it can paralyze some of us. Clutter in the home will have us feeling like a case on Hoarders. YIKES! But we are all guilty of it in some way (Hey Neighbor)! In addition to physical clutter, we need to clear our mental clutter. Mental clutter can wreak havoc on your day-to day. When beginning my journey, I recall being at odds with myself because I had so much going on in my head that nothing was getting done. I was frustrated. My home life suffered. My work life suffered. I was miserable. You could say that I wasn’t breathing enough. When I realized that I was trying to do too much, I stopped, regrouped, and gave myself a pep talk. “Ola, you cannot continue to do this. You need to breathe and work for you.” I began to question why I was doing so many things, and as it turns out- I was doing too much for other people. Things that were not asked of me, or that they could have done themselves. That’s when I learned the next step…
2. Exercise your right to create boundaries.
Boundaries allow for healthy relationships and healthy development. Boundaries are important for growth. Say No. Say Yes. Whatever you decide to say, make sure that you are doing it for your best interest. We teach people how to treat us and if we don’t treat ourselves with care, nobody else will. There are people out there, probably some in your circle, that know you will do things for them that they could do for themselves. Be weary. Too often we feel obligated to do things for others. Sometimes, you have to be selfish. For me, I’ve learned to discern situations and relationships. It’s hard at first but I found out that I would rather suffer short term than to really be hurting in the long term all because I didn’t create a boundary.
3. Figure out what you want and what you need.
Make a list of the things you want. This list can be anything. After you make a list of everything that you want, make a list of everything that you need. This need should be based on your ability to survive. You will be surprised with how many things you need and how many things you THINK you need (I fall into this trap all of the time). My downfall-at times- is justifying why my want should be a need. I used to do this all the time so that I could get what I wanted immediately. Instant gratification. It will have you broke, tired, and upset. Once you learn patience, discipline, and application it will reward you. It all starts knowing the difference between what you want and what you need.
4. Pay attention to your day. Get off of autopilot.
We are not here to listless walk around the world and “let” things happen to us. Be intentional. Be purposeful in all of your actions throughout the day. When we operate in autopilot, we do ourselves a disservice when we don't act purposefully. To start, give yourself one goal to conquer everyday. If you need to start small it could be to drink 16oz. of water everyday. Even if you have to start small... just make sure you start! Manage your time wisely. Get a planner if you have to. It is crucial to our health to manage our time wisely so that we are not stressed to the point of sickness.
5. Become Self Aware
Find your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Ask those closest to you to tell you what you excel at and what you need to work on. Make sure they are being honest with you. Do you operate on things you like and dislike or do you try to people please? I will raise my hand and say I do a bit of both. I am learning that it is ok not to like what everybody is doing and expressing it appropriately. Be honest with yourself. The Jones’ that everybody tries to keep up with are still trying to figure themselves out too (trust me). LEAD your own path. That path that has your name written all over it- has your pot of gold at the end. We all have paths that we must follow. Sometimes it takes us longer to find and stay on the path because we think that we are supposed to bring somebody with us. It is YOUR path. Nobody else is meant for your path. There will be others whose paths are parallel…but no two journeys are identical.
When you begin to get clarity, you will get queues on what’s for you- and what's not. Your “AHA!” moments will become more frequent. You will be able to see opportunities from a mile away with YOUR NAME stamped all over it. If something is for you, you will not hesitate to go for it. You’ll get that feeling, the nudge to go for it. Remember that clarity brings enlightenment. Clarity is discernment and freedom. By definition, clarity is the freedom to be you.