There’s an ache deep within when you know you want to do something else with your life, yet you don’t know what that THING is. At some point in your life, you’ll need to travel the path of getting clarity to find what it is you TRULY want in your life. You’ll recognize the feeling as a deep longing and eventually will embark upon a search for clarity on what that thing is. In this blog post, I want to share with you the lessons I learned on my journey to get clarity.
The importance of getting clear cannot be understated. Developing a clear picture of what you want is imperative to your happiness and wellbeing. If your ultimate destination is shrouded in fog, progress towards achieving your goals and improving the quality of your life will be difficult to achieve.
THE COACHES #1 TOOL: CLARITY
A coaches first tool in her tool bag is to try to get her client to verbally articulate what they want. Whether it is the goals and aspirations they want to achieve, behaviors they would like to embody, the feelings they would like to have, or who they want to have in their life – getting clarity on what that LOOKS and FEELS like is the first vital step.
There may be dozens of areas that a client may want to focus on. Even so, the initial focus must be in the areas of their life that will make the most impact. Additionally, it is critical to focus on what they want MORE of in their lives, not LESS of. Then rinse and repeat for the additional improvements they have identified.
THE JOURNEY TO GET CLARITY IS NOT ALWAYS A STRAIGHT LINE
I recognize, for some clients, it’s harder to verbalize what they want. They come to see me precisely because they do not know what they want. With this set of clients, it is usually the lack of clarity and the inertia that this causes that is the EXACT problem. These folks feel the drain and frustration of uncertainty. They know that they NEED SOMETHING, but don’t know what that something is. They will continue on autopilot until they can unpack this information. Being unclear is anxiety producing. What makes me calm, focused and productive, however, is to have a clear objective for my life in mind.
My Fog Lifted – My Journey to Clarity
I’m lucky. Right now, I have a pretty clear idea how I want my life to unfold in the next 3-5 years. Even knowing this, I accept the FACT that what will actually transpire in my life might be quite different. Having a clear objective, I am able to focus my actions and my attention in that direction, rather than being distracted, scattered in my actions, with a lot of tasks left undone. When I feel pulled in many different directions, I am unproductive and tend to shut down.
CLARITY IS HARD WON
I’m not the 0.01% of the population who comes out of the womb with an obvious, innate talent. Getting to this point has been a journey in and of itself. I’m nearing my mid-50’s and only now do I see the clear picture. Survival was the focus of my 20’s. Awakening to the need for evolution in my 30’s, I made small, safe moves. In my 40’s I took big action to bring that evolution to fruition but was still a bit all over the place. Now in my 50’s, I’m finally seeing it all come together.
WE ALL POSSESS A DEEP KNOWING
I believe that we all possess a knowing, deep down in our souls, the direction we want (and need) to travel. It’s those desires that keep coming up again and again, yet we keep pushing them away. We convince ourselves that it will be too hard or impossible to achieve. We swat away the whispers of our own intuition with fear and perceived logic of why it can never be attained. The louder voices of those around us drown out our own inner voice. The fact is – every idea followed leads you down the path of your journey to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. That’s how this clarity thing works. It comes from action, not sitting around waiting for it to show up.
BIGGER ACTION BRINGS BIGGER CLARITY
In my 40’s, one of the actions that I took, being a good corporate employee, was to direct my passion for leadership to enrolling in a PhD program in organizational psychology. Spoiler alert, I did NOT receive my PhD. I couldn’t get past Statistics. But that’s a story for another day. This is an example of following one impulse in order to be exposed to the next thing. During a full day of Saturday class there were guest speakers where they introduced the class to an organization dedicated to advancing coaching as a profession. (International Coach Federation – ICF). Up until that point, I had no idea that this was a viable professional option. Ultimately, I learned more about the profession, researched and eventually found a program I liked to become certified.
THE PATH TO CLARITY STARTS TO UNFOLD
Being the only certified coach in organization gave me a distinct calling card and I was excited to put my new found knowledge to good use in a corporate environment where, in my opinion, coaching is much needed. I found my outlet by leading a women’s empowerment group for 5 years. Reinvigorated, I created coaching and development programs, personal development material and toolkits along with writing newsletters.
A side-hustle business was born
I began posting on social media where I could flex and practice my writing skills. Without a doubt, my enrollment in the PhD program led me to my passion of writing. There is no straight line from Organizational Psychology to writing. But by following the whispers and placing myself in certain circumstances, I was able to arrive here, where I am today, with a clear picture of how I want my life to unfold.
MY 5 LESSONS ON THE JOURNEY TO CLARITY
- Time is not infinite.
- It’s not too early and it’s never too late to begin the journey of discovery. Your inner voice doesn’t begin at a certain age and nor does it stop. That said, we are here on this planet and occupy this lifetime for a finite period of time. In order to make the most of your experience here, right now, begin letting your inner voice have a say in the direction your life travels. The sooner you start listening (and acting), the better your experience will be in this life.
- The Journey Never Ends and There is No Absolute Destination.
- When you show me this article years from now, I will be able to tell you how that vision changed over time. I will be able to show you that by listening to my inner wisdom, intuitive whispers, and traveling MY path, I, perhaps, ended up somewhere very different. The important thing to realize is it doesn’t matter the destination; it matters that you’re moving forward along the journey.
- Your Inner Voice will place you on the right path. If you listen.
- My inner voice has always told me to “write”. But I pushed that voice away. I justified my lack of action by thinking I was too busy, too stressed, who am I to write, I have nothing interesting to say, and I’m not educated in literature or writing. It’s too late or it’s too early. The list goes on. And none of that really matters. I should have listened to that voice all those years. I certainly bought enough journals and notebooks to hold all of my thoughts and ideas, but often lacked the bravery to follow through.
- Pay attention to those human guides put in your path.
- All along my journey, there has been dozens, maybe hundreds of human guides who have made subtle (sometimes not so subtle) suggestions on the action I should take. A friend of mine introduced me to the PhD program and we began together. She stopped after 1 course but I kept going for a time, until I received the message I was there to receive.
- Action will bring clarity
- It’s worth repeating here because this part is so very important. Take action, then take action again. Consistently and repeatedly. Take one small step in the direction you desire, then take another small step. Because, once you allow your inner voice to be heard, ACTION is required. Follow the voice because the more action you take the clearer your path will become. You will find it harder and harder to ignore your inner voice once your spirit gets invigorated by action.
Check in next week and bookmark my main blog page where I will share 9 Ways to Amplify Your Inner Voice.
Check out some additional reading on the do’s and don’t’s of gaining clarity
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