As I write this, we are on the verge of forever saying “goodbye” to 2020 and “hello” to 2021. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect back on what was and what’s to come.
How was your 2020? Was it exactly what you expected at this time last year? Or did it take you completely by surprise?
I think I can safely say that 2020 took all of us by surprise.
Not even the most gifted psychic among us could possibly have predicted the chaos brought forth by a global pandemic.
And one of the biggest upsides in all the chaos is the ability to simplify. Maybe taking a break from everything has given you the space to consider whether all the busy-ness actually served any real purpose.
Or was it all just a distraction?
One big, shiny distraction taking you further and further from your goals, your inner peace, and ultimately, your happiness.
It’s funny how when the entire world grinds to a halt, you’re faced with the stark reality that very little of what you do on a daily basis actually matters in the grand scheme of things.
But thanks to the cancellation of basically everything, you suddenly have time to really hone in on those little things. Those things that actually bring meaning to your life.
You have the opportunity to feel that deeper sense of inner peace which comes from living life on your terms.
And it all starts with learning how to gain clarity.
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What is Clarity?
“Clarity doesn’t always mean you know exactly what you’re doing. It does mean you know exactly who you’re being and why.”Christine Kane
Have you ever had a moment when everything just feels right? A moment of perfect calm when you know you’re living as the person you’re meant to be and everything just clicks into place?
Suddenly all the overwhelming anxiety dissipates and your brain finally finds peace.
You stop second guessing yourself and start making decisions from that place of inner calm instead of from a place of fear.
That magical place is clarity and to understand how to gain clarity it’s vital you understand both what it is and what it’s not.
Clarity is not making decisions based upon fear because those decisions are almost always made to avoid a negative outcome. Fear keeps you forever paralyzed in a state of indecision instead of action. Indecision, in turn, keeps you in a state of constant overwhelm.
When you gain clarity, decision making is simplified because you’re deeply connected with yourself. Fear no longer has a stronghold on your life and you’re free to live as who you are.
Clarity erases uncertainty, obscurity, and overthinking. With clarity comes inner peace and ultimately, happiness.
Read this post to find out how you can stop overthinking.
Barriers to Clarity
“The universe is always expanding your thought about yourself so be careful with who you think you are.”Roxana Jones
Learning how to gain clarity requires awareness. It requires an alertness for what makes you feel grounded in yourself and what takes you further away from inner peace. Although there are countless barriers to gaining clarity in your life, here are the 3 biggest offenders.
One of the biggest barriers to clarity comes from comparing yourself to someone else. Comparison will steal your joy, your sense of accomplishment, and your inner peace every time.
You are unique! Your life experiences are like no one else’s. As are your interests, skills, and talents. You grace this earth with a presence like none other.
And the world is a better place because of you so stop feeding into the lie that you don’t measure up! Stop drawing conclusions about your own journey based on someone else’s highlight reel.
Focus on gaining your own clarity regardless of what anyone around you is doing.
Read this post to find out how you can stop the comparison trap.
Another huge barrier to achieving clarity is your sense of self. We all have a viewpoint about ourselves and who we are as a person. It may come as no surprise to learn that the viewpoint you have about yourself often develops early in childhood before you’ve developed the ability to filter information.
Maybe you were teased as a kid about your total lack of athletic ability. Gym class was torture, partially because you were told you had zero talent and stopped trying altogether. As an adult, you now completely avoid the gym and all types of physical activity because you’ve internalized this story about your athletic impairments. Avoiding the gym and activity in general works well for you until one day something changes.
Maybe it’s a health scare or maybe it’s the desire to lose a few pounds but you wake up one morning toying with the idea of getting into shape.
Buying tennis shoes and signing up for a gym membership sounds easy enough. Except for one thing.
You’ve spent the last however many years telling yourself that you’re terrible at all forms of physical activity and will therefore fail anything you attempt. After further thought, you abandon the idea entirely and go back to living the way you were before.
Do you see how clinging to your identity as a terrible athlete got in the way of achieving better health?
The same thing happens when you cling to old and outdated views of yourself when trying to gain clarity in your life. You have to be willing to challenge your self-identity and embrace positive change in order to truly gain clarity.
We live in one of the greatest eras of distraction there ever was. Netflix, Hulu, TikTok, and social media are all designed to draw you in and keep you in for significant amounts of time every day. If you don’t believe me, check out The Social Dilemma on Netflix.
Thanks to technology, we have gained the ability to be “entertained” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I will be the first to admit that I am highly addicted to both Netflix and Hulu. Spending hours upon hours in front of a screen comes quite easily and naturally to me.
And there is some truly inspiring and uplifting stuff out there! Shows which make you think and shows which make you laugh. And everything in between.
But have you ever stopped to notice how you feel after binging hours of television? Do you feel empowered and aligned with who you are? Do you feel a deep sense of inner calm and true happiness?
Or do you feel more aligned with the characters on the screen than with yourself? Maybe you even feel frustrated with yourself for spending more time than you intended in front of a screen.
Becoming more deeply grounded in who you are demands that you take control of your surroundings and minimize distractions.
How to Gain Clarity in Your Life
“Doubt increases with inaction. Clarity reveals itself in momentum. Growth comes from progress. For all these reasons, BEGIN.”Brendon Burchard
Clarity is a funny thing in that you’re the one who must find it for yourself. No one else can find clarity for you. It must come from within. But there are very specific steps you can take to find that inner peace and happiness which comes from gaining clarity.
Gain Clarity by Clearing Your Mind
In order to gain clarity, you must have a clear mind. There are several ways to calm your mind and clear your head.
One of my favorite ways is exercise, especially cardio. I feel my best after I’ve had a really tough workout and it’s partially because my body is exerting so much energy that my mind can’t get stuck in a loop of overthinking.
Another way to clear your mind is by doing an activity you truly enjoy and which is somewhat all-consuming. For me, this is either playing piano or dressage. Either is quite effective in grounding me in a place of true inner calm and perfect clarity. Each gives me a sense of deep fulfillment and happiness.
Meditation is yet another way you can effectively clear your mind and gain clarity.
Gain Clarity by Taking Action
There have been times in my life in which I have a general sense of where I want to go but am unsure of the steps. As a perfectionist over thinker, my tendency is to remain stuck in a cycle of thinking through all possible outcomes before moving forward. This generally manifests as procrastination because I’m unable to visualize all the steps I need to take.
But in life, you really only need to know one step. And that step is the one after the step you’ve just taken.
Clarity never comes from mulling the same problem over and over and over. But you can find clarity by taking action. It doesn’t matter if that action ultimately ends up being sideways because as long as you’re moving, you have momentum and progress.
Get out of your head and take some kind of action. You can always adjust course as you go but it’s impossible to adjust if you’re not moving at all.
Have you ever heard that saying, “Garbage in, garbage out?” It’s so true.
Start really listening to the influences all around you. Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with? Are they encouraging and supportive? And are they trailblazers? How do you feel when you’re around the people you’re with most often?
Pay attention to your internal talk. Is it positive, compassionate, and uplifting? Or is it harsh and overly critical?
Learning how to gain clarity takes time and patience so there’s no room for criticism, either from external or internal sources. Although clarity comes from within, the influences of those around you can interfere with your ability to remain positive and focused.
It’s also important to pay attention to stress in your life. Are you letting stress overwhelm you? Or are you taking charge and changing what you can about the stressful situation? It’s incredibly difficult to gain clarity when stress is your main focus.
Read this post to find out how you can banish anxiety and live a more peaceful life.
Your Physical Self
All the mental work in the world is worth nothing if you don’t take care of your body. Adequate rest and appropriate nutrition are absolutely essential to gaining clarity in your life. Find a daily routine for yourself which supports both physical and mental health.
Do your best to maintain a clean environment as it is difficult to achieve peace surrounded by chaos. Between working full-time and 3 kids, this one is an ongoing challenge for me! At the end of the day, I simply don’t want to spend my remaining energy cleaning.
But … I’ve found that when my house is clean, it’s so much easier to connect with my inner peace and I simply feel calmer. It’s incredible how much your physical surroundings influence how you feel mentally!
It’s Your Turn to Gain Clarity
As we step into a new year, I truly hope you seize this opportunity to gain clarity in your life. Take this opportunity to embrace the New Year and celebrate the positive changes you’ve made thus far.
Let go of comparison. You are amazing, just the way you are! Celebrate the victories of those around you and remember that success is unlimited.
Release stories about your self-identity that no longer serve you. Stop letting who you were in the past hold you back from who you are now and from your future potential.
Stay laser-focused on your goals. Distractions are inevitable but you can overcome the urge to give in.
Take action instead of giving in to the temptation to overthink your next step. You can always change your course but it’s impossible to course correct without any movement whatsoever.
Do more of what makes you feel grounded in who you are. Look for opportunities to ignite your inner joy and passion.
Follow these steps and you will quickly find the inner peace and happiness which only comes from gaining clarity. If you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out one of these highly impactful and thought-provoking reads., ,
I truly hope you have found inspiration from this post and that you resolve to gain clarity in the coming year. As always, please drop a comment below with your main take-away from the post!
All the best to you in the coming year and beyond!