claritygraphic Written by: Anne Bolender

“A lack of clarity can put the brakes on any journey to success.” 

This quote from Steve Maraboli, a behavioural scientist, is not only one of my favourite quotes, but it is also a powerful reminder on how important clarity is, for with clarity, comes focus, and with focus comes a more direct path to success.

Clarity on its own can be pretty powerful, but when we also align our clarity with our essential self……..that core of us that defines who we really are – what make us happy, what inspires and excites us, what ignites our passions and purpose in life – that’s when pure magic happens.

Now, as awesome as clarity is, clarity is not always easy to achieve, particularly when we are still trying to sort out who our essential self is (believe me, I have tried and it is not easy, or accurate!!). So I thought I would share 4 powerful techniques that I have used that have helped me enormously in gaining clarity, even when my knowledge of who my essential self is, was not as clear as it is now.

4 powerful techniques that anyone can use to help increase their clarity are:

1) Get to know the feeling of joy and excitement. I know, that seems a bit basic, but sometimes, for whatever reason, we forget to notice how we are reacting to something. In this modern-day, when we are bombarded by media messages from all directions, when we a tuned in to our cell phones and to twitter and to facebook……we tend to overlook listening to our inner self so we miss hearing the messages that our essential self is trying to tell us.

But when you feel excited about something (like waiting for Santa to appear on Christmas eve when you were a child), or when you experience the feeling of pure joy (like scoring your first goal, or getting your first big client) that is your essential self telling you to go for it…..that is clarity.

For this technique then, what you do is remember back to a recent experience where you felt excited, or to a recent activity that you participated in where you felt pure joy. What does that feel like? What are you feeling when you think about that experience or those activities?

That feeling – that excitement/joy – that is clarity!

Now when you have a big decision to make, like whether you should remain in your day-job or quit to become self-employed, look for the choice that gives you that feeling of excitement or joy. That’s the decision your essential self is telling you to make.

2)  Create Your Either/Or Ideal Day.  Writing out a detailed description of your ideal day is a fairly common technique that is often used to help people create an image of what their ideal life would look like. Gain clarity around what you want your ideal life to look like is an amazingly powerful technique all on its own.

For this basic Ideal Day technique, what you do is you write out, in very fine detail, what your ideal day would look like, feel like, taste like, sound like, what you would wear, where you would live, etc. This gives you clarity on what your ideal life would look like, making it easier for you to actually achieve that life.

But here’s the twist. Sometimes we get caught trying to decide which of two or three options our ideal life should be. For example, do we want to live in the country or live in a city or be a nomad?; do we want to develop a career as a graphic designer or a career as a writer or do we want to become a nurse?.

Writing out each of these options as an ideal day scenario lets you play with the details, monitor your reaction and see (or feel) which option elicits feelings of excitement or joy. The option you feel most excited about or feel the greatest amount of joy towards, that is the one that your essential self is rooting for.

3) Creating a Vision Board or a Vision Journal. Another fun way to gain clarity is to create a vision board or a vision journal. A vision board is basically created by cutting out pictures from magazines that are visual images of what your ideal day or your ideal lifestyle or your ideal you or your ideal career, etc., would look like, and then pasting these images to a large sheet of cardboard that you can look at every day. The messages in the images on the vision board, keep reminding you of what you are going after, which helps you gain clarity, which then helps you notice opportunities that will lead to your success.

A vision journal is similar to a vision board, only the pictures are pasted into a journal and you write about the image as if what was in the image was a part of your current life. So if your vision images included photos of your ideal home, you would write about what it is like living in that home as if you were actually living there.

To amp this technique up and to add even more clarity to it, instead of selecting photos of images that you like the look of, or ones that show something specific that you want, only include photos that bring out the feelings of excitement or joy in you. Don’t worry about whether you ‘like’ what the image is showing, try to just go with what your feelings are reacting to and then journal about what those images mean to you, why your feelings chose them.

You might be very surprised to see what photos your essential self selects!!

4) Act As If. Once you have become familiar with your internal guidance system (your reaction to certain things with feelings of excitement or joy) and have some idea of what your ideal day, or your ideal lifestyle looks like, try acting as if you are living that lifestyle right now. How would your life change if you were already living your ideal lifestyle?

For example, when you have a decision to make, ask yourself “What would my ideal self choose to do?” or “How would my ideal self respond in this situation?” then do that and follow that path to see where it leads.

A great result of the Act As If technique is that it often uncovers small activities that we can incorporate into our lives right now that bring us closer to our ideal lifestyle.

And the more we connect with the feeling that we are living our ideal lifestyle, the greater the level of clarity we have. The greater the level of clarity we have, the stronger we connect with our essential self, and the easier it is to make decisions that keep us heading in the direction of our best good life.

Any one of these techniques will help you gain clarity – working all of them is awesome!!!

‘Till next time.