Have you ever felt stuck or confused about a decision you had to make? Or maybe you feel unsure about what you really want, or whether you’re truly living your purpose.
Whatever you’re stuck on, lacking clarity is frustrating and unsettling.
How are you supposed to be intentional and work towards your goals when you don’t even know what you want?
Here’s the thing…I really believe that for most of us, underneath the layers of confusion, we do know what we want.
We say we’re stuck or confused (and we really believe it) because we don’t trust our inner voice, we don’t think we can have what we want, or we’re afraid to actually uncover what we want.
I used to be one of those people who was always searching (and waiting) for clarity. In fact, I was a master at searching for clarity! I really believed that if I kept searching, or waiting, that eventually everything would line up and I would feel totally clear and confident about which direction to move forward in.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens. (Or if it does, the clarity doesn’t last.) Over time, feeling stuck and confused becomes a habit. If we don’t trust those whispers from our intuition, or we have fear around what we know we want, then it becomes easier to just stay where we are.
Of course, we don’t stay stuck and confused on purpose. It’s mostly unconscious. It’s a form of resistance that a lot of us have become really, really good at. And it can be a tough habit to break.
So what can you do when you feel stuck?
First, recognize that this might be a habit for you. (AKA…If any of this has resonated with you, keep reading!) Awareness is always the first step towards change. Don’t feel bad about it — this is normal human behavior. We are wired to avoid change! When you recognize your behavior, you can make conscious choices instead of unconscious ones.
Next, choose clarity. That’s right, you need to make clarity your new habit. This means choosing to trust what you uncover about yourself and taking action on it. When you do this, at some point you will be tempted to throw out any clarity you gained and start over. Don’t do this! Keep moving through the discomfort. It will get easier!
To get you un-stuck, here are 3 exercises that you can use to find clarity.
You may not know what you want, but I’m willing to bet that you know what you don’t want! This exercise is perfect if you enjoy making lists (especially pros/cons lists) or you’re a really logical thinker.
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw a line vertically down the center of the paper.
- At the top of the page, write down what you intend to find clarity about. For example, “I want clarity around what kind of business I want to start” or “I want clarity around what kind of exercise routine would be most beneficial for me.”
- Next, in the left column, write down everything you don’t want relating to the area that you’re looking for clarity in.
- Finally, go through each point on the left and in the right column, write down what you think the opposite would be. For example, if you wrote down, “I don’t want to have to wake up before my kids to work out,” the opposite might be “Find a work out I can do while my kids are awake,” or “Workout after my kids are asleep,” or “Find a gym that has childcare.” Remember, there can be multiple answers on the right side, so get creative!
- When you’ve finished this exercise, go through your answers on the right and ask yourself if any of them feel possible and enjoyable for you, and if so, circle them.
Make a list of your new ideas/actions and then move on to ‘Making Clarity Stick’ below!
Automatic writing is one of my favorite tools to reconnect to your inner voice and find clarity. It’s perfect if you enjoy journaling or writing/talking through your ideas.
The idea is simple: set an intention to connect to your intuition for guidance, then let your inner voice express itself on paper!
I’ve written an article that describes exactly how to do automatic writing, so you can check that out here.
Once you’ve given it a try, go through your automatic writing response and circle the guidance that you want to take action on. You can even make a short list that outlines the clarity you’ve gained so that you’re ready to take action and move on to ‘Making Clarity Stick’ below!
Visualization is another amazing tool for gaining clarity. It’s perfect for you if you’re a visual person or if you love to daydream!
One of my favorite ways to use visualization for clarity is to imagine myself actually taking an action that I have been considering. Then I can tune into how I feel after I’ve visualized myself taking that action. Did I feel fear? Regret? Excitement? Contentment? Peace?
This exercise will give you a good indication of what feels right for you.
I’ve written an article that describes how to do this visualization exercise in more detail, so feel free to check that out here.
When you’re finished your visualization exercise, write down the action step(s) that felt best to you and then move on to ‘Making Clarity Stick’ below!
Making Clarity Stick
I’m sure you’ve probably tried exercises for finding clarity like the ones I listed above before. They are really helpful for figuring out what you want. But here’s the problem….sometimes we feel like we have total clarity, only to have it all disappear a few days later. Suddenly we’re questioning ourselves, feeling like we made a mistake.
The more this happens, the less we trust ourselves, and we get stuck in the habit of finding and losing clarity!
What’s the solution? Trust!
The only way out of the habit of staying stuck is to trust ourselves and keep moving. Just like I said above, you need to trust the answers that you get from whatever clarity exercise you try, and take action on it. You need to commit to taking action for at least a few months, even when it feels uncomfortable. (Because it will feel uncomfortable!)
Any time we try to make a change, our unconscious mind will try to figure out a way to stop us. Self-sabotage is a means of self-protection. Instinctively, we don’t want change because it could mean pain of some sort…whether it’s embarrassment, shame, guilt, remorse, grief, regret.
This is why we often quit before we actually reap the rewards of change. We don’t get far enough to actually experience the results we want because that fear kicks in and convinces us that we must be wrong.
This can be tricky because if we’re working on tuning in to our intuition regularly, we can feel like maybe we got it wrong. But you have to remember that we’re dealing with human conditioning as well as our intuition! So if you connect to your intuition and find clarity, you need to trust it, move forward AND give yourself enough time to actually adjust to any changes you’ve made.
As you’re making plans based on the clarity you found using one of the above methods, include a time frame that you think is reasonable to commit to the changes you’ve outlined. Decide that you will keep moving forward with those changes until you’ve reached the timeline (for example, 3 months or 6 months). At that point, you can re-evaluate and re-do the exercises if you wish. But don’t try more “clarity exercises” until you reach that point.
You need to build the trust and confidence in yourself by committing to listening and acting on your inner guidance.
Finally, there’s one more suggestion that I have for finding clarity and making it stick, and that is to get a reading or work with a coach. Yes, this is a shameless plug for my services!
In all honesty though, having a reading or a session with a coach can really validate what you’re feeling and help you trust your inner wisdom. I know just how valuable it can be to get that kind of confirmation!
I would love to hear about your experiences with the 3 clarity-finding exercises above! Which one worked for you? Or which one are you going to try? Let me know in the comments!