No one has a crystal ball.
How often have you heard this expression since the start of the pandemic?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve faced much uncertainty and endured many disruptions: an unending pandemic; a surge in climate change; deepening social rifts, political unrest, and racial reckoning; unstable economies with rising inflation and shortages; a great resignation; and an exodus from a broken normal of outdated systems.
Anxious for the comforts of the old normal, many people are trying to cope by taking a huge dose of positivity. While a positive mindset may benefit some, psychologists caution that excessive positivity can be toxic and lead to unrealistic expectations, a constant need for happiness, and high levels of motivation at all costs.
So if positivity is not the answer, what is?
I believe mental clarity is the real answer.
Clarity is critical to your personal and professional growth, and during times of uncertainty, it’s the greatest gift you can offer yourself and others.
But clarity isn’t just surmising about what’s to come. Mental clarity is about decluttering your mind so you can visualize what you can accomplish. It’s also about defining success by identifying what you control, what you influence, what you can change, and how you can better respond to stressful situations.
And because clarity leads to greater self-awareness, it helps you gain a clearer understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, who you truly are in the present moment, and what you can become as a direct result of your efforts.
That is, clarity is the key to developing emotional intelligence.
Here’s how clarity can help you develop a healthier mindset.
Increased Focus and Direction
When you’re riddled with indecision, clarity allows you to make decisions based on your priorities and empowers you to intentionally orient yourself toward the goals you want to achieve.
Know Your WHY
Think about a time you’ve started a new project only to give up halfway through because you probably weren’t clear on WHY you were doing it in the first place. With increased clarity, you can determine the reasoning behind WHY you’re doing something, and as a result, you’ll build more motivation to get things done.
With such force behind you, clarity can help you more easily overcome doubt, manage your inner critic, and even challenge any notion of imposter syndrome.
Mental clarity acts as a mirror, reflecting a non-judgemental and honest image of yourself, one where you don’t carry the weight of what others think about you, allows you to stay on track, and become more self-content.
Improves Communication and Builds Trust
A lack of clarity in communication can do much damage. If someone fails to speak clearly and with brevity, it’s getting easier for others to misinterpret what is being said. Assumptions may be made, or not enough questions asked. The result could lead to confusion and a breakdown of trust and healthy relationships.
As a leader in your organization, you need to prioritize clarity of communication, so both the sender and the receiver are understood. When you encourage employees to seek clarity when communicating, both written and verbal, you create an environment where people can practice transparency and build trust.
Bringing It All Together
So if a clear mindset is a key to real success, how do you achieve it?
Start by building resilient habits that help you relentlessly seek clarification in everything you do to get past all the confusion.
Find a space where you can rest, physically and mentally. Ensure this space is free of clutter and distractions.
Set a priority
First seen in the 1400s, the word priority means “that which takes precedence or comes first,” therefore, try to identify only one priority and focus on it until you are successful. Try to stay small, consistent, and don’t be afraid to say “no” to other things that distract you from the one thing. You can choose “one thing” for the different areas of your life–personal, professional, and spiritual.
Do NOT multitask
When you’re eating, eat. When you’re composing an email, write. When you’re in a meeting, be present. Don’t do more than one thing at a time, learn to eliminate distractions, turn off notifications, and stay focused.
Take care of yourself
Physically, mentally, and emotionally. Eat well, rest, meditate, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you’re not leading a healthy lifestyle, nothing else you do matters. Period.
Enjoy your own company in silence
Don’t be afraid to set aside a few minutes each day to reflect and to enjoy your own company in complete silence. Listen to the beat of your heart, be conscious of your breathing, and clear your head.
Write to get clear
A life unexamined is not worth living, so spend a few minutes every morning to set your daily intention and write it down. If you’re struggling to get clear, write it down too. Reflect on what you write later in the day, the week and even in the future to get perspective to learn from where you came and get clear on where you are going.
Dream, explore, and experiment
Whether you read a new book, listen to a podcast, or talk to a mentor, discover what drives the habits that improve your quality of life.
All these habits can help you develop a healthier lifestyle and a better life. And with more clarity, you will get aligned with your core values, succeed in turning challenges into accomplishments, develop competencies to confidently overcome fear, and courageously stay committed to becoming the best version of yourself.
With increased clarity in your life, you’ll learn to become a resilient leader, capable of giving others the gift of clarity to also lead during uncertain times
So I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore ways to develop more clarity amid all the confusion.
I won’t offer you a crystal ball, but I will share this newsletter each month to help you develop more clarity so you can cope with all this uncertainty and even thrive.
So let’s do this together. I’ll be there to help you along the way.