How to find clarity on the path ahead of you

The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality. — Conan O’Brien


Clarity can be elusive

Everyone is seeking clarity on something. As a coach, I work with women all the time who are seeking clarity — clarity around their work, their relationships, their purpose in life… They are seeking their right path, and I love helping them uncover it.

On social media, I see this unfolding ALL THE TIME. People search high and low for the answer, journal like crazy, read every self-help book they can get their hands on, talk with friends…etc. You name it, they do it. They ask over and over, “WHAT SHOULD I DO?”.

They just want to figure it out and be done with it. I’d be willing to bet you’ve been there too (I know I have).

The way I see it, there are two types of clarity:

Clarity (as understanding) often comes when you look back at a series of events and say “OH, THAT’S why…” — because in hindsight, everything makes sense, right?

But clarity toward the future is different. It can come like a blast from out of nowhere that practically knocks you off your feet, illuminating the path in front of you. That’s because when you’re tuned into your own true self, you’ll feel a pull toward something so strongly — and even though you may not know where it’s taking you, you know you need to trust it and ride the wave.

So often, this is how it works.

How to get clear on what path to take:

  1. Stop what you’re doing. Now.
  2. Get quiet. Block out the noise. Turn off the interruptions, the text messages, email alerts, social media notifications. Find a spot where you won’t be disturbed.
  3. Ask your question, then listen. Listen carefully. Pay close attention to what comes up — thoughts, feelings, sensations in your body, sounds all around you. This is all feedback.
  4. Consider the feedback. When you get that feedback, ask yourself what it means. Be open to what comes up. What does that heaviness in your chest mean? Or the ache in the side of your neck? Or that anxiousness, or overwhelming feeling of joy?
  5. Then when you think you have an answer, ask why. Why is this important to me?
  6. Put the ego aside, along with the “shoulds”. It can be really hard to determine whether your perceived path is driven by the ego that represents an unmet need, by external pressure, or by your heart. It’s important to figure that out before you move forward.
  7. Trust yourself, and take a chance. Commit to your decision (unless you see blazing red flags that advise you otherwise, then go back and go through the process again).

Adjust as needed. What worked? What didn’t? How could it be better? Figure it out and tweak the plan.

“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” — Cicero


Ask. Listen. Trust. Make the practice your own, because you are your own expert, and nobody knows YOU better than you do.

Comment below and tell me what happens when you walk away from the distractions and actually listen to yourself.