“A lack of clarity could put the brakes on any journey to success.”
― Steve Maraboli
Do you have mental clarity on the priorities in your life?
Do you find yourself in a mental fog not achieving much of value?
As a counsellor and coach I get the opportunity to work many clients and help them to overcome problems in their lives.
What has become a common theme with many is a lack of clarity.
Everyone knows what they don’t want. But, very few have the ability to clearly define what they do want or what they need.
When I ask: “what can we work on today that will give you something of value to take away at the end of this session?”
Responses tended to be vague and indecisive.
If there is a lack of clarify there will always be a cost to pay:
- Confusion and mental turmoil.
- Poor performance.
- Delays in completing or achieving goals.
- Wasted effort with little progress.
- Frustration, stress or overwhelm.
- Constantly questioning yourself and what you’re doing.
- Procrastination over decisions.
- Uncertainty over what to prioritise.
- You start projects but fail to finish them.
You end up spreading your efforts so thin that you make no worthwhile impact.
The reality of life is you can’t achieve something if you don’t know exactly what you want. If you cannot clearly identify your needs and wants, you cannot possibly know where to start. To succeed at anything, to have success on any level, you need to know exactly what you want and why.
So how can we move forward in our lives with more clarity and focus?
The Benefits of Discovering What you want
“Clarity is the moment we see without opening our eyes”-Stephanie Banks.
So, what is it you really want?
Gaining clarity is the key to everything. It helps you to focus and take action. There are many advantages to be gained:
- Clarity gives you direction. Without direction, you don’t know where you are heading or what you want to achieve. You need to know where you are to determine how to get to where we want to be.
- Clarity eliminates distractions. If you know where you are heading and what you want to achieve, your focus will increase. With improved focus comes improved performance.
- Clarity makes it easier to identify actions to take. Lack of clarity causes procrastination. Alternatively, increased clarity allows you to move forward with confidence and take positive action.
- Clarity makes it easier for others to support you. People want to help. But they can only do so if they know what you want. When we have greater levels of clarity, it’s easier to communicate to others.
- Clarity communicates what you stand for. Clarity often reveals what’s important to you. Those with greater clarity know their purpose, who they want to be and the difference they want to make.
How can you cultivate the clarity you need in your life?
Benefits of meditation to help you find clarity
“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” Anonymous
Does your mind sometimes feel lost in a jungle of thought with no clear way out?
The time-tested technique of meditation is like that billboard that shows you the way out of your jungle of thoughts. It is a force that settles the ripples of doubts in your mind and gives clarity in what you think and how you act.
When your mind is clear and focused, and your body is relaxed and calm, you can more easily access information both internal and external to increase clarity. With more clarity, it becomes easier and quicker to make important decisions in all areas that matter.
Learning how to meditate can help you to achieve these results.
Meditation helps clarify the reality of your situation
“Conflict comes when there isn’t clarity in seeing what is”.
Joel Kramer, Passionate Mind
There can be no doubt about the tremendous benefits meditation offers.
I have come to believe that the greatest value of meditation practice for therapy is in the way it helps nurture certain qualities of mind.
Regularly, when I start a counselling or coaching session I always guide my clients through a short period of meditation to help them declutter their mind.
Have you ever felt a dark cloud of doubt appear in your mind that doesn’t seem to clear when you need make decisions?
Such doubts are like ripples in the water that distorted your reflection of yourselves and all that is around you. When the ripples settle down, everything becomes crystal clear.
At those times meditation helps you to see things more clearly. By sitting and observing you cultivate insight and wisdom about the reality of the situation.
You are simply learning how to make contact again and again with what’s actually before you. You are not trying to change anything. You are just practicing attending to what actually is.
Meditation asks of you to appreciate how you create the world around you. Your conflicts, your struggles; it invites you to step back, again and again.
What you seek to do in meditation is gradually see through all of your perceptions. You begin to see that all of your attachments to your fixed positions are the very thing giving rise to your unhappiness.
When I introduce my clients to that brief period of meditation in therapy I am helping them not by knowing where they need to go, but by creating a space in which they feel safe amongst the uncertainty. When a person begins to feel that safety, understanding and clarity can emerge from the not-knowing.
Something else of great value has to do with the moment of clear understanding. You learn to see your mind and the reality of the situation.
You see how your thinking impacts your emotions and actions.
Understanding how meditation works
“Clarity comes from within”. Ruth Saw
How can meditation transform the quality of your thoughts?
Your mind is like a computer. When there are too many programs running in the background (thinking) things slow down.
This analogy reflects your scattered mind. Meditation helps you shut down those unwanted programs. Meditation can clear your mind of negative, disruptive thoughts allowing you to be able to take decisions with clarity.
Similarly, is it possible to perceive things clearly when you have stress in body?
You start doubting yourself and others when your mind is controlled by the emotions of anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, and/or regret. Meditation allows you to ground yourself in the present moment, which calms emotions that are created in the past or future.
It improves your understanding of the world inside and out. You become more receptive to how you feel.
Once you start listening to yourself, it becomes easier to have a say on your feelings and emotions. Clearer observation means a clearer understanding of the situation and a clearer clarity of what is needed, which inevitably affects the decisions you make.
Making meditation a daily habit
“Out of calmness comes clarity”. Trevor Carss
Many people who are new to meditation find it challenging to maintain a daily practice. I know that was a big challenge for me when I started. That’s why the “little and often” approach to meditation is very effective.
Committing to short periods of daily meditation allows you to learn at your pace. There is less pressure on you to succeed.
It’s like returning to running after a long period on the sidelines. You would never attempt a marathon before building up your fitness. Meditation is no different. Find what works for you.
As with any habit, daily meditation becomes easier when it’s part of your routine. Once it becomes a habit, we stop making excuses and instead, simply meditate.
When I first started meditating I decided to join a group. It was a commitment that made me accountable. It helped establish meditation as a daily routine. I can honestly say I have never missed a day in over 12 years. I know the benefits it brings to many areas of my life.
Here are 3 tips that helped me establish meditation as a daily practice when I started out:
- Decide on a time and place that works for you. One of the most effective ways to turn your meditation practice into a habit is by doing it in the “same time, same place” every day. I decided first thing in the morning would work for me before the day got too busy. I allowed 15 minutes extra at the beginning off my day so I did not need to rush. As for the ideal place that did proved a problem when I first started. I made the mistake of using a family common area. Disturbances for a novice were challenging. Find a space where you will not be disturbed where distractions are minimal.
- Decide on an amount of time to meditate. For beginners, starting out I highly recommend choosing small, manageable chunks of time. The key is to slowly build the time you sit in meditation. 3, 6, or 12 minutes will be ideal to start. Try a few things and see what works for you. Remember it is about consistency. From my own experiences trying to do too much too quick caused me to feel anxious and overwhelmed. It defeated the whole purpose of doing meditation.
- Use a guide, such as an app. Using an app is a great place to start when trying to build meditation into a daily practice. There are so many good guided apps available and many are free. In my early days I used ‘Headspace’ and a few others. U-tube and Insight timer are also other great sources of meditations. The challenge is finding one that works for you. Guided meditations will provide you a structure to follow. If you are new to meditation just sitting there and hoping for the best is not a path I would recommend.
What does mental clarity look like to you?
“Find clarity in the stillness”. Akiroq Brost
I hope this post has encouraged you to strive for mental clarity in your daily life. There are so many benefits to a clear and focused mind.
Most people fail to achieve their goals or improve their lives simply because they don’t know what they want.
Meditation can help overcome that obstacle. It has been proven again and again as a great technique that can support calming the mind and gaining clarity, wisdom and insight. It’s available to its user 24/7. You just need to prioritise it into our daily schedule to gain the benefits it offers.
What areas of your life need clarity?
How is the lack of clarity affecting you and those around you?
Are you ready to create the space to get the clarity?
Leave a comment with your thoughts. Do you struggle with mental clarity yourself? What helps you to clear your mind?