Clarity: Not all it’s cracked up to be

April 8, 2015

In my 15 years as a coach and change consultant, it’s fair to say most of my clients have come to me seeking ‘more clarity’ about something in their personal lives or work. They think that once they get this ‘clarity’, they will have peace of mind internally and a clear action plan externally. But this is not always the case. Why? It’s simply not how we, as people, work.

Over the past few years, my understanding of what ‘clarity’ means has really changed, and like all deep ‘inside out ‘changes, I first realised this from a shift in my own understanding of my life. 

Clarity used to look like: knowing where I wanted to end up (outcome), knowing what to do, (actions) and generally experiencing less procrastination and uncertainty. For example should I do X or Y? What am I trying to achieve? What do I need to do, be or have? etc

Now it is very different. Because now, I can have that peace of mind without having clarity about what is going on or what needs to happen, or to put it another way – I have clarity in not knowing. And even better than that, not knowing now feels like a more powerful place to be than knowing ....as there is a greater potential for fresh, even more resourceful, thinking to come through.

 

There is an opportunity cost to knowing

So what does that mean for navigating life? Surely wandering around not knowing what you want to do, and having no set outcomes and goals can't be very helpful? How does decision-making work? Well, when I need to make a decision, I do, and when I don’t need to, I am open to see what turns up. And it is fascinating how there is significant reduction in the situations where an immediate urgent decision is needed. Many of us are uncomfortable with not knowing, so we make a decision to try to create some peace of mind.

I have now seen what an incredible powerful place this is, not only to navigate my own life but also into how to serve my clients. As the less thinking or ‘known’ I have about what they are who they are, the better.

One of the most crucial things to notice is that from the unknown, we create more space for a different quality of thinking to come through, some might call it wisdom or intuition, and luckily it seems to turn up in the moment with a simplicity and relevance. This is where breakthrough occurs, and life changes. 

Now as I am sure you’ve experienced, there is always a difference between stuff like this being a nice idea that you might like to try, versus having a defining realisation where you see it for yourself.

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