In my recent post, Three Ways to Gain More Clarity, I shared some of the easiest ways to improve the level of clarity in your life and in your work. One reader asked: How do you know where you need more clarity? Wow! What a great question!
As a speaker and a coach, whenever I discuss clarity, I encourage my audience to ask themselves where more clarity is needed. And I have a few suggestions on where to start. One of the simplest is this:
What do you want? It’s surprising how powerful this simple question can be. Many of us, especially women, spend so much of our time, energy and attention on helping other people get what they want, that we forget to ask ourselves. In fact, when I ask clients this question, they are usually stumped for a moment or two. And often, they can more easily say what they don’t want and we have to work backwards from there. This works very well, by the way.
Why do you want it? Once you know what, it’s helpful to know the reason behind the what, especially if the “what” requires time, effort, attention or money. What I’ve noticed, over time, is that, without the why, it becomes easier to give up on the what. So when the what is important, so is the why. In fact, I recommend that you ask yourself why multiple times, to get to the real baseline motivation that will help you overcome the inevitable challenges on the way to the what.
Here’s an example of an exchange with a business leader who told me she wanted a promotion. I asked her “why is that important to you?” and continued to ask that same question with each answer she gave me:
- Because I want more money.
- Because I want to buy more things.
- Because I want to have more things.
- Because that means I am successful.
- Because I want other people to see me as successful.
- Because my parents and teachers told me I’d never amount to much.
Once this client realized that she was relying on external sources for her sense of self-esteem and self-worth – once she gained clarity — we were able to re-focus. We worked on identifying the intrinsic value and rewards for the work she was doing, the contributions she was making and the ways she was able to help and support others.
She began to understand that those reasons were far more powerful and far more sustainable as a source of motivation.
Clarity is indeed power, as Buckminster Fuller said. Once you have clarity, you have a better idea of where you want to go and how to get there. Everything falls into place.
Clarity is so important to success that it’s one of the first topics in my High Performance Coaching Program. If you want to learn more about how to consistently perform at your best, just click here.
Clarity is also one of the main tools I recommend when I speak on “Hope is Not a Strategy, You Need a Plan: Getting to the Next Level Using the 5C’s.” If you are interested in a keynote – or a workshop – on this topic, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, for more information, click here to see my Speaker’s Profile.
#clarity #womenleaders #businessleaders #highperformance