Happy birthday to me!
If you’ve known me for a while, you know I always choose a birthday word. September 13 is almost here, so it’s time to choose what will guide me on my forty-seventh trip around the sun.
“Clarity” has risen to the top. I don’t often pause for clarity. I like to set fast goals and start sprinting. That important phase where you stop and get crystal clear before you start moving? I like to skip that one. I’m more likely to adjust on the fly. But then I’m constantly making adjustments and sometimes end up giving up altogether because I didn’t get clear before I got started. This happens both in my personal life as well as in my business.
Recently, I went to a workshop and the leader, Chad Thibodeaux, said that clarity leads to confidence. He was talking about business and I could totally see where lack of clarity caused me to be ineffective, but I also started pondering that concept in other areas. Let’s just look at it in terms of relationships since that is largely what my clients are working on.
What happens when you have clarity about the commitment level of a relationship? It makes you confident. Think about it. When you haven’t said “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” yet, you are a little hesitant about where you stand with the other person. Massive difference when you compare that to the confidence you have when you’ve stood in front of loved ones and said “I do.”
Here’s another example. When your partner struggles to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and intentions with you, it makes you doubt. It causes uncertainty, the opposite of confidence. Are they happy? Do they love you? Is this real? On the flip side, when everything is made crystal clear, you feel confident about the relationship and the direction you’re headed.
It’s all about clarity.
I want all kinds of clarity. I want clarity on who I am. I want clarity on what I want in my relationships. I want clarity in my communication. I want clarity about where I’m headed with my business. The list goes on and on. But what’s the plan?
I’m going to pay really close attention to the moments when I don’t have clarity. They come in two forms for me.
Lack of clarity can feel like confusion or doubt.
As a pretty decisive girl, I think of “I don’t know” as a cop-out so I always ask myself, “If you did know, what would the answer be?” I thought this helped me get at my intuition but now I’m wondering if I force an answer too soon before I am clear on the direction. Maybe “I don’t know” is a good time to pause instead of push.
I also have this internal buzzing that happens when I’m trying to move too fast toward something. It’s urgency I can actually feel in my body and it’s usually a sign that I’ve skipped the clarity step. When I think about why I do that, it’s probably fear that asking the hard questions will slow me down. But if I’m honest, chasing things too fast has wasted more time in the long run.
Clarity, on the other hand, feels calming to me.
It still has that delightful motivated productive aspect to it but without the frenzy or uncertainty.
I don’t know how other people use their birthday word (or New Year’s word), but I use mine as a guide. I refer to it when a question arises or when I don’t know what to do. Last year, my word “listen” reminded me to invite answers to come to me and to allow other people space to make decisions.
My intention this year is that I’ll be reminded to pause in moments of question, confusion, self-doubt, or impatience and determine with “clarity” what I want and where I’m headed. I’m hopeful it will help me eliminate the dead ends and keep me laser-focused on my desires. In fact, I don’t think it’s going to slow me down at all. I’m planning to crush it this year.
***Lack of clarity is the root of so many relationship challenges my clients face. If you are struggling with it, I’m just a direct message or email away for support.