We all make plans – given unplanned and unprecedented experiences we’ve had during 2020 we might think that there’s no space for plans.
If you’re looking at how you’re going to shape, direct and change the next 12 months writing a plan will help you get there. However, before that process can begin, something that will help you make a difference is having clarity.
The Cambridge English dictionary defines clarity in the following ways:
- The quality of being clear and easy to understand
- The quality of being easy to see or hear
- The ability to think clearly and not be confused
Being able to be clear in your mind what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve this, how you are going to do this and what you are going to do – is an extremely important step.
There are several reasons why we might not feel we have that true clarity.
Owning your story
We all have stories that we tell ourselves and these are our beliefs – the problem is that not all of these stories are true and even worse they may not even be your own story. You may have told yourself that you are no good at public speaking – because of this story that you’ve told yourself you avoid doing this. If an opportunity arises that may benefit you, your business or your career that involves public speaking you may avoid it.
Alternatively, you may have a belief that anyone rich is a bad person, even though financial wealth is important to you, you are conflicted because of your view of what that might mean to you become as a person.
Your mindset is truly powerful and that is what this collection of beliefs and stories are. These stories can have huge impact on your choices and your results. Consider what happens when we make plans from a space where we are running negative stories, beliefs and patterns.
Getting that clarity on who you are and what is your story is a key step to success
What would happen if you owned your story and understood what it was and let go of stories that don’t help you move forward?
Expressing your heart’s desire
Ask yourself ‘what do I really want?’
It’s a powerful question, simply because people never make time to actually think about what they want. The majority of my clients are women and so often with women, the needs of others are put first. The act of permitting yourself to say what’s in your heart is liberating, powerful and clarifying.
Your current job, your career path or your business model may need to completely change or just might need a tweak in a new direction – however, the actions aren’t possible if you haven’t started with that clarity on what you truly want.
Freeing your mind
There are so many distractions around us that create mental clutter – this could be is physical clutter that disrupts your mind or devices that interrupt us. The constant bombardment of information into our brain stops us from being able to think clearly.
Finding ways to still the mind to allow those thoughts space, helps you get back to clarity. Tools such as breathing techniques, and mindfulness enable you to quickly get rid of the noise and have calm and clarity in your mind.
We are not able to achieve what we need in this world on our own. We need to connect with others whether that is colleagues, clients or peers. Once you have the clarity on what it is you want and how you’re going to achieve it, finding support to help you and letting people know this is what you’re doing, is also important. This is about finding the right people by talking about what it is you need and allowing people to help you and connect you to others.
For example, deciding to do work in an industry where you can see how your skills can transfer but you have not yet got the experience. To get the experience you start connecting with people in the industry, finding out more and explaining what it is you’re looking for and how you might fit.
Alongside connecting with others, being visible means that the right people see and hear you and understand how you fit into the solution that they need.
That means connecting with the people you could work with, engaging with others either through other departments in your place of work, or if you have your own business through awareness activities like PR, networking events or talking to peer groups.
Gaining Clarity – on needs, wants, desires are the first steps to creating change. When you have clarity, you are planning from a place of power, of knowing, and of strength.
Get clear on what you need and open yourself up to a world of possibility.
About the author
Dr Yvette Ankrah MBE is a transformational business coach, consultant and recovering overachiever! She works with high achieving women in business to get success without the burnout.
Yvette is passionate about ensuring women have the optimum environment, tools and skills to thrive in business. She believes that this starts from the inside and working in a way which builds sustainable and profitable businesses without overwhelm, stress and burnout.
Too often looking after yourself is an after-thought or only happens once there is an impact on health and well-being. Yvette wants self-care to be a priority and for self- care plans to be just as important other plans!
She has over 20 years of business experience and is an accredited NLP coach. She won a Microsoft/O2 award for business in 2013, was shortlisted for Best Coach at the Best Business Women Awards, 2015 and was awarded an MBE for her work with women in business in 2017.
She has a PhD and is a sociologist who specialises in the areas of race, identity, class and education and writes on race and racism in Britain.
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