It’s always good to have a reason for wanting what you want. How many times have you heard the saying “Know your why”? You have to know why you want something and why it’s important enough for you to change in order to have or achieve it.
Here’s another concept to think about: We make time for and work on the things that are important to us. We can use that concept to our advantage when it comes to courage and self-confidence.
In other words, start creating these new habits by focusing on what’s important to you. It’s much easier to work on courage and increase self-confidence with tasks that you enjoy and that have meaning to you. Don’t worry about feeling like you “should” do something. That can come later. For now, let’s start with what you’re passionate about.
But what if you don’t know where to start? What if you haven’t figured out what you’re passionate about yet?
Here are seven ways to find clarity and focus on what’s important to you.
Tip #1 - Visit your archives
My inner historian obviously wants to be heard this morning. What I mean by visiting your archives is to take a trip back into your memories and find the times where everything appeared to be a little clearer than it is right now. Discover what you were doing at the time that made things flow a little smoother, where you seemed to be on track and absolutely clear about what you were doing. You may surprise yourself by finding patterns of thought and behaviors that you'd forgotten about.
Here's an example from my own experience:
Much of my life until I moved to where I am now was centered around music. I pretty much learned to read music before I learned to read words, and could often be found in front of the piano. Sometimes I'd play, sometimes I'd just let my fingers wander over the keys. Just being in the same room with a piano brings out all sorts of clarity and creativity in me.
Once I realized this I went out and bought a couple of books of old jazz standards and started making time to play the piano every day. For me the clarity that comes from sitting at the piano was something that I had forgotten about. I was at my most confident when I played in a band, so it also helps me build on those feelings too.
Tip #2 - Write everything down
And I do mean everything. Goals, dreams, thoughts, and feelings will all play a role in helping you get clear. Using a journal is an amazing tool for getting clear on what you want and, more importantly, why you want it. You'll be able to see the patterns as they happen, and you will start seeing things in a different light once they are down on paper.
Tip #3 - Read what you write.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at the number of people I know who write in their journals and never go back to reflect on what they've written. They treat it like a brain dump ... and literally dump out the thoughts and feelings without ever stopping long enough to wonder why they felt that way.
When you really get "in the zone" while you're journaling, you may find that you don't consciously know what you're writing. In essence it really is a brain dump because you're just letting the words flow without stopping to think about them or edit them. You may surprise yourself with what shows up on the page after one of these sessions. Especially if you've gone into it asking for clarity.
Tip #4 - Visualize what you want.
I'll admit, I have a hard time with this one. I've never been very good at visualizing but for people who can do it, it pays amazing results.
When you can see and feel what it's like to have the end result already, you can gain a real sense of clarity about what steps you need to take next to make the vision a reality.
Tip #5 - Focus on one thing at a time.
One of my biggest obstacles to clarity was lack of focus. Makes sense doesn't it. It took me a long time (years, if we're being really honest here) to realize that by trying to focus on several things at once and thinking I could do all of them, I was unable to get clear about even one.
So how did I decide what to focus on? For me, I got clear through journaling. I did a lot of writing, meditating, and writing out what came through in the meditations. I asked for clarity and prioritized all my projects and business plans and then went with what felt right in my heart. What I learned when it comes to focusing is to trust your intuition. That little niggling feeling in your core really does know a thing or two about what's best for you.
If that doesn't work, you can always go for Step 6....
Tip #6 - Pick a goal, any goal
Most people have a lot of goals they want to accomplish. Personally, my goal list covers about three pages, and that's just for this year!
If you have several things you want to accomplish, just pick one and get started. Your starting point doesn't have to be perfect, you just have to start somewhere.
The words of Les Brown come to mind here: “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Here’s an example to show you what I mean…
Let’s say that you would like to become a better cook, grow more of your own food, lose some weight, and get back into running. That’s a long list of positive changes and it will take some time and effort to build up your courage and confidence to make them all happen.
What if you focus on the one thing you’re passionate about? Choose something that’s fun and important to you. For this example, let’s say you’re most passionate about gardening. Just start there.
Build those new habits and focus your time and effort there first. Seeing your garden flourish and having that delicious, fresh produce to work with will give you a huge boost in confidence.
Knowing you have delicious product to use may inspire you to cook more from scratch to use up the food you’ve grown. From there, you can branch out and make smarter food choices that will help you lose weight.
Do you see how focusing on what’s important to you can help motivate you to get started? While gardening isn’t particularly difficult, it did take some effort to plant, nourish & harvest it. You had to take action and that’s all I’m really asking you to do.
Tip #7 - Take responsibility for your action (or inaction)
When you get right down to it, how much clarity you have is something that is one-hundred percent in your control. You can either do the work to get clear, or not. The choice, and therefore the control, is yours.
If you are willing to do the work to get clear, I can tell you that having that clarity and focus around knowing what’s important to you is a wonderful thing. Your life flows more smoothly, and opportunities and experiences that you never saw coming will appear on your doorstep.
Your Challenge for today:
Your challenge for today is to think about what’s really important to you. Make sure you realize that there’s a big difference between something being urgent and something being important.
Too often we focus on the things that have the tightest deadline, the stuff that needs to get done “right now”. While it may be important, it’s often not the thing that’s most important to us overall. Get clear on what’s truly important to you and then focus your efforts of being confident and courageous and building those new good habits there.