I talked to a friend this morning who is going through a bad breakup. It was painful to hear her talk, breakups suck so hard. They suck when you are a teenager and they suck when you are in your forties. It doesn’t matter. I listened a lot, and tried to encourage her to think forward and find what would make her happy in the weeks and months ahead.
When we are in the middle of heartbreak and confusion, it’s so hard to get clarity. Sometimes you just wish someone would tell you what to do and clear up all the cobwebs. I told her to make life all about her and enjoy the fact that she has nobody else to consider for a while. Sometimes we focus so much on everyone else, that we neglect ourselves. And when that other thing is gone, it’s hard to find footing and know where to stand.
It reminded me of that scene in Runaway Bride, where Julia Roberts always spent so much time trying to make other people happy in her relationships, she didn’t even know what kind of eggs she liked. Her egg choice depended on what relationship she was in.
So how do we go from making our lives all about someone else and finding the clarity we need to start moving forward?
Perhaps it’s not even a break up. Maybe it’s a job change or you are just trying to figure out where you fit in this big ol’ life. There can be any number of reasons, but when you need clarity, it can be frustrating if it’s not nearby!
I’ve spent time recently trying to find some clarity on a few things myself, so hopefully some of the thoughts I have to share can help. It’s important to take the blinders off and take a look at the world differently to find your way.
So these are my tips for grabbing some clarity when you need it!
- Listen to someone else. Not for specific advice but as a mirror to see if what you think you see is what other people see. Describe your situation and have them say it back to you. This can help you identify where you feel foggy.
- Listening to it back can help you see where things don’t add up the way you thought they did. Ask if they see something different from what you do, an opportunity you missed or something you are overlooking.
- If it’s career feedback you need, ask a few people who know you well to give you feed back on what they see as your strengths and weakness? If they were going to hire you to help with a problem, what would it be? Give them a golden pass to say what they really think and explain that it is to help you gain clarity and perspective.
- Sometimes we miss our greatest strength because it comes naturally to us, we don’t see it as special or unique. I suggest asking 4 or 5 people; a family member, someone you work with, someone you used to work with and someone who has known you a long time, like a childhood friend.
- Take a break from it. Just stop thinking about it for an afternoon. Maybe that means a trip to the movies, or reading a book so unrelated to your issue that you give your mind a break from it.
- Write down what you really want. Sometimes, like in a breakup or a job loss, we are just so pissed and hurt that someone else decided they didn’t want us, that we forget maybe we didn’t want them either. Maybe the relationship wasn’t always happy or the job wasn’t really giving you joy anyway. Write down in a perfect world what your day would look like. Don’t hold back just go to town. Is that what your life looked like with this person or this job? Probably not. So get to work creating that perfect life instead of worrying about the one that wasn’t what you wanted anyway. Check out a great way to do that here.
- What did you like to do when you were a kid? Sometimes remembering the things that brought us joy when we were young can inspire you to incorporate those things into life again. Reconnecting with this basic joy can help you find a bit of yourself that you’ve been missing. Maybe there are ways to use this as a new passion or hobby, or maybe even for your work. Either way, finding something enjoyable to do can bring us out of our tunnel vision and into some light.
Change can be hard and getting clarity on your new direction can be even harder, but there are ways to push through and find yourself and what kind of eggs you really like! How do you find clarity when things seem foggy?