Stratejoy Manifesto Part 2: Clarity lets you Run your Own Race
[Welcome to a 4 part Blog Post on the philosophy behind Stratejoy. We’ll hit the 4 Pillars of Inspiration, Clarity, Accountability & Camaraderie over the next 2 weeks. Stay tuned & if you like–share with a friend or two!]
After you’ve entered the magical land of Inspiration, the next thing you need to do is seek Clarity. What do you actually want? And is that response your true authentic answer or a programmed reflex? This pillar calls for a great level of self reflection and honesty. And it takes some work. But I think it’s the most exciting, fabulous, mind bending, doors opening part of the process! Ladies, start your engines…
Second Step: Get Clear
Here’s the million dollar question: “What does your best life look like?”
Quick, gut check: What are you feeling when you read that question? Are you excited imagining all the possibilities? Are you jazzed, though slightly overwhelmed? Does it remind you to take some action to move forward on your journey?
If so, awesome. You’re upbeat about the future because you’re probably already on an authentic track. It’s the power of optimism in all its glory! You know where you’re headed and have a clear idea about what you’re working toward every day. And that is vital. Vital!
“If we don’t know where it is we are going, every fork in the road is an opportunity for ambivalence… Keeping a destination in mind allows you to focus your full attention on making the most of where you are.” -Tal Ben-Sharar
But, what if the million dollar question produces stress & anxiety? Does it make your mind go blank? Do you feel a deep sadness? What about hopelessness? I’ve seen all of these responses, manifested in jittering coffee cups to alligator tears to anger. Thinking about your best life should be inspiring and exciting, but when you have no idea what your best life looks like, it’s just a guilt inducer. Sometimes we’re afraid that we’ll never be happy, never find meaning in our life. Other times we feel so overwhelmed by our day-to-day stress that we can’t imagine anything changing or getting better.
Deep breath. You can change your response to this question. It’s takes personal work to uncover your big dreams (or rediscover in many cases), but it can be done. It needs to be done.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?
Upbeat/Exciting Future Group
So you already have a vision of success, a picture of your best life in your mind. You’ve figured out that opening a Bed & Breakfast, becoming a VP in your company, traveling the country to craft fairs, raising 4 amazing children or retiring at the age of 35 will make you happy. Good for you!
I would ask you a few things of you at this step. First, take some time to really explore the answers to the following questions. Sit down with yourself, no distractions or to-do list, & write out your responses.
- Does your vision make your heart sing?
- Is it the best expression of you? The true you? Are you using your strengths to the best of your ability?
- Who will be happy when your vision comes true? Are you in it for you or for someone else?
- Are you thinking big enough? Does your vision get you excited to work towards making it come true?
What’s the point? I want to make sure that this best life you’re working toward is the right one for you. If it’s authentic to your spirit, the entire journey will be filled with that super special shiny light. (I friggin’ love that sparkly light!)
Not that that your journey won’t be hard, possibly full of set backs or even some major failures, but if the path is authentic, you’ll get through with grace. And after the fire or the crash, you’ll still be secure about where you’re headed.
After you’re secure in the authenticity of your best life, make this vision of success part of each day. Make a vision board or write out an example of your dream life 10 years from now from sunrise to sunset. Review it every single day! Clarity baby, clarity!
Stressed/Anxious Future Group
A lot of my Stratejoy material says “Define your own vision of success, your own version of joyful living”. Now, I already know the question stresses you out, but I wanted to let you it’s very, VERY, common to think that you don’t know what you want. Or even more commonly, you thought you knew what you wanted, but it turns out- Oops- you were wrong.
The real issue is not that you don’t know what you want. You do know, it’s just buried down somewhere beneath societal expectations, trying to live up to your potential, the drama of the economy & our very materialistic, celebrity worshiping culture.
First step: Let it all go. Let all the outside influences roll right over you.
Second step: Stop self censoring when you try to listen to yourself.
Self censoring? It’s the internal task mistress /gremlin/voice in your head that says things like, “Why bother? It’s never going to happen. I don’t have what it takes. It’s too much work. I need to keep up with the Jones. I don’t have time. I can’t deal with it. I don’t deserve it”. We all need to practice ignoring this voice of internal sabotage that objects to change. But when you’re working on creating your own version of authentic happiness & success, it is especially important to shut this voice out.
Third step: Commit to working hard to uncover your vision.
“Many unhappy people don’t want to work hard, even to improve their own life. They want someone else- their bosses, their spouses, their parents, the government- to figure out what would make them happy. I’ve know people who spend their whole lives in a state of furious self-pity because this never happens.” -Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star
Commit time to dreaming, writing, brainstorming, learning, exploring & asking yourself: “What’s it going to take to rock my world?” Uncover your vision and celebrate it! Work with a life coach, take a class, go on a retreat by yourself for the weekend. Whatever it takes. Don’t let the unknown stress or upset you- just commit to giving yourself time & space to figure it out.
You’ve got what it takes, girl.
Run Your Own Race
Clarity comes from knowing yourself at your deepest, most authentic level and being gutsy enough to live honoring your personal values. It might mean admitting your job makes you miserable, or your partner doesn’t excite you, or that all you really want to do is bake cherry coke cake day in & day out. It might mean refraining from buying a new car so you can save up for your Portugal vacation or giving up television in order to volunteer at the homeless shelter. It might mean redoing your wardrobe to express your rocker chic side or eating ice cream for lunch sometimes.
You must practice flexing your often underused “Dreaming Big Muscle” when you seek Clarity. As adults, we often forget how to use our imaginations and that’s exactly what we need to think outside the box about our lives. There are so many versions of success, of joyful living. Your best life is your best life. Your markers of achievement are your markers of achievement. Don’t let anyone tell you what it should look like- come up with your own answer!
Run your own race.
I know you can do it. And that you’re going to love it.
Real Talk In real time
Inner truth + outer alignment = unapologetic joy
Get my weekly-ish love notes to help you reclaim an intimate, honest + joyful relationship with yourself, for the good of all.