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I started writing a series highlighting the 8 C’s of self-leadership by giving credit to its originator, Richard Schwartz, PhD and the IFS Institute. Their material has been a valuable resource to me and many. I can think of no better resource to refer to than the IFS Institute who defines clarity in the following way:

“Clarity: 1. The ability to perceive situations accurately without distortion from extreme beliefs and emotions. 2. The ability to maintain objectivity about a situation in which one has a vested interest. 3. The ability to recognize one’s own bias or preconception and then seek a deeper understanding.”

I quite like the idea of defining for oneself what is clarity. More exactly, what is clarity in any given moment. And how one comes to identify the evidence of clarity. (i.e., How do you know you are clear?)

I will admit to placing a certain inherent value on clarity. I believe this is true culturally, too. I’m also aware of the value of what ‘isn’t clarity.’ Said another way, when I’m not clear - or when I choose not to be clear. These are very different moments. When I’m not clear I want to be clear. There is a desire or seeking. When I choose not to be clear, I am not searching. I am at choice. It is possible to dig into deeper variations here. Suffice it to ask, what if both states were valuable?

Life in “pandemia” has revealed the many nuances of living in an unclear moment. This could be a springboard for you to reflect on what clarity is or is not for you. What was it like for you to be in a place of ‘unclear?’

This “C” more than any other seems to offer more questions than answers. Although I admit this could be a projection of the writer, me, at this time.

Here are some prompts for you to explore around clarity;

  • How do you know when you are clear? (what is the ‘evidence’?)

  • What is your relationship with clarity (start with this moment)?

  • What is important to you about being/feeling clear?

  • What distortions may get in the way of clarity for you?

  • Which of the points in the provided (IFS) definition of clarity resonates with you the most Why?

  • Which of the points in the provided (IFS definition) feels the most challenging? How?

  • Where in your life are you seeking clarity at this time?

  • What would be true/possible if there was no clarity to be had in this (or any particular) situation?

This piece is written by Lisa DiMatteo, PCC a Self-Leadership Coach who also specializes in helping humans explore their relationships with money, work & life. It is part of an eight-part series exploring the “8 C’s of Self Leadership.”


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