To find clarity, one must first ask themselves what they believe in. An individual's core values (see Core Values blog) are at the base of who a person is and are what make each person uniquely them. I suggest to clients that they ask themselves the hard questions about what makes them unique. For example, what are your feelings on sex, love, money, morality, the meaning of life, and the meaning of death? Examine your emotions and beliefs in regard to these values and where they come from.
Of course, there are so many beliefs that speak to the core of who we are that examining all of them at once would overwhelming and exhausting to most people. So, consider starting with the six mentioned above.
I love T-Charts. They are my "go to" tool when things seem out of whack in my own life or when I need to break things down into logical little chunks. In this instance, I have modified the T-Chart into a new form so additional documentation can be provided.
So here we go. Draw your own Modified T-Chart or use the Defining Values Form I have provided, and list the following ideals down the left-hand side: Sex, Love, Money, Morality, The Meaning of Life, and The Meaning of Death. To the right of that column write down what your feelings are as they pertain to each ideal. Let's be clear here. The only way this exercise works is if you are honest with yourself and actually write down what you hold to be true.
Once you have listed your feelings in regard to those beliefs, decide if these ideals are consistent or inconsistent. Create a column to the right of that, and list where those beliefs came from. Was it your mom or dad, a grandparent, a spiritual leader or did you create it yourself?
Figuring out where you "fit" inside this belief system is what will give you clarity. The reason for examination of each belief is simply to provide clarity as to the areas where such belief patterns are stifling or preventing self growth. This is achieved by deriving the source of your beliefs and assessing your responses. Now comes the hard but enlightening part, the homework.
Examine each belief and ask yourself the following questions.
Do you see any patterns?
Who was instrumental in helping you form this belief?
Did personal experience create or alter this belief?
Do these specific beliefs have a sense of truth or not that ring true to you?
Does this belief make sense?
Think back to those people who helped you form this belief. How did this belief affect their life(s)?
Do these beliefs reflect fear or lack of understanding?
Is this belief self-limiting and restrictive?
Does this belief prevent you from moving forward?
Is this belief liberating?
Does this belief allow and encourage you to move forward and grow?
Are you solid in this belief that you should hold onto it?
Is this belief illogical? Can you let it go?
Is your emotional connection to this belief intuitive or intellectual?
Finding clearness of thought or being can seem overwhelming because we always have so much going on inside our heads. But, do not lament too heavily because you have more clarity than you think you do. The beauty of beliefs is that they work (usually pretty effectively) on the subconscious level. The values and beliefs which define you are constantly working in the background, working to keep you true to yourself. However, actions and words that come from unwholesome mental beliefs can set up the opportunity for us to hurt both ourselves and others.
If you find your self questioning your inner clarity, then you may instinctively be noting that there is an imbalance in your core values. My suggestion, ask the heavy questions above.