The Step After Getting Clear

| | Personal Leadership
The Step After Getting Clear post image

Clarity is power.

There is, however, a step beyond clarity that you can take to channel that power productively.  Whether you get clear about something, including what you need to do next, the thing you realize you need to learn, the solution to a vexing problem, etc., you’ll likely experience a surge of energy.

The energy from an “aha” moment can be potent. The problem is that this surge of clarity, and the energy that comes with it, can also be fleeting.

In those immensely gratifying moments in which you become clear about something important to your progress, the motivation to take action all too often meets with an equally powerful force – resistance.

This is why it is critical to take action quickly – the bolder the better – in those moments of clarity.

Take action quickly and the prize will be a sense of progress that can carry that energy forward into momentum.

Now by action I specifically DO NOT mean planning either.  Sure planning may be necessary at some point, but it is likely you already know at least the next step (or even the next few steps) already.

The issue with planning before taking any action at all is that it gives resistance a chance to settle in.

Resistance may show up as uncertainty about whether that “aha” moment was a flash of genius or a momentary lapse in judgement.  it might show up as all the reasons why what you were clear about won’t work.  It might show up as procrastination.  Resistance has many disguises that look a lot like good reasons and valid analysis, and that make tomorrow look like a better time to get to work.

As Steven Pressfield suggests in Do the Work, resistance is the enemy of progress.  He goes on to say:

“There is an enemy. There is an intelligent, active, malign force working against us. Step one is to recognize this. This recognition alone is enormously powerful. It saved my life, and it will save yours.”

So if you want to truly leverage those extraordinary moments of clarity, act on it now.

You can always take time to plan later, but you won’t always have that moment of energy to pull you forward through those first steps.

Why waste the opportunity?


Copyright: dmitryguzhanin / 123RF Stock Photo


Enter A Comment

Carl   |   11 July 2014   |   Reply

Fascinating thought Susan, as I reflected on my own ‘post-AHA’ moments I realized you are quite right. There is the initial adrenalin rush, but if not channeled correctly the energy diminishes quickly and we return to ‘pre-AHA’ behavior.

Best regards,

Susan Mazza   |   17 July 2014   |   Reply

Adrenaline rush fits for me Carl. I tend to have lots of ideas floating around in my head but I have learned to pay attention when there is that kind of jolt and to get moving quickly or it becomes just another good idea.

Brian Walters   |   11 July 2014   |   Reply

By not taking action on the “a-ha” moment, we give ourselves time to start listening to the voice in our head that tells us why we cannot do something, tells us to be fearful of change, tells us that we are not good enough to achieve our goals, tells us the story of a past failure and that it will be repeated, etc. The key, I think, is to learn to ignore those voices and not get stuck in your story. Learning that we can control our thoughts and find the quiet space in our minds allows us the room to have the “a-ha” moments and pounce on the opportunities they present. Great article! Thanks.

Susan Mazza   |   17 July 2014   |   Reply

So true Brian – that “little voice” is not a fan of action or risk taking and will derail us if we don’t get to work quickly!

Laurie Wilhelm   |   11 July 2014   |   Reply

Thanks Susan – this is exactly what I needed to read right now! I can’t thank you enough! 🙂 ~Laurie

Susan Mazza   |   17 July 2014   |   Reply

So glad this was timely for you Laurie. Look forward to seeing what you bring to the world. Glad you took action on your idea to create your digital magazine Realizing Leaders!

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