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  • Writer's pictureA D Ackerman

Clarity vs. Focus

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

A close-up of a yellow flower next to one that is out of focus
Photo © Alice Ackerman 2023
Lots of folks talk about clarity.

But what exactly does clarity mean, especially when we are talking about your life, your work, and your future?

Clarity vs. Focus

Clarity, to me, is related to focus, which we have addressed in a prior post, but I think it means more than just focus. You see, I could have an item completely in focus in my photo, but there could be something between my eyes and the item upon which I am focused, which makes the photo or the item, not completely clear. You might say that clarity is the opposite of cloudiness or fogginess. When cloudiness is present, I can choose to focus on the item of my interest or the fog that is between my eyes and the item. Of course, sometimes the item of interest is both out of focus and masked by fog.

I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains, in southwest Virginia. Often, especially in the morning, the fog can be so thick that I cannot see to the nearest ridge line. And then, the problem is not that I am not able to focus my eyes, but that I simply cannot get a clear picture, no matter how hard I try.

Does your life ever seem cloudy?

Isn't that a bit how life goes? Sometimes you have your item of interest clearly in sight. You are focused on the point in the distance, on your destination; you know where you want to go, and you can see the path that will get you there. But then, the fog rolls in, and no matter how good your eyes are, or how hard you try to focus, you just can't seem to see it with the clarity you want or need.

You know it's there, but you start to have doubts. You become fearful, that maybe you were wrong, maybe that is not really where you are supposed to go after all.

White cloud blocking the view of a mountainside
Photo © Alice Ackerman 2023

This is a photo I took recently. There is a large estate on the side of the mountain facing us. My camera is focused on the spot where I have seen it for years. But it is not there today. Or is it?

Certainly, you will tell me, it is still there. You just can't see it, as the cloud is blocking your view.

That's right. No amount of focus will help me to see through or around the cloud. I will just have to either remember what I have seen before or wait for the cloud to dissipate so that I can see it again. I need clarity instead of cloudiness, to see what I know in my heart is there.

When I see clients trying to work their way to clarity, I often see that they are, to some extent, partially or temporarily blinded by the cloud or the fog that is impairing their vision. Their intent is pure. Their focus is persistent, but they sometimes simply can't see what is blinding them from understanding what is in their way. They get frustrated because they started out on a path to reach a goal, and suddenly they lose sight of the path. There may be multiple blind spots in different directions, so no path may seem clear, regardless of which way they look. They become discouraged.

But this does not need to be the case. Working with a qualified coach can help folks uncover their blind spots, and gain clarity about what is keeping them stuck in a place they would rather not be. I have spoken before about using Axiogenics and the VQ profile in my coaching. This process allows me to cut through the fog much more rapidly than is typically the case. By identifying some ways of thinking that have contributed to the development of blind spots or that have clouded their vision, many of my clients have seen the dawning of clarity after just our first session.

A recent colleague who saw their initial VQ results told me that the assessment had identified their biggest problem area immediately, whereas it had taken over 6 months of working with their coach to recognize this blind spot through "standard" coaching.

You don't have to stay lost in the cloud of fogginess caused by thoughts and emotions that are not serving you. You can gain clarity of purpose, you can learn to see the path more clearly, and you can lose the frustration and disappointment that is holding you back.


Thanks for reading. I value your time and am honored you chose to spend the last few minutes reading this post. I hope it provided value for you. If so, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might also find it of value.

I would love to hear from you. Please come find me on LinkedIn. Or send me an email at

To add more value to your life ask yourself this question every day: What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment to create the greatest net value? Then take the free VQ (value quotient) assessment to start your journey with Axiogenics, and learn how to consistently play your "A" game.

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