The value of thinking out loud
illustration + animation by Mollie Zachary

I’m just lifting my head out of the water from a very busy season and I am starting to actively pursue some clarity on the next stages of my career and business. For me, these are notoriously difficult things to clarify. I have so many interests that my thinking gets all muddied and whenever I think I’ve found some clarity, I lose interest and move on to something else.

Until I started thinking out loud. 

About a year and a half ago, I started infrequently journalling. I didn’t do it daily, and it wasn’t in a journal under my mattress. I just created a google doc and started jotting down everything that popped into my head. The amount of clarity that I received from doing that was liberating. I didn’t have to keep things internalized, I recognized patterns, and I felt more free.

Since then, I haven’t journaled so consistently, but I have continued to jot down everything I think of. My notes are spread chaotically across Notion, 3 paper journals, and a crazy-person amount of post-it notes on my desk.

But in the last two weeks, I’ve had more clarity and made more progress than before. How?

By talking to people.

I started just talking out loud through the different things I am thinking about. I talked to my wife. I got on a call with a friend. I reconnected with mentors. Every time I had one of these conversations, I wrote down my notes and my thoughts and made a little bit of progress. I even recorded myself talking out loud while I drove around town. I felt like a crazy person, but I think it helped. 

I owe a lot of this progress to my wife, who listens patiently and asks great questions as I ramble about my many goals. We haven’t been married for very long, and I already am realizing the amazing ways God designed the partnership of marriage. 

I don’t know if this new practice of talking and sharing more will necessarily lead me to a place of absolute clarity and certainty, but I know it helps me move forward. 

And moving forward is what it’s about.


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