A major reason why many people stall when clutter clearing is not because of fear of failure but because of fear of success and how it will change their life.
‘People say they want to change. But what they mean is, not if it actually involves change.’
These words of wisdom were spoken by Louise Hay, author of the 35 million copy bestseller, You Can Heal Your Life, as we lunched together and perused the menu for substances we were willing to put into our bodies. The Seattle restaurant had been chosen for convenience of location rather than the food choices it offered, so we were both quite challenged to find items to order.
‘Food is such a big issue for people,’ she mused as she flipped through the menu, still searching the options. ‘Someone may say they want to get well. But not if that involves giving up their favourite foods. They’d rather die’, she said, in her wonderful matter of fact way.
Some people would rather die than change
I told her of a man I know who suffers from painful fibromyalgia but won’t give up his daily habit of eating a pack of Jaffa Cakes nearly every day, even though they make his symptoms worse.
Jaffa Cakes (for any non-Brits reading this) can be bought in any UK supermarket and are round, biscuit-sized cakes consisting of a sponge base, a layer of sweet orange-flavoured jam and a dark chocolate topping. They contain an alluring blend of eleven E-number food additives in every bite and nothing of any nutritional value at all.
When I asked him why he eats them, he said they remind him of his childhood and make him feel happy. He’s spent thousands of pounds over the years trying to find a cure for his condition but eliminating Jaffa Cakes from his diet was not a price he was prepared to pay.
Clutter clearing can change your life
Clutter clearing is the process of sorting through the items in your home and letting go of everything that no longer fits with who you are or where you are headed. It’s a fast-track way to bring about change in your life because clearing out the old creates room for the new.
But many people begin to declutter their home and then stall. They reach a point where they realize they have nearly brought themselves up to date in their life and if they go any further, things might seriously start to change.
So they put the brakes on by leaving some areas of the home cluttered or by not actually getting rid of the items they’ve already cleared. The boxes or bags sit there, waiting to be taken away but never actually making it out of the door.
Holding on to clutter keeps you stuck
Clutter clearing delay tactics can give you the sense of being in control. But they are really a form of self-sabotage.
What can happen is that you make the decision to declutter your home to improve the quality of your life but then find you are only willing to go so far. A part of you wants to change but another part of you wants to stay stuck. You tell yourself you don’t have time to do any more decluttering or some other excuse. But the truth is, you’re not ready for the changes that it can bring about.
So what can you do if you find yourself in this situation?
First, be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s not going to help.
Instead, remind yourself why you decided to declutter in the first place. Remotivate yourself by remembering all the reasons you were originally inspired to do it and use the momentum of that to re-engage and get the job done.
If fears about the future come up, allow yourself to feel the emotions instead of trying to ignore or suppress them. You may feel safer staying in the same old rut but remind yourself that’s not really what you want.
Understand that clutter clearing is not just about what you let go of but also how you let go of it. Each item you release can either be let go of with anguish or with joy.
So yes, change involves change. But it’s only holding on to the past that makes change painful. The more you are willing to let go and move forward, the quicker and easier the changes can happen.
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Copyright © Karen Kingston 2019