Decluttering your life is not just about organizing the tangible things but your mind and your heart as well.
There are material things that we hold on to because of endearing memories or sentimental value. If there was a fire in your house, what would you absolutely want to grab on your way out? To lose things that carry sentimental or emotional value would be tragic and you would undoubtedly feel heartbroken. But the memories of these things will stay with you forever.
Then, there are negative thoughts, memories, and emotions that you may be holding on to as well. Perhaps you had a disagreement with someone years ago and you are still holding on to that anger or disappointment. Perhaps you resent that boss who fired you or passed you up for a promotion. Holding on to resentment is going to hold you back.
Remember: You cannot go back in time and change the past, but you have absolute control over your future.
Whether it is a destructive fire in your home or a destructive fire in your soul, think about the positives of your experiences and take this opportunity to start fresh and build the life you want and deserve.
Remove the emotional baggage that is holding you back and focus on being more productive. Focusing on the negatives will result in lack of confidence and a negative attitude.
How to begin de-cluttering
Think of your life as a garage sale. Over the years, you have acquired all sorts of things. And at the time, these things seemed important. You wanted them. You may have even needed them. But now, they are out on the sidewalk and you are selling them for pennies on the dollar.
So, let’s begin a “garage sale” of those intangible things that you are holding on to:
Step 1. Assessing that which may be holding you back
Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at home
Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at work
Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with in any other aspect of your life
Create an Action Plan to let go of, or to communicate, everything on your lists.
Step 2. Take care of Unfinished Business
Is there a conversation you need to have but you have been putting off? Have that conversation! Life is short, and if you wait too long, the time to have that crucial conversation may never come.
Are you putting off contacting an old friend or relative? Send an email. Call them. Let them know you are thinking about them.
Stop thinking about the “woulda/coulda/shouldas” in your life. You didn’t and maybe you couldn’t. Let them go. They are in the past and you have no control over them.
Step 3. Create New Standards and Boundaries
Write the standards and/or boundaries you want for yourself moving forward. You have grown, matured and have new life experiences. Your standards from the past can remain in your past.
List 5 people whom you admire the most. What about them do you admire? What qualities, characteristics, behaviors do they have that you admire? What are their standards? What could you begin doing today to acquire those qualities, characteristics and behaviors?
List 5 close friends or colleagues who have different standards/boundaries than you. They are your close friends. They have different standards. You still respect them and it’s important to recognize that we can still be connected to those with differing qualities.
Note: this may not be easy, but nobody ever said life was easy….
Writing these out should take more than just a few minutes. Give yourself the gift of time and patience to think about what’s really important and how it impacts your life. If you bought that gadget because it was cool then, but have no more use for it now, it gets thrown into the Garage Sale pile. If you are still angry with someone for something they did or said years ago still has an effect on you, either have that discussion or let it go. Why are you allowing that negative memory to hold a seat in your mind?
Releasing those negative thoughts and emotions will create room for more positive thoughts and experiences that will enrich your life, increase your confidence and improve your attitude.
The changes you make today will set you up for new opportunities tomorrow.
The greatest opportunities are on the other side of change…