Clutter comes in many forms. It’s not just the extra coffee cups and photos you never look at or clothes that don’t fit and shoes that hurt your feet. Clutter can appear on your calendar, in your relationships and even in your heart and mind.
Say goodbye to any of these not so little things that may be holding you back.
Then say hello to joy.
9 (Not so Little Things) that are Holding You Back + How to Say Goodbye
Letting go can stir up guilt. You might feel guilty for letting things build up, for not paying attention to what really matters, or for overspending. It’s time to let the guilt go with the stuff.
How to say goodbye: You’ve paid enough. You paid with your money, time and attention. And now you are paying with your heart and guilty feelings. You can let go now. This three-step process will help.
We can be kind and loving without being sorry. Apologizing for things we don’t need to be sorry for is exhausting and often a quiet reminder that we aren’t good enough.
How to say goodbye: Start here.
Much of the worry, stress, overreacting, gossiping, and complaining we add to our day is unnecessary drama and it’s holding you back from enjoying your life.
How to say goodbye: Don’t engage. Simply smile and walk away.
4. Catching up
The illusion of catching up goes something like this: If I take a full day/weekend/week and abandon all the things I enjoy doing, I can get everything done that I feel guilty about not doing before. Then I will feel better, everyone will love me and all will be right with the world. The reality is that catching up never ends. There will always be more.
How to say goodbye: Be present. If you are paying attention to what didn’t get done yesterday, you can’t pay attention to what’s happening right now. How can you be your most creative, most interested, and do your best work, when you have anxiety about the undone? To practice presence, set a timer for 5 minutes and agree to set your worry aside for that short amount of time while you engage in the here and now.
5. Full plates
If you are completely depleted by the end of the day, chances are your plate is too full. Full plates are holding you back from engaging in what matters most to you.
How to say goodbye: When your plate is full, you have three choices.
6. Proving yourself
When you are busy proving your love or convincing the outside world how invested you are, you compromise, push too far, and forget that when you need to prove your love, that’s not love.
How to say goodbye: Show up. Be love instead of proving love. If it’s not love, walk away.
Freeing up space and time in your life can feel uncomfortable. You may feel compelled to fill the emptiness of a decluttered room in your home with more stuff, or an empty calendar with appointments and commitments to avoid the discomfort.
How to say goodbye: Fill your newfound time and space with things that really matter to you. If you don’t know what that is yet, fill your time and space with curiosity, self-reflection, and love.
8. Schedule shaming
Schedule shaming happens when we tell ourselves …
- I should be more organized.
- I should have more check marks on my to-do list.
- I didn’t do as much as everyone else.
- I am lazy and unaccomplished.
- I let people down.
- I didn’t do enough.
- I am not good enough.
How to say goodbye: Let’s stop measuring who we are by what we accomplish. We need to measure less by what we cross off our to-do list, and more by what’s on our heart, by how we feel, and by how we treat people.
I’ve pretended to be an extrovert, pretended to like my job and pretended to smile. Living outside of yourself is exhausting. If you’ve been pretending too …
How to say goodbye: Give yourself all the space, time and love to remember who you are. And this.
The little things do count. Every tiny step does. Use the momentum, inspiration and confidence you get from taking the tiny steps to tackle the big ones. Goodbye stress, shame, and overwhelm. Hello joy.