We all run into roadblocks when simplifying, but there is one thing I hear time and time again when people struggle to simplify. It usually goes something like this …
- My friends don’t understand why I don’t want to go shopping.
- My partner doesn’t want to let go of anything.
- My parents are collectors.
- They don’t understand.
- I don’t have support.
The biggest struggle when simplifying your life (or making any big change) is trying to do it alone.
I’ve written about this topic several times, offering suggestions to help have challenging conversations, ways to involve your family and how to focus on your own stuff but recently I started to think about it differently. I started to wonder …
- Why do we need support to simplify from friends and family, especially in the beginning?
- Why do we need our friends and family to simplify with us, and to be on board and interested in simplicity?
Think about it like this.
If you decided to learn how to play the guitar, would everyone in your family and friend circle be taking guitar lessons too? Would they understand why learning to play the guitar was important to you? Would they support and encourage you all the time? Might they be annoyed from time to time especially as you were just in the beginning stages, practicing when they were trying to do other things?
Instead of depending on your family’s support, you would probably rely on your teacher or a group of students. You might read books about guitar playing and connect with an online community of other people passionate about playing guitar. Then, at some point, you might play a song for your family that they really love. They will clap and cheer you on and be impressed with what you’ve accomplished. Perhaps you’ll inspire them to take up a musical instrument or another hobby they are interested in. Or maybe they will ask you what else you can play and if want to play at your aunt’s wedding or sister’s birthday party.
You learning the guitar may not have your family’s interest or support at first, but then your commitment to progress has a ripple effect.
Let’s bring this back to simplicity
I understand there may be some areas where you need your family’s support or permission when it comes to letting go, working on a budget or simplifying other areas, but there is plenty you can do on your own with a support system you create.
For example, when I gave up eating meat in 2006, I read lots of books and watched documentaries. I even took a raw foods cooking class. One time, when told my family, “wow, this seaweed tastes like potato chips,” they rolled their eyes and said, “It’s been awhile since you’ve had cooked food.” They supported who I was but they didn’t care about eating seaweed and they didn’t need to.
When you are simplifying your life, before you have the support or interest of the people closest to you, create a support system of your own. Surround yourself with people and ideas that inspire your journey.
For instance …
- Read books
- Watch documentaries
- Listen to podcasts
- Curate your social feeds
- Stay focused on Tiny Steps
My family did support me and my desire to simplify because they understood that living with less stress meant I could live a healthier life. We all could. That doesn’t mean they wanted to let go of as much as I did or eat seaweed chips instead of potato chips but over time, we figured it out.
I had other support too from authors, bloggers, people on instagram and friends I met online who are passionate about simplicity.
While you can create your own support system, knowing how important it is and how much healthier we can be by simplifying our lives, I created a support system for you.
The Simplicity Space is a combination of a private community (NOT on Facebook) and membership site to help you make progress on your simplicity journey no matter when or where you are starting. It includes a library of growing resources and a little something each week to inspire your simplicity journey.
Even though we just opened the doors, we are closing them on Thursday. We won’t open again before late January 2021. If you aren’t sure if the program is right for you, ask me by responding to this email. I’m happy to help.
If you are ready to simplify now, and if you want support, connection and inspiration today, please join us.