Keepsakes and old photographs, holiday mementos, kids finger paintings, paperwork, old love letters or hate mail… they represent the journey of our life and many of us, myself included, have parts of our homes or workplaces where “stuff” just accumulates.
Likewise, maybe you’re holding on to feelings of guilt or loss, responsibility or regrets, or maybe anger or grudges, and they can weigh you down. Sometimes we don’t even realise that these feelings are there – we have shoved them all into a massive suitcase and buried it under the bed with the dust bunnies and twenty seven odd socks, but yet somehow we still carry it around every day as a burden.
If we are really honest with ourselves though, in order to move forward and grow, we need to free ourselves of as much clutter and baggage as we can.
It’s interesting to see how people’s personal “stuff” can get in their way professionally… for example
- A client who came for coaching to deal with their challenges around managing budgets in work, and was having a panicky feeling every time it came to financial planning, realised that this was because of a relationship breakup and all of the financial struggles that went with that.
- A client who felt that they could improve their pitch to prospective customers realised that, just like working on his relationship with his wife – he needed to show the client more “love and care”
- Another client is constantly putting herself last and finding it difficult to deal with an overbearing boss – but also felt stuck in finding a new job, because she wants to hold on, even in the face of extreme discomfort, for fear of the unknown.
Often we want to keep acquiring physical possessions because for a brief moment we feel happy – and then the feeling disappears. These things can be daily reminders of the thing that we miss or have lost, or perhaps have a fear of losing.
We try to hold onto some feelings; we worry that we won’t have enough or be enough and in doing so we can build up barricades against other people and the outside world and effectively imprison ourselves.
Holding onto stuff can be a type of control – but if it’s a pattern it can get out of control and become overwhelming. Sometimes you may need help from friends or others to help you to declutter your space and your headspace.
So whether it’s in your home or your office, or your head or heart – watch out for stuff that’s getting in your way, slowing you down, reducing the space in which you can work and live, forcing you to move in ever-decreasing circles.
Attachment to your current role, whether at home or in the workplace, and to what you believe success is can all keep you stuck where you are – it’s worth taking a step back now & then to reassess what you want to hold onto and what you want to let go of.
So start unpacking those suitcases and boxes and travel light so you’ll be free to take off for your next destination, and without having to pay the price for all that baggage!
What’s one thing that you can let go of today?