The word PERMISSION keeps popping up all around me. I hear it on podcasts, in conversations with friends, and when working with clients.
It seems there is a longing for someone outside of ourselves to grant us permission to say, be, or do something that might feel scary or go-against-the-grain.
You may want –
Permission to let go of the gift a friend gave you ten years ago that has never been used.
Permission to say no to the request to be on another committee.
Permission to take 15 minutes to read a book or close your eyes during the day.
Permission to say no to hosting book club or Thanksgiving.
In Braving the Wilderness, Brene´ Brown talks about writing herself permission slips to feel how she wants to feel and be who she wants to be. She started this practice after feeling nervous and second-guessing herself. Instead of looking outside of herself for permission, she grabbed a sticky-note and wrote down words that would allow her to enter her day in the way that felt right.
This is something I keep working at. Tuning in to the times when I am holding myself back because I want someone else to tell me it is okay. Noticing is the first step. The next is to let go of that hesitation and offer yourself the permission to do, or be, or say what you want.
Want more ideas on how you can offer yourself permission to let go of something FOR NOW. Check out this post and see if those two words lift some of the pressure of letting go.
Are you in one of those seasons of life when you have taken on too much and are overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities? Or maybe expectations at work increased at the exact same time as a family commitment became more intense? Or maybe you are feeling the pressure of the upcoming holidays and all that goes into making that time of year work?
When I find myself in the middle of a season that feels too full I often long for a way out, but it can also feel like my hands are tied. It’s easy to tell myself that I just have to suck it up, deal with it, and hope for easier days ahead. But I know in my heart there has to be another way, because powering through often leaves me exhausted, resentful, and still feeling stuck.
It might not be easy. But I have to LET GO.
I don’t mean throw in the towel or trash it all! That doesn’t solve anything. What I am talking about is noticing the things that are taking up time and energy, but could be set down FOR NOW. Setting a few things aside FOR NOW is one way to open up the breathing space needed to keep my body and mind from feeling so overloaded and neglected. But nobody knows what those things are but me.
No one can give me permission to let go. The only person who knows what I need, when I need it is ME.
Which means I have be mindful of what is happening inside of me. I have to stay in touch with my tendencies, my desires, my hopes and my frustrations.
So if you are feeling overloaded and know that a shift is needed, then try this simple exercise to uncover the things that you want to let go of FOR NOW in order to take better care of your mental health and your heart.
Find a scrap of paper, the back of an envelope, or turn to the next page in one of the many notebooks lying around.
Take 5 minutes and write down everything that you would like permission to let go of. Go ahead! No one has to see this list.
And don’t sensor yourself. If something wants to get written on the list, then write it. No second-guessing.
Now sit for a moment and let yourself feel the relief that comes from listening to the requests that are coming from your heart. Maybe even put your hands on your heart-it’s funny how this simple act can feel so soothing.
Then, commit to make one small change OR do nothing but keep this list in mind and watch for ways that you could decrease your involvement in something that you wrote.
Offer yourself the permission to let go of needing to do it all! Your body, mind and soul will thank you.
If you are in a place of overwhelm and longing to shed some of the things in your life that are holding you back, then I hope you find some encouragement from this poem by Safire Rose.
You can let go. You can move ahead. Offer yourself the permission you need to make your life reflect your desires.
Declutter & Redesign is all about letting go of the things that no longer serve you and redesigning your space, lifestyle, or habits to fit that yearning in your soul for a change or an easier way.
And this letting go can happen in stages, so wherever you are on your own journey, I hope you continue to follow along or share this message of hope, so that we each find the support we need at the right time.
Be in touch. I offer a 30 min. free phone consultation and would love to hear more about the changes that you are longing to make.
Are you feeling swamped by all the possibilities, activities, and responsibilities in your life?
I can relate. I am a #1 on the Enneagram, the Perfectionist or Reformer, which means that it is easy for me to notice things that need improving or tweaking. Walking from my home office to the bathroom, my attention can be drawn to 5-10 things I could do! Which means my to-do list can get really long if I’m not careful.
And I love to learn about self-improvement, culture, and creativity, so any new books, classes & podcasts around growth are super tempting! Without realizing it, I might be reading a stack of books, taking a couple classes, and downloading enough podcasts to keep me busy for hours.
Add in the activities and responsibilities of parenting two active, social kids and running a business and I might as well throw up my hands!
It’s exhausting and embarrassing to write all this! Especially when I understand that mental clutter can be just as overwhelming & debilitating as physical clutter.
I could try to justify it all with the phrase I often hear from busy moms, “But it’s all good things.” These words usually follow the crazy list of everything that they are juggling, like the one I just rattled off.
I understand what these words are trying to say. I, too, try to live in gratitude for all of the good that comes into my life, but there comes a point when too many good things can’t be called good anymore. All those “good things” are coming at a price.
You see the research on clutter, stress, and productivity reaffirms what my heart has been asking me to recognize for a long time. When you keep adding more options & more to-dos then there will be trade-offs. And too often what I push aside, as the next good thing comes in, are the items that feed my soul.
If I am not mindful and clear about what I want to spend time on, then all those little improvements and opportunities, that seem so great, will fill the space that I need for the REAL stuff.
Not just the good stuff, but the real stuff. The stuff that I long to do. That I enjoy. That I know in my heart will help to make me ME.
So how do you put the brakes on when you have fallen in a pattern of adding more and more, and can feel the trade-offs are getting harder to swallow? It’s not easy. This can be a hard pattern to shift – I am working at it every day – but here are some things that I believe will help.
First recognize the discomfort that saying yes has created. It’s that little let down that you felt when you said YES to one more activity, volunteer request, or work projects and NO to time you could spend on your hobby, health, or chance to have more free time. You probably didn’t recognize the trade-off at that point but that little feeling of resistance or disappointment was a little sign that this YES was going to come at a price. The more good stuff that came in, the more the discomfort grew.
Acknowledge this discomfort without putting yourself down about it. There is no shame in looking at the facts. You got overloaded and didn’t know any other way, it happens. There are so many great opportunities out there and it all seems important and relevant, so it isn’t surprising that your calendar and time got filled up.
But now that the discomfort is getting more noticeable, it’s time to step back and get some perspective. Find a quiet place to sit and take a deep breath. Then exhale all of the stress you have carried as you juggled your million things. Let it go.
And then get out a piece of paper (it can be that crumpled receipt or grocery list stuck in the bottom of your purse) and make a list of the things in your life that you enjoy vs. the things that you do because you feel like you should or could. When you take time to look at all of the things you are doing & why, it can highlight the stuff that came in without you realizing it vs. the stuff that you really want to do and intentionally chose.
As you look at the list, think about letting go of some of the things that entered your life because someone said you should try it or do it or be it. Just because someone else thinks those activities or opportunities are great, doesn’t mean they are right for you.
And if you have a broken record in your own head offering lots of shoulds about how things need to be done or how much work you need to take on, then start talking back to that voice. Let it know that you are doing just fine without all the suggestions!
Finally, get clear on the things that you won’t trade-off. One of the things on the top of my list is sleep – I’m no fun & super unproductive if I don’t get good sleep, so it is easier to say no to any opportunity or project that would put a kink in getting enough sleep. Taking time to recognize all the things that you are not willing to trade-off can make decisions much easier.
Now you get to decide how quickly you want to cut out some of the items on the list that you don’t enjoy or realize that you didn’t really want to start in the first place. Look for ways to give notice, pass them along, decrease the time commitment, or cut them out cold turkey.
Remember going forward that you get to decide what you want to spend time on, not extra voices offering you all those coulds and shoulds.
And work to keep the amount of good stuff feeling the way you want it to – all good.
Want to chat more about getting some clarity around all of that good stuff – let me know your thoughts below!
Have you had the desire to “be more organized” but something inside pushes back against this idea?
Do you go back and forth between beating yourself up about the state of your space and wondering “what is the point?”
Are you able to start something new & stick with it when it feels important to your identity & how you represent yourself, but have a hard time following through if you don’t really believe in what you are doing?
Maybe you are a REBEL and you need to start OWNing it!
Here’s what I mean.
I work with all different clients and I wish I could say that I offer a one-size-fits-all approach, but it just doesn’t work that way. There is no “right way” when it comes to decluttering, organizing, or being productive because we each bring our unique experiences, personalities, quirks, and tendencies to everything that we do!
Which is why it is so important to get in touch with what makes us “tick” so that we can stop pushing, struggling, and hitting road blocks, and instead start tapping into strategies that allow us to shine.
Finding out what motivates you & allows you to “buy into” what you are doing is important! And this is especially true for someone that longs to create systems & spaces that function with ease.
So what does being a Rebel have to do with this?
Gretchen Rubin, a best-selling author, researcher, & the creator of the Four Tendency framework has studied habit formation & determined that people fall into 4 different groups based on how they are motivated. Her 4 Tendency framework explains that adopting new habits may be easier for some people than for others.
You can take her free quiz here and find out if you are an Obliger, Upholder, Rebel, or Questioner.
Your tendency offers insight into how inner & outer expectations affect your ability to form new habits. And habits often play a role in keeping spaces tidy.
What if you are a Rebel?
Gretchen says, “Rebels resist all expectations, both inner and outer alike. They want to do what they want to do, in their own way, in their own time — and if you ask or tell them to do something, they’re very likely to resist.”
The Rebel’s natural tendency is to push back against many of the methods that often work to get and stay organized. Consistency, scheduling, accountability, or rewards typically aren’t going to work for Rebels, which means that if you are a Rebel then you think outside-the-box and that can be exciting!
It’s time to embrace your unique tendency and work with your resistance. Let go of the notion that you are doing anything wrong when you aren’t able to get yourself to start or follow-through. Instead when you feel the desire to clear clutter, create new systems, or develop a new habit, consider these ideas.
Do it because it enhances who you believe you are. When you are able to link your actions to your identity then you are more likely to be motivated.
Your natural instinct is to push back against outer expectations, so use that to your advantage and make it a challenge. If you have been hearing a voice that told you that you’d never (fill in the blank), then prove that voice wrong by doing it.
Gretchen says, “instead of keeping a to-do list, keep a “could do” list.” Tap into that desire to have choice & freedom by waking up each day and asking what you feel like doing today.
Rebels are more likely to do things when they are clear on what they want & why they want it. Taking time before you start anything new to get clear on the reasons behind your actions will create greater likelihood of follow-through on the things you decide are important & worth your time.
Remember, you are a Rebel. Decide for yourself what feels right for YOU!
Take it or leave the tips, but the one thing that I hope will resonate is that you can take pride in the fact that you are going to find the way to declutter & build habits that works for YOU. Not because someone says you should or you think you had better.
Are you a Rebel? Need support to start making these shifts & honoring your tendency? Fill out the form below & we will find a way to get started.
I’m here to help you shed the old patterns & worn out ways of thinking so you can create the spaces & systems that work for YOU!
Are you facing a space full of clutter but feel unmotivated to get started on the project?
You are not alone if you feel tempted to put it off, close the door on the space, or shove all the extras into a bag or bin instead of dealing with them!
It happens. This is real life. And it can seem hard to find the courage, energy, and time to start a project.
You might also feel alone in the struggle to keep up & resentful that this is what you have to spend your time on when you have a million other things that you’d like to do.
But the clutter isn’t going to go away on it’s own, so I want to offer a few tips that can decrease the overwhelm & make the decluttering process feel lighter.
Let Go of Comparison
There are lots of opinions & strategies on how to clear clutter & maintain your spaces, along with tons of perfectly manicured images showing the “ideal” home life. And some of this can be inspiring, but often all of that input is paralyzing. You start to compare & judge your strategies. You question yourself & forget to listen to your intuition.
So when YOU decide it’s time to tackle your project, you have to let go of comparison. Let go of how things work for other people & start tuning into the things that have worked for you in the past, the ideas you have always longed to try, and the tips that really resonate & feel like YOU.
When you let go of comparison & tap into your intuition & desire, then the changes you make & the way you tackle this project will better fit your personality & lifestyle.
Digging into a project takes a commitment of time & energy, so it’s helpful to to understand WHY you want to get started & WHAT will make the process work best for you.
Before you even pick up an item, step back and look at your situation with “fresh eyes.” Try to let go of shame, embarrassment or self-judgment & look at the situation & your things from a place of curiosity. Ask yourself these questions to allow the needed shifts to come to light:
What is the feeling that I hope to achieve once this stuff is dealt with?
Is this stuff holding me back from something else I want in my life?
Do I have a deadline or do I need to make one?
Do I work better when I have a partner to help with decisions & keep me going? Who can I ask to support me?
Am I the kind of person that likes to work in small chunks or do I want to set aside a large block of time to work?
You don’t have to consider yourself a creative person to be successful at decluttering, but the process will be more interesting & a lot more fun when you are open to new ideas and ways of thinking about your space.
Stay open to thinking outside-the-box & your creative mind will bring to light new ways to repurpose some of the items that you’d like to keep but haven’t been using. Maybe your grandmother’s rolling pin will become a work of art when hung on the kitchen wall!
Tap into the spirit of creativity as you experiment with new habits that will create more flow in your life. Experimenting lifts the pressure & lets this become a process with no right answer, just information that will move you ahead.
Go For It!
Getting started can be the hardest part, so lift some of the pressure & weight of the project by letting go of comparison & then adding curiosity and creativity. Let this new way to look at your project shift your energy & spark the motivation that will lead to action!
Contact me today if you are motivated but know you can’t do it alone. Together we can make it happen!