I’m passionate about helping people clear physical clutter from their homes and home offices, but I’m equally passionate about the need to clear mental clutter from our lives as well. And when it comes to clearing physical clutter, it really helps to clear the mental clutter first.
Mental clutter can mean a lot of things, like negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations, and all that stuff that’s kicking around your head day in and day out. People are rushing, rushing, rushing around. We’re all trying to get everything done, multi-tasking ineffectively, and internalizing all of that chaos.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s not good. It’s not good for our stress levels and overall health, and it’s not a good mindset to be in when starting an organizing project, or any project for that matter.
Here are some tips to help clear the mental clutter whether in terms of an organizing project or life in general.
1. Let go of perfect
I’ll admit it… I’m a recovering perfectionist. And I know I’m not the only one. But what does perfect even look like? In your organizing project, in your job, in your relationship… what does perfect look like?
Let me tell you a secret: perfect isn’t possible. Once more for those in the back- PERFECT ISN’T POSSIBLE. If you’re focused on perfect, you’ll always be focused on that next thing that can make it more perfect. And while you’re doing that, you’re missing out on the chance to appreciate what’s good and to live in the here and now.
So let go of perfect. Find what’s good enough.
2. Don’t should on yourself
There’s a lot of pressure to do it all, and many of us have a script running through our head saying we’re not good enough, we should have done this, we should have done that. Everybody has their own inner critic.
It’s important to recognize when your inner critic is talking, and then challenge that critic. Yes, you could have organized your kitchen pantry instead of catching up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show. But you didn’t, so let it go. Nobody was hurt, and you’re not a failure. Don’t should on yourself!
3. Find your best friend voice
For me, the best way to silence that inner critic voice is to find my best friend voice. My BFF and “brain twin”, Helen, knows me very well and always has an insightful perspective. When we talk about our problems together, we hold space for each other. We listen, acknowledge each other’s feelings, and tell each other what we see from our side. It’s always more loving than what we say to ourselves, and usually peppered with our brand of dark humor.
Sometimes I hear her in my head when I challenge that inner critic. What would she say to me if I told her these negative thoughts? What would I say to her if she had the same issues?
How about you? What would you say to your best friend (and in what tone of voice) if they were saying negative things out loud? If they were asking for help, how would you encourage them through it?
Give yourself the same advice, empathy, and perspective that you would give to someone else you care about. Silence that inner critic with your best friend voice and help keep that negative self-talk from creeping into your head.
By letting go of perfect and silencing your inner critic, you’ll find more peace and be better able to focus on the task at hand. You can do it. I believe in you!