Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

If only it was that easy.

It is so much easier to stay in our comfort zone where we know what to expect and we don’t have to upset the boat.  We really want to avoid uncomfortable feelings that may come up if we try to make some changes in our lives. We might worry about hurting others or not pleasing others and put our own needs on the back burner.

Fear seems to be the buzz word these days.  It’s all about the fear.  Most of us have some real fear about letting go of clutter, both physical and emotional.   What is this fear about? What will it mean for me if I no longer have this thing, this relationship, this activity, this habit, this addiction? Then what? The unknown is very scary. This is Emotional Clutter.

I recently had to end a relationship that wasn’t terrible but I knew deep down that it was not working for me and I was feeling resentful and angry a lot of the time. I went back and forth thinking “this is really not so bad, there are some good things about this relationship” and “maybe, I just need to give it more time and put more effort into it to make it work”. I mentioned to one of my friends that it was good, not great and I really want great or it’s not good enough. She has been single for a long time and she said “I would take good over great right now if I could in my life”   So, again, I was second guessing myself about this decision and the doubts kept creeping in. I don’t love the idea of being single and there is the worry that I may be single forever, but if that is the case I am okay with that. In the end, I knew I had to make this change in my life and even though it was difficult I am now single once again but much happier. Yay!!

Anyway, back to letting go of other things…..Emotional Clutter…..anything that gets in the way of the enjoyment of your life or living your life to the fullest.  This could be anything that takes up your time and energy and leaves you feeling resentful and drained. Things like unhealthy relationships, bad habits, old patterns of behaviours that no longer serve and activities that are not nourishing to your soul. It is challenging to change these behaviours especially if they have been going on for a long time.

Getting rid of physical clutter will help to shift emotional clutter. If you are feeling particularly stuck, working on the emotional clutter is likely the best place to start. Clearing one, the other follows.

Clutter is a Personal Journey

So, how do we get past that fear and how can we work on our own emotional clutter?

Know Yourself: This is where focusing on priorities and goals, and following your dreams can be so helpful and enlightening because it helps you to pave the way for what you want for yourself and for your life. Journaling, Visioning, Reading and Sharing with others are great tools that you can use to help with this.

Challenge Yourself: It may not be as difficult as you think it will be. Usually the fear is worse than actually getting started. Start with small changes and see what happens. Pay attention to the emotions that come up. “Small is huge” is our motto in the Clearing Clutter Support Group.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: I love this expression and I know there is a book with the same name that I have read many years ago. I tell my clients who have panic or anxiety attacks that (as long as they are in a safe place) when they feel an attack coming on and they know what it is they can try thinking “bring it on, give me your best shot” and going with it instead of trying to make it go away. If you can allow the feelings, emotions and pain and go through them rather than avoid this will lesson the power that they have over you. Trying to avoid the pain can make it worse.

“What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size? Carl Gustav Jung

What are some of the benefits that you can think of for dealing with Emotional Clutter?

Please comment below and share this with others who would find this helpful.  Thanks for following along.

 

About Kimberley

I am a Case Manager at My Sisters' Place which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex. My Sisters' Place is a program for vulnerable women. I love my job and all the wonderful women I work with. I am very honored to do this work with women who have been through so much and are so open in sharing their stories. I initiated and designed a Clearing Clutter Support Group which I have been facilitating since 2007 with a co-worker. I love running this group and learn so much from the participants. We offer this eight week program three or four times a year. I started my business Space For You in 2010 and work with individuals in their homes as well as offer some workshops in the community. I am available to speak to groups on "De-Cluttering Your Life", "The Magic of De-Cluttering", "Space Clearing" or really anything to do with clutter and hoarding.
This entry was posted in Emotional Clutter, goal setting, SMART Goals, vision boards. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

  1. Beautifully written post, Kimberley! Thank you for sharing your personal story about letting go of a not so great relationship. I love that concept of ‘fear the fear and do it anyway.’ I think that needs to be one of my mantras!

    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you so much for replying. It’s been awhile since I have posted anything so it was challenging to get it out there. Yes, it’s a good mantra to have for sure.

  2. Seana Turner says:

    I think fear is probably one of the most powerful emotions in the world. Much of what we do – or don’t do- is motivated by this silent specter. I’m thankful that you were able to come to a decision that feel good about… I’m sure it wasn’t easy! We all have our own mountains to climb, but hearing the stories of others helps us begin:)

    • Kimberley says:

      Thank you Seana 🙂 I appreciate your comment and I thoroughly agree – the fear is usually so much bigger than what it needs to be. Trusting that things have a way of working out can be so helpful but challenging to believe at times.

  3. Thank you for sharing this powerful piece. Truly fear is the biggest motivator in the things we do. When we face the fear, it’s builds new qualities and offers up hope.

    • Kimberley says:

      That is so true Ellen and the alternative can be so stifling and boring and can keep us stuck in our pain. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Thank you for sharing a bit of your personal struggle. It’s helpful for readers and clients to understand that you’re professional, not perfect, and authenticity goes a long way to building online relationships. I wish you all the best on the next leg of your life journey!

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks Janet. Yes, I agree that it is good to let people know that we struggle with decisions and life events as well and of course we also need to practice what we preach. I believe that it is so important to honour ourselves and to pay attention to what we want in life.

  5. This is a great post. I love that you shared your own experience with the reader. You are living proof that it is possible to let go and follow what you want to achieve a better you. Did you know September is self-improvement month? .

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks Sabrina, Yes I saw that about Self Improvement month and I posted on your blog. I love the exercise that you posted. I must go back to it so I will do it 🙂 Just wrote myself a note lol

  6. People seem to thing things are easy for me. They aren’t. I feel the fear and (sometimes) I do it anyway. And you know what? Usually I realize it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sometimes, when working with a client, I get the sense that a particular space, or issue, or category of clutter is scary for them. If so, I say, “Let’s start there!” because I want to show them it’s probably not so bad after all.

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks so much Hazel for your response. That is so true and I think it is a good idea to start with a difficult area and start there. It really can build up your confidence and your de-cluttering muscles.

  7. Love this! It really hit home for me. I too have a relationship that I am questioning and keep doing the same justifying, “Oh it’s not that bad. There are some good in it.” But I’ve been evaluating it for some time and justifying it. Time to make some decisions. Thanks for the motivation.

    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Regina, I am happy to hear that I have motivated you. It is difficult to end a relationship especially if it has been long term but in any case its always challenging. Thanks for commenting. I have been surprised by all the comments and support I have received on this post. Good luck to you. 🙂

  8. Thanks so much for sharing Kim and I’m sorry you had to go through this. I am so grateful you chose to blog about it and let us in on ways you are letting go of emotional clutter. The fear of the future and the unknown is what holds us back. Or the fear of failure and rejection. I do feel like I have gotten to an age where I’m not really afraid of either. I usually say what’s the worst things that could happen, a little pain or embarrassment? That’s ok, we have all been there! t it go especially if it’s toxic. Sometimes you won’t realize how toxic things are until you are outside looking in. That’s when you will know for sure you did the right thing. Then of course let yourself process everything you went through and slowly that emotional clutter will be released freeing you for what is new and fresh! Best of luck and thank you for sharing!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Autumn,
      Thanks so much for your comments. This was definitely what I needed to do and I have no regrets. I have some pretty awesome, surprising things happening in my life right now and I am having a lot of fun too. Not quite ready to blog about it all though. Thanks again Autumn.

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