Getting Past Fear and Emotional Clutter

(Originally titled Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway posted August 31, 2015)

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!!

Update:  I have been with my new partner for almost three years now and couldn’t be happier.  I am so happy I took that step back in 2015.  I am finally in love and its so real and beautiful.

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.

So, how do we get past the 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 Clutter, De-Clutter Your Life, Emotional Clutter, Inspiration, mental health, Organizing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Getting Past Fear and Emotional Clutter

  1. Just shared this post to my FB, Kim. It falls under the theme of my Mental Health Monday posts. And I love that quote by Jung; he really makes you examine your inner state!

  2. Seana Turner says:

    I can relate to that self-rationalization about staying in place. I’ve experienced that… trying to talk myself into staying put when I know deep inside it is time for a change. It does take courage and support to step out of something that is familiar, even if it isn’t great.

    • Kimberley says:

      Thank you for sharing that Seana. That is so true and and I think it depends on the situation as well. For example, its hard to leave a job or a long time marriage when there are children or money considerations…. very hard decisions. It definitely takes courage and support.

  3. Fear is such a driver, or at least it can be. And that fear of change keeps us where we are, even if we aren’t happy about the situation. I love what you shared about your willingness to let go of a relationship that wasn’t great. And by doing that you found the type of relationship that was. You didn’t let fear drive you. Inspiring!

    • Kimberley says:

      Oh wow, thanks Linda. Its great to think that I can inspire others. It was difficult and I hated having to hurt someone but in the end so much better. Thank you for commenting.

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