Thursday, March 21, 2013

De-clutter your mind…..De-clutter your life. Are you an emotional hoarder?

De-clutter your mind…..De-clutter your life. Are you an emotional hoarder?

When I think of a Hoarder I envision a person that is constantly bringing things into their home. I visualize this person literally filling up their space. Almost like the series “Hoarders” they just keep collecting everything in sight. There isn’t space left in closets, basements, counter tops and now the living space is filling up as well to the point that it isn’t easy to navigate through the once cozy home any longer. Though I’ve never been a hoarder the top of my dresser often is used to store change, receipts, books, ball caps taking up space and ruining the visual of a beautiful dresser. Seriously why keep convenience store receipts? So important at the time and finally after a month or so I’ll end up throwing them away without even looking at them again.

Compulsive hoarding (or pathological collecting) is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment. 

I’ve played with the idea over the last couple of months that physically, emotionally and intellectually we only have so much to give before we are bankrupt. Think about it when we have too many oars in the water emotionally and we find ourselves upset, worried, concerned, aggravated or frustrated about everything we can collect, in essence become emotional hoarders. It’s easy to develop patterns of taking on problems or becoming attached to issues that we have no room for. The hoarder sees objects in their daily routine that they feel are needed, hate to see disposed of or that they feel will be used someday. Emotional hoarders take possession of thoughts or ideas that often don’t support the true or better sense of self and often refuse to let go of the self-sabotaging belief systems. If we truly have an emotional bank account often the emotional funds are spent to pay off past emotional debt.

In addition the emotional hoarder has become addicted to obsessing about and processing painful thoughts, as messy as the mind has become some now find comfort in the chaos and turmoil of the emotional clutter stored. This again is because the emotional turmoil has become comfortable and the mind now believes this is solid ground and certain. As odd as it sounds the emotional hoarder will find issues to obsess over and find a false sense of comfort. The mind is looking for a way to prevent pain or trouble and often will process every possibility of past and future events. If that isn’t enough the emotional hoarder will take on another person’s issues or even find a reason to obsess over issues they see on TV or maybe hear when standing in line eaves dropping in the grocery store.
I remember watching Hoarders on television and seeing an older lady that slept on the floor surrounded by mountains of trash bags in her own home. Emotional hoarders begin to find a false sense of comfort and rest in mountains of emotional baggage and clutter that they are unwilling to let go of. 

To operate at our best and reach further our minds need room to brainstorm and discover possibilities. A clear mind sees the world differently than one full of the clutter the hoarder has accumulated. We often are surprised that an obvious idea or solution just falls out of the sky when in reality we haven’t been focused in a way that lends itself to goal setting or problem solving. Some forms of emotional clutter include;

Self-Limiting Beliefs- These beliefs keep the dreamer from moving forward. Some always have a reason why “they can’t”. You’re right if that’s where you chose to focus than you’re right “You can’t”. Focus can be shifted to possibilities and often with the right setting and dialogue you’ll see options and possibilities that you’ve never considered. This is whyCoaching works.

Worry- Usually tied to a future or unknown event. We tend to awfulize so we aren’t “blindsided”. Problem with this is we really don’t gain anything by worrying. For instance, My Cell Phone bill is due next Monday and I am strapped for cash after a recent trip to Tijuana. Does obsessing and worrying about how I’m going to pay the bill magically deposit funds into my account? Uh…No.
Regret-usually tied to a past event, these thoughts don’t pay the bills because more often than not the circumstance can’t be changed. Take the lesson learned and let it go.

Self-Sabotaging Beliefs- The belief that says “Don’t even try it, everything you touch turns to shit!”. Sure we’ve all had some failures and victories. There is no rule written in stone that says you’re doomed to fail. Take you’re unique strengths and gifts, ask for help in your weak areas and chase your dreams be relentless, change strategies if you stall but keep going.

Distrust- I hear this a lot, “My relationship would be better if I could trust my partner”. Often the issue is we don’t trust ourselves enough to know that no matter what life brings we will survive and we will bounce back every time we get knocked down. Without this core belief in oneself we often put too much pressure on other people who again we can’t control. 

A few ideas to de-clutter the mind of emotional accumulation.

  • ·        Make a list of negative thoughts that impact you. This is the only time I will encourage a negative list. If there is something that somebody said or did in your past evaluate the event and next to that thought list any benefit of engaging that thought any further. I’m not saying you have to like any comment or event what I am suggesting is observing the thought, emotion or belief system determining if there is any benefit of holding on to it any longer. By being an observer you step out of the emotion and take on the role of an observer to determine what benefit there is. Seeing the clutter from an observing perspective can help sort out what is worth keeping. Let go of the emotional weight that that doesn’t serve the person or the life that you are creating.

  • ·        Make a list of core beliefs that empower you, this list should include thoughts and beliefs that do indeed serve you and are not a waste of emotional energy. These are the beliefs about where you’re going in life, who you really are and what you value most. My clients and I spend a lot of time in this department because it gives a clear target to shoot for. “Live as if”

  • ·        Become an emotional minimalist, as crazy as that sounds to make room for creativity and to live the most vibrant we don’t want to find ourselves bogged down with any extra weight emotionally. To be the most successful and operate at a high level in all areas of our lives we need to be in the “Zone”. The Zone consists of total engagement and presence in the moment. This focus brings out the best decisions and ideas for your most empowered life.

  • ·        Lastly as we have built habits of obsessing and getting “stuck” in these emotional ruts, we have built some thought patterns that bring our focus to the problem or challenge repeatedly. Our energy is spent on clutter that really doesn’t serve any purpose except to take up space. We rehash the event or circumstance as it steals all vibrancy and energy we possess. In order to break free from this pattern we need to “detach”. We can do this while still loving those who have hurt us.  We acknowledge that we have no control over anything except for ourselves and we chose to take control of our lives once again. Yes we let go and affect our world from the inside out.

In closing we all possess the best ideas and solutions for our own personal challenges. Anything that we are successful with  in our lives took consistency to master. As your Coach our relationship will revolve around finding the best ideas and solutions then building a consistent road map to achieve the goals and dreams you have for your masterpiece. Dream big and demand more of yourself. De-clutter your mind and life to make room for the very best and most empowered life yet!

Be good to yourself,


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