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Are you a Serial Keeper? - 26th April 2016
By this I mean, are you someone who just can't refrain from keeping things? Anything? Everything?
If you recognise yourself in this description, the chances are it's had a huge impact on your life.
So what can be done?
Consider your behaviour pattern for a moment.
The fact that you keep everything, regardless of whether you really want it or not is unlikely to be a conscious decision. Maybe you're moving through life on some kind of 'auto-pilot'?
- Your home is bunged up with stuff - but you keep adding more
- Your cluttered situation is having an impact on your life - but you fail to take action
- Your logic tells you it's time to act - but it doesn't convert to actual effort
- You feel out of control
It is possible to change old habits. Your brain is quite pliable and receptive in that way. However, it's not going to happen overnight nor without any effort on your part. The good news is that you can begin to take control.
Keep an eye on yourself
You have somehow got into the habit of keeping everything that lands in your space. How has this happened? I want you to act as observer of your own actions. This observation will feel as though you are outside of yourself, and literally watching what you do from a different more detached perspective.
This is not about judging what you do. You are merely in the role of neutral witness. The aim of this is to provide insight. Otherwise you're trying to solve a problem you don't understand.
Once you've observed yourself for a week or maybe two, you will have some clues as to what's happening. Now is your opportunity to short circuit those habits. Head yourself off at the pass, as it were!
Choose one of the habits you've uncovered and focus on that. For example, let's say that when you open your post you always leave it in an untidy and ever growing pile on your kitchen worktop. You want to take control of your post and also to have a tidier kitchen.
Now you can choose to slow down the action and stop yourself at the critical point. The point where you walk away, maybe? 'Rewind' the action and work out where you could do something different. Something that would have a positive impact. It's your choice. Look at that heap of mail. What can you do differently?
Even if all you do is put the junk mail and/or empty envelopes into the recycling, then you've made a positive change. Keep at it, and build on your success each time you catch yourself at that critical point.
If you continue to focus on one particular activity, such as the opening of the post, you will get more and more insight about where you can make simple changes to your behaviour. Changes that will have a positive effect on your environment, not to mention how you feel.
As you work on that specific area you will notice that your awareness begins to spread to other activities. It's as though someone has turned up the brightness control. Now you can see more clearly. The more clearly you 'see', the more inclined you are to make changes.
What about all the stuff that's been hoarded?
It might seem odd to you if you have serious clutter issues that I'm asking you to address your habits. The thing is, if your home flooded, you'd turn off the water before getting out a mop, wouldn't you?
As you begin to take back control and realise that you can throw stuff away as it arrives - guess what? You will then be able to turn your attention to all the things that have built up over time. Little by little those things will lose their power over you. You are in control and trust me, that will feel really good!
If you'd like to discuss this topic and how it relates to your personal situation why not give me a call on 01327 705294, alternatively you can send me an e-mail.
Keywords: hoarder, habit