Will you lighten your load in 2021?
2020 was a year with a lot going on. Most of it wasn’t great for many, with a deadly pandemic, unexpected shifts in the political and economic landscape that will make the up-coming months uncertain.But some of it was very positive with a strong cohort of young emerging leaders who are articulate, informed and passionate. Many women found their voices and spoke out against harassment and injustice. I took steps almost unconsciously to dump my junk physically and metaphorically and to speak up and out about things that are important to me. Perhaps it’s time too, for you to lighten your load. Let’s make 20 a year of change, letting go and moving forward.
Dump your junk
I moved house in June and went through a major decluttering exercise. I had an acquisition detox where I divested tonnes of “stuff” I had acquired and held onto over many years. By the end of the exercise, I was on first name terms with the men at the recycling centre and my local charity shop knows me well. I confess to finding items I have moved around with me for years. I’ve therefore paid for that service and I have moved many times over the years. Imagine what that has cost me in total!
I felt better for doing it all. Freer and lighter, though sadly this wasn’t reflected on the scales. In many ways it was cathartic. What I’ve come to appreciate is a profound need to let go of things in all ways, physically and metaphorically.
Now is always the best time
I am not a fan of New Years’ resolutions but there is a certain synergy at the beginning of the year about starting fresh. This is why I am resolved to dump even more junk in January. The benefits felt when you lighten your load are even measurable. You will be able to see a difference.
I’ve also worked with a number of clients who are dealing with some of the same challenges as well as different ones. Perhaps this is part of the zeitgeist.
Letting go self-sabotaging behaviours
Many behaviours have served us well over the years. They have protected us and helped us feel secure. But for many there is a tipping point at which they become negative and damaging. They can include:li
- Perfectionism – a need for everything to be perfect can become a significant barrier to success
- Persistence and resilience – sometimes it’s OK to walk away
- Constant efforts to keep everything and everyone under control – sometimes you can’t.
- Hanging on to the past, including: memories, “stuff” and grudges. It’s best to let them go no matter how challenging.
- Wanting to “fix” a person in your life rather than focusing on self.
- Constant disappointment when expectations are not met and when incremental improvements are not achieved.
- Relying on recognition and validation rather than focusing on self-belief
- Talking about, but not feeling, emotions
- Over committing saying “Yes” instead of saying “No”. The frenetic activity caused by FOMO.
Do any of these situations resonate?
- A need to be right – this is related to wanting to be in control and fear of making a mistake
- People pleasing at the expense of our own well-being
- Guilt-driven behaviours including over-compensation and indulgence
- Not taking responsibility – this can result in victim like behaviour and being defined by circumstances not by decisions
- A tendency to analyse and rationalise situations – this can lead to analysis paralysis and reduced compassion and empathy
- Eliminating toxic people who exhaust our energy, take up head space and even damage our finances
- Tolerating the intolerable – especially related to harassment or abuse
- Accepting the unacceptable
Make 2021 a year of learning, taking charge of your career and living by your decisions! There is no need to be defined by your circumstances