I’m in the business of helping people shed pounds – pounds of paper, expired food and medicines, clothes that don’t fit anymore and miscellaneous items in their kitchens and garages that take up unnecessary space….also known as clutter. When the physical clutter is gone, most clients express a feeling of freedom, a weight lifted off of their shoulders, and a new found energy to move forward in their lives. They have more room to breathe and create something new. Sometimes in the decluttering process, they also experience an emotional cleansing. Most people are in some sort of transition whether it is birth, marriage, downsizing, death or divorce. It is during these life transitions that most people get stuck. Sometimes it’s temporary and sometimes the “stuckness” lasts for much longer.
People also tend to get stuck because they are worrying about things they cannot control. We cannot control what others do, what they say, or what they think. Wouldn’t you agree? We can’t even control what we ourselves think most of the time, so what makes us think we can control what others think of us? I feel like we are trained at an early age to care what others think of us. You might recall the saying “out of the mouths of babes”. Most children speak their truth, but their parents scold them and tell them not to say certain things out loud. We are taught not to say certain things in school, or to the opposite sex. Common dating rules will tell you not to tell him you love him first, let him say it first, right? Not speaking our truth is further reinforced when we join the workforce, and even in marriage husbands say as long as the woman is happy, then everyone in the family is happy. I wholeheartedly disagree.
It is with this teaching process as we go through life’s transitions where we learn to start taking on emotional baggage at a very young age. We are taught to hold our emotions in, not to say what’s on our mind, and especially in traumatic transitions in life, we are taught to “suck it up”, be strong, or put our “big girl panties” on. We are taught to care what other people think at the cost of not being ourselves. There is some filtering we must do so as not to hurt or offend others, but some people get so far separated from themselves, that they lose themselves. They dress differently than they want to, they live somewhere that doesn’t really suit them, but they sure make a good appearance. They speak what they think others want to hear, and do things they really don’t enjoy all for the sake of caring what others think.
Let’s say you’ve just finished a speaking engagement, and you thought you did horrible or just okay. Have you ever asked someone what they thought? Their impression will always be different than what you thought, usually for the better. We are more critical of ourselves than others. Everyone has their own individual and unique filters based on their knowledge, their life transitions, and their past. The more insecure we are, the more we care about what others think. The more we judge ourselves, the more we expect to be judged. It is a vicious cycle that gets us so wound up we end up losing ourselves and creating a whole bunch of emotional baggage.
I just heard on the radio this morning that if you are interested in shedding some pounds the way to do it is to deal with the emotions of why you overeat or eat unhealthy, or why you aren’t motivated to go to the gym. This made a lot of sense to me. After hearing many of my clients tell me about their health issues, I’d have to say that a good deal of their issues are linked to stress, anxiety, worrying about things they can’t control and worrying about what other people think. Who cares? I cared about what other kids thought about me when I was in high school. Guess what? I keep in touch with about three of them out of a class of 200. Did it really matter what they thought? Nope! I’m proposing that the new fad diet is not caring about what other people think, and not assuming they are thinking something about you if you have no proof of that fact. It is merely an assumption. Get rid of the insecurity and shed some pounds of emotional baggage, and you just may drop a dress or pant size as a side benefit. The new fad diet is rediscovering you!