Many of my career coaching clients have the same complaint when they first approach me: I'm stuck in my career and don't know how to best move forward. I'm lacking clarity. I know I should be farther ahead than I am.
What I've seen over and over again is that most people do have an idea of what they want to do going forward in their career, but something is holding them back. Usually fear (i.e. false evidence appearing real). To begin overcoming some of the fearful mind chatter that can so easily stop people in their tracks, I often advise creating a clearing before doing anything else.
Indeed, many of my clients have been told that I want them to create a physical and mental clearing during the first session with me. For today, I just want to focus on the physical clearing.
Our physical world and space often serves as a reflection of our mental space.
If your physical space is overwhelming and cluttered, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that your head space was similarly overwhelming and cluttered. I was vaguely familiar with some version of this concept - "messy bed, messy head," but had never really taken it to heart much. A few years ago, I came across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read the book, followed what she said, and indeed, my life did change. I got out of a relationship that wasn't working, got clear on who I am at my core, started my own business, and left the practice of law. I can't say with certainty that all of that was due to my reading the book and implementing some of what she suggests, but I do think that the book can be life changing.
Some of you may have read it already. For those of you who haven't, here it is in a nutshell: get rid of the stuff that you don't love. In the western world we have such an emphasis on stuff - our material things. We allow things to accumulate and they don't add to our lives.
Rather than just having stuff for the sake of it, we can be more intentional with our things.
How does one do this? Let's use the example of clothing. To make more conscious choices with your clothing, remove all of the clothing from your closet and drawers and put them in one place. Then, piece-by-piece, hold up the item of clothing and make a decision as to whether you keep it or throw it away. You make the decision to keep it or get rid of it by holding it in your hands: if you feel joy as you hold it, you keep it, if you don't feel joy, you get rid of it.
It blocks the energy around us to have stuff everywhere. If we simplified and had less stuff, positive energy could flow more easily in our lives. Each time I've given this assignment to a client, the report I've gotten back is that they immediately feel lighter! They're more excited about the possibilities, rather than overwhelmed and hopeless.
If you are feeling stagnant in your career or life, consider decluttering. Maybe you're not ready to go through all your things at once, that's ok. Perhaps just start by going through one drawer, or just through your winter clothes. Get rid of the things that don't make you feel good.
Imagine how much more spacious and joyful your life would be if you surrounded yourself only with things that you love!
If you're feeling stuck or stagnant, is there something you're willing to declutter?