Declutter to Empower Challenge, Week 6: Failure

Yes, you read that title right! This week, in the Declutter to Empower Challenge, I’m decluttering my failures and encouraging you to do the same. If you don’t know quite what that means, but you’re intrigued, let’s go on this journey together. It starts right now!

When I first started working with clients to organize their homes and make time for what they love, I noticed something surprising that came up over and over again: people often keep reminders of their failures. Then I realized that I do the exact same thing! Funny how that works.

Whether it’s rejection letters from a writing career, graduate school rejection letters, jeans that no longer fit, or photos of an ex, (and I’ve kept them all) these objects and artifacts remind us of failure. They just do. So why keep them?

Well, the tricky part is that failure isn’t always bad and, often, it can push us to do better. Sometimes it can even remind us that we are out there living and risking our all.

A friend I was talking with earlier today, said she heard a favorite blogger say that we should “fail harder.” She thoughtfully reminded me to let go of one of my own failures because they are par for the course in motherhood, business, marriage and life! It’s true, and it felt good to hear it.

And yet, I’m still sorting out how I feel about failure. When it becomes a fixture in our homes, or a story we tell ourselves, it’s not so productive.  (I’d love to hear your thoughts, by the way—post a comment or shoot me an email!)

What I do know is that when those clients chose to let those items go—by throwing them into the trash or sending them off to Goodwill, I saw a lightness and renewed confidence come over them that wasn’t there before. And I wanted some of that too!

Today, I’m doing just that.

Here’s how to do it:

Tour your home with eyes of love:

Take a quiet moment, and experience your house from the perspective of your most loving self. The self that says things like: “You’ve got this!” and “You’re enough just as you are” and “you’re doing an awesome job!” Bring that person with you as you go room by room, and take stock.

Let it go!

If those loving eyes land on anything that says something different about you that makes you feel less than or ashamed, why not let it go?

Pick a satisfying disposal method:

Maybe it would feel juicy to wrap that Law School rejection letter around a Duraflame and create a nice fire for yourself, for example? Whatever you do, pick a disposal method that gives you some catharsis.

Make it a ritual:

What if you make this a ritual every time you fail at something? Find an item that reminds you of the failure, note the ways you will and have done better, and find a fun way to rid yourself of it. Just thinking about that idea makes me feel more adventurous and courageous!

And it just dawned on me: maybe we can fail harder, AND also let those failures go?

Here’s to letting it go,


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