What is the biggest thing holding us back from using our stuff?
It’s not what other people will think
It’s not your bank account and worrying you can’t replace it
It’s not overwhelm at the number of choices
It’s your thoughts.
I know, it sounds too simple, but I’ll try my best to show you. Picture your special item (fancy dress, heels, bag, champagne, fabric, good china, candle). Now, picture waking up tomorrow and using it. Seriously, go through the scene in your head.
Now, hear that soundtrack? Those are your thoughts, questioning your decision. I don’t have to read your mind to know what they sound like:
Who do you think you are?
For a random Tuesday?
What if you ruin it?
What if you spill?
What will people think?
Psht if you use this now you’ll have no motivation to __________ (lose the weight, make partner, raise good kids, save money).
If this scene sounds familiar then you need Show Pony Summer Series #13 Talk Back to Your Brain.
Boy, are these thoughts convincing, constant, and critical! But, we’re stuck with them! So, if you can’t live without them, you need to learn how to work with them. Now, it’s very tempting to get really loud and tell them to all shut up, but sadly, they don’t go away when you yell at them, instead they come up later, all sneaky and ‘I told you so.’ The secret to quieting them down is compassion. It’s not sexy, or mighty, but it works.
When you hear: Who do you think you are?
Thank you for trying to protect me, I have this beautiful blazer hanging in my closet and I thought I’d wear it, not because I think I’m a boss lady, but because I think clothes are worth wearing.
When you hear: The good china? What if you crack it! What if it breaks! This is against the rules!
Thank you for warning me about the preciousness of this china, but I believe my items are meant to be used. Just because I’m using it tonight and not saving it for Christmas dinner doesn’t mean I’m being reckless. I want to enjoy these dishes and using them is part of that.
Now, if talking back to your thoughts seems awkward or lame, a good warm-up is a mantra. These can be a quick and practiced way to respond when you hear your critical voices starting up, simply insert your mantra. You can borrow some from me if you can’t think of your own.
Don’t let your candle melt in the closet – this is a reminder of what can happen when we save things for someday when
Nothing is precious – this is a good reminder that items aren’t precious, people are.
Spend out – this is borrowed from author, Gretchen Rubin and is her call to action for herself to not save things, but use them.
I’m enjoying my life as I live it – this is a reminder that we’re not saving things for someday, we are using things now.
Do you have a mantra? How do you talk back to the negative and critical voices that try and convince you not to use your stuff?