Erase Embarrassment

There are many blocks that may prevent you from beginning or continuing a downsizing project. Embarrassment is one.

I hear from clients, even the ones who I’ve worked with for a while, that they feel embarrassed. They still worry about being judged. They are concerned with disappointing me, and clearly, themselves. This is an emotional process no matter the person, the project, or the circumstances. Because it’s not about your stuff or being disorganized. It’s about the core of you, your life, your fears, your mistakes and mishaps, your past, present, and future.

When I’m contacted by a potential client, I’m filled with excitement. The simple fact that someone out there really wants to change their life for the better is energizing. Someone is willing to step outside their comfort zone and dedicate the time and resources to enact change. This serves to inspire me. Most people settle for the status quo. We all do at some point. It takes something: a time of transition, an “aha moment,” or an inner strength seeping outward. When someone is finally ready to address the fundamentals of their life rather than continue to be wrapped in the distractions that got them here, it’s a time for celebration.

And this is a person I want to get to know. I want to find out what series of events lead them to me. What was the breaking point? The moment of realization? Most people don’t stop, move aside, question their reality, and then actually take the first step to do something about it. This is an action with many consequences they have yet to realize. It isn’t easy to announce this to themselves and to me, and probably to some others as well. And yet, here I am in their home, listening to their stories, and beginning to put together a plan of how to recreate their space from the inside out.

A couple sessions in, a new client said to me that she was embarrassed that she hadn’t accomplished her in-between-sessions work. That all of this felt so heavy. She was incredibly accomplished but had many recent transitions in life. She wanted real solutions, not band-aids, to propel her forward. She knew stuff was not the answer. This, I told her, was inspiring and one of the reasons she never has to feel judged. She’s doing the tough work that few people dedicate themselves to do. She could feel proud of herself instead of hurting herself with negative thoughts. There is no set time table for progress, only motion in the right direction.

There is a reason our home spaces become disorganized swaths of stuff. We couldn’t find certain answers in our lives so it was easier to let the questions escalate. We create these piles of shame, and discarding them is not as easy as throwing out the trash. Yet, the process of removing them is far more gratifying and liberating.

By slowly peeling back the layers of embarrassment, one can free themselves from a weighty form of procrastination. Shame is deep but exists only in our minds. Being self-conscious is a distraction. If you are ready to make a change, you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You can be proud.