From a very young age, many children are taught that they should not waste, that they should use and keep everything. This Depression-era mentality really instills a sense of guilt. Clutter continues to build up because we keep, keep, keep everything! It’s like having recordings playing constantly in your head, saying “YOU MUST NOT BE WASTEFUL!” every time you try to release something from your life.
The same recordings begin to play in your head (with a twist) when you know it’s time to let some clients go but can’t get yourself to do it. You feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. Who will take care of them? The result is typically a client base heavy with people who drain you or consume your time with very little revenue opportunities.
Letting go of clients and material items is hard and emotional. It doesn’t feel like an acceptable option.
But it can be.
Rather than playing the same soundtracks over and over again that say you can’t or shouldn’t throw anything away or let go of clients, why not create a new dialog? Listen as you profess to yourself that you can’t waste anything and instead ask yourself which is more valuable:
The clients causing you stress beyond your level of tolerance…
The peace of mind, feelings of fulfillment and increases in your revenue from serving more perfect clients that you would reclaim should you eliminate said clients.
If you typically process thoughts from an emotional standpoint (feelings), you may find the above question hard to answer. However, using logic would make the second choice above a no-brainer. Emotion might bring guilt, fear, stress and several other feelings into play. Thinking logically and thinking emotionally are two very different approaches.
QUESTION: How do I eliminate my guilt, stress & fear?
ANSWER: Give yourself permission. Remember, the person that can make you feel most guilty is YOU!
Letting go is tough, but not if you permit yourself to do so. Think of it as getting back to square one by letting go of clients that you have held onto for dear life out of duty or guilt for so long. Your reward is a healthier, happier, and less stressful life. Sound like good enough incentive? Once you reach square one, then from that point forward, you must be discriminating about who you take on as clients.
QUESTION: How do you give yourself permission to go against what you have been taught your whole life?
ANSWER: Learn how you think differently.
As mentioned above, when you make a decision, you base it on one of two things: emotion or logic. Naturally, if you are an emotional or sentimental person, you probably tend to hold onto clients for reasons that seem logical to you. But if you deeply examine those reasons, you can break them down to see that your heart plays a bigger part than your head. Looking at your client base, it’s easier to feel what it means to you than it is to think about what it is doing to you.
The key words here are feel and think. Understand that you don’t have to remove all feeling from your life. You just need to examine where your thoughts stem from so that you can arm yourself with a more practical point of view. Especially if you really desire to change your situation.
Changing the soundtracks in your head is not an overnight process. You must first make mental notes of how you currently think and then give yourself the opportunity to develop alternative ways of framing the situation. Doing this will help you clear the emotional and mental clutter associated with letting go of clients that may be holding you back or blocking your window from the glorious view of your future!
If you need help clearing your mental and emotional clutter, reach out to us here for a free 30 min phone call with Patty Kreamer.