The Six-Month Check-In

So, it’s been a little over six months since I’ve started this whole minimalism thing. I’ll admit it hasn’t been the easiest thing to transition to, but so far I will say that it’s been pretty dang beneficial.

I’ve always been a competitive person, whether my parents know it or not. It doesn’t show in all things that I do, but when it comes to success in life, it’s out and proud. All my life, I thought that to be successful meant that you had everything you could think of. And I mean everything. Big houses, fancy cars, furry coats and red-bottomed heels. Not to mention that ever-so-crucial little black card in your wallet.

With minimalism, it’s not just a material thing. It’s also a mental thing. Clearing out old ways of thinking and streamlining your thought process. Minimalism has made me think about why I want the things that I want (or thought I wanted). Why do I want that sprawling mansion? It’s just a ton more room I’d have to clean and keep up with. Why do I need fancy cars? That just means my insurance rates are going to skyrocket. Why do I need fur coats and diamond earrings or expensive watches or those Louboutins? Do I truly want them because I think they’re pretty? Or do I want them because society tells me I want them?

Why do I think I need a college degree? There have been studies showing that many of my generation have accumulated debt due to student loans and then ended up doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with their degrees! Did they really need to spend so much time and energy and money pursuing something that they didn’t end up using (or probably needing)? Don’t get me wrong, if college is your thing, more power to you. If you got a full-ride to a great school and you took advantage of it, more power to you. For most of us, myself included, we only went to school because it’s what we thought we had to do. What we needed to do.

I’ll be honest here. When I first started my journey into minimalism, I thought it was all about the stuff. That it was about decluttering your physical life to free up your mental space. Now, I’m realizing that my personal battle is not with the physical. It’s with the mental clutter that is mostly unrelated to the physical things in my life. Yes, there are many things are attached to the memorabilia of times’ past, but they are relatively easily removable especially since most of them are negative memories still. What I’m finding the hardest thing to change is my materialistic view of success.

I know that the pursuit of physical things has gotten me (partially) to where I am financially now, and I don’t want it to be my downfall. With the new job that I just got, I know that that mindset is going to be everywhere around me. It comes with the lifestyle. Sales is a success and numbers-based game that most people fail at. I’m hoping I’m not one of those people. Hopefully my drive, my motivation, and my why will bring me relative success in this industry.

Another thing I’m too focused on is numbers. How many likes I’ve gotten on an Instagram post, how many subscribers I have, and how many followers I’ve gained in a week. I become obsessed with it, like many girls my age are. I constantly check my social media worried that I might miss a chance for interaction or a chance to gain another follower. Instead of being in the moment, I’m choosing the virtual reality over the physical one. If I want my relationships to stay positive and as successful as they are, I need to start paying more attention to them in real life rather than waste that precious time obsessing over the virtual relationships.

To wrap up my somewhat disorganized check-in reflection, I need to focus on cleaning out my dusty ways of thinking. I need to focus more on growing my relationships with people I care about. I need to cleanse my view of success of its materialistic filter. I guess you could say that I have to begin switching my self-worth from externally based, to internal. I need to put myself before others and take care of myself better mentally if I am ever going to truly feel success.

Sending love always,
Shannon

 

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