Difficult Decluttering: When All Your Peers Are Raving About It

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Let me ask you a question: have you ever bought or subscribed to various resources because those books, podcasts, magazines, and more, became the it-guide in your industry or area of interest?

Now, a follow up question: have you ever done as all the other parents/ self-employed lady bosses/ corporate bosses/ etc. were doing by purchasing or subscribing to a guide, which you find you never actually get around to reading/listening to?

And one more: have you now, or in the past, felt compelled to keep that book or digital resource in your life, even though you were evidently making no moves to digest it?

If my client sample is representative of the larger population, which I have to believe it is, then I would wager a lot on the answers to those three questions being: Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Difficult Decluttering: When All Your Peers Are Raving About It

I commonly see clients struggle to release the books and subscriptions, that have been touted as Essential Materials by others, despite the fact that they, themselves are not drawn to said materials.

“All the other [fill in the blanks] I know are raving about this book, so it probably contains information I would really find useful, and I should read it. At some point. Just not now,” is their guiding mantra.

I get it. We live in a society where self-improvement is the uniting religion, self-help books instantly become bestsellers, social media accounts and digital content goes viral, and everyone shares everything they’re reading and listening to at every moment of the day.

It’s ridiculously easy to be swayed, to be convinced of the need for something, especially where it concerns an area of your life where you want to be the best you can be.

Few people are immune to trends of the physical and virtual market. When everyone in your bubble seems to be reading, listening to, subscribing to, downloading, and enrolling in the same entity, most people feel inclined to follow suit. After all, you don’t want to be the only person in your field who is without the knowledge and advise that the chosen book, podcast, tv show, social media account, and so on contains.

Not wanting to miss out, not wanting to be the dolt who isn’t up to snuff on the latest digital marketing tactics or parenting hacks, you obediently click buy, subscribe, and follow.

Difficult Decluttering: When All Your Peers Are Raving About It

Plenty of these kinds of resources pan out. (If the material covered is about a topic that’s relevant and interesting to you, the chances are high that the material will be…relevant and interesting to you.)

But occasionally, they don’t. For a myriad of reasons too inconsequential to describe, you might find that even though lots of other like-minded people have loved a given resource, you just can’t get yourself to care about it.

(Now comes the advise-segment of this post, and you might want to consider taking some notes, because it isn’t obvious at all.)

The best course of action, when discovering that you aren’t interested in, or in need of, a book, podcast, etc, is to let that thing go. Donate the book. Unsubscribe to the channel. Move on with your life.

Let yourself off the hook. The more you focus on improving yourself, the more pressure you put on yourself to stay informed, stay up to date, and stay in the know. Sometimes, though, the purpose of flying with your flock, of buying what they buy and listening to what they listen to, is to remind you that you are a wholly unique being. You are a singular combination of curiosities, wonderings, and preferences. What does it for them may not do it for you. Evidently, you’re really doing alright without the information, anyhow.

Besides, holding on to that information-source is really just your fear; fear that aren’t good enough, skilled enough, insightful enough, or informed enough without that thing. And “without this thing I am less” is always, most dependably, a positively bullshit mindset.

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