Your fantasy self is someone you think you would like to be- someone who is often far from who you are now. If you were to be honest with yourself- you know deep down that you are not this person and probably never will be- but you like to imagine what life would be like as them all the same. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The trouble with fantasy selves is that it makes us hold onto the things that go along with that persona. 

For example, your fantasy self may be a good cook and you have all the equipment and the books but never or rarely use them because your actual self doesn’t like cooking. 

There lies the clutter that you are holding onto for no reason other than to fool yourself into believing you will someday use it.

The fact is you might hate cooking but feel you should like it because your fantasy self does. 

So, if you are stuck in your decluttering or minimalism journey because you have a fantasy self- here are my top tips for escaping its clutches. 

Write down what your fantasy self likes to do: Do they get up every morning to do yoga or go for a run? Are they into fashion? Are they sociable and go out all the time? The more detailed the better with this list as you will have more points for comparison when you make your next one... 

Write down who you are NOW- your likes and your dislikes: What do you like to do and what do you loathe? 

If reading is your thing but the thought of playing the instrument that is in the loft gathering dust, fills you with dread- it may be time to declutter it and spend the money you make on books. 

Chances are you are filling your time with the things you want to do now as we tend to prioritize and make time for those things we yearn for the most. Similarly, we find excuses and reasons for those we would rather not do. 

Compare the lists: Is there a discrepancy? Probably, because while you thought you were a gym bunny, you actually prefer walking in nature. Perhaps you fancied yourself as an upcycler but the piece of furniture you bought a year ago is still sitting in the garage. Highlight all the things that don’t match or that don’t fill you with joy even at the sheer thought of doing them.

Identify the physical items associated with your fantasy self: Then consider what items go along with that lifestyle, hobby or activity. This will highlight to you what is in your home that is no longer needed. For instance, if your fantasy self is a camper, you may have a stock of camping gear. Looking at the previous list you might have written that you don’t like camping and recall that you didn’t enjoy your last holiday and have no intention of going again. In which case, the camping stuff needs to leave your space. 

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Dig a little deeper: Take a moment to think of why you have gravitated towards this particular version of your fantasy self. Chances are it stems back to when you were little or another impressionable time in your life. It could be due to the friendship circles you frequent, family expectations or even social media. 

Think about the influences around you that have helped to shape this person you aspire to be. Once you can pinpoint the reasons why your fantasy self looks, acts and has the things they do- you will be better prepared to stop yourself from buying things associated with this ‘creation’ in the future. 

Take it one step further: Now write down the feelings associated with these things. It’s possible every time you look at your swimsuit, goggles and hat that you feel disappointed in yourself for not going to the pool. Or maybe when you walk past that half filled notebook that contains some of your unfinished novel, you feel guilty for not completing it. 

The truth is your gut reaction should be enough to tell you whether or not these items will find a place in your future. If all you feel is negativity when you look at them they need to go. Your space doesn’t have to be a reminder to you of the things you grew out of or abandoned. It needs to be inspiring and encourage happiness. 

Declutter the things you’ve identified: Now you have discovered what no longer makes you feel good, it’s time to sell, donate or trash these items. You have taken a huge step in realising something about yourself and it’s important not to regress back to that fantasy self again. The easiest way to do this is to get rid of the triggers- or the stuff. 

There is nothing wrong with being the best version of yourself now rather than being a mediocre version of you while striving for the fantasy. 

Live for and embrace the person you are today. The very definition of fantasy is ‘imagining impossible or improbable things’ so focus on the possible and the probable instead. 

YouTuber Allison Anderson says it brilliantly in this video...

RELATED: Seven ways minimalism can benefit your health

We’ve already explored the ways in which minimalism can help you to lose weight, however it can have wider benefits for your health- here are just a few reasons why it can give your body and mind a well needed boost... to read more click HERE 

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