I can feel an idea coming on…

If you are anything like me (and I suspect you might be) you probably go through phases of having many, many ideas for ‘things’ you would like to do. Now, I am not talking leisure pursuits here (although they are good things to do anyway) I am talking about career development or business ideas.

Having lots of ideas is great-it shows that you have energy, dynamism, imagination, creativity and a desire for change, all of which are excellent character traits that will serve you well on your personal development journey. But-what happens when you find yourself in overwhelm or overload mode?

Often, when life is not quite working out the way we would like it to, we become very good at distracting ourselves from whatever the difficulty is. We do this by basically ignoring it, hoping that it will go away, and while we are pushing that particular challenge away we start to focus on something else-something new and exciting that will effectively distract us from the challenge that needs to be dealt with.

This challenge quickly grows a trunk and large ears and becomes the elephant in the room of your progress. It will sit there patiently day in and day out-waiting for you to acknowledge it and deal with it.

Here’s the thing about elephants-they are pretty massive and they can’t be hidden for ever.

The way I work with clients who come to me for personal development coaching is to tackle the clutter first and to do that we have to talk about what that clutter looks like. The clutter is the elephant in the room-whether you label it as a challenge, an issue, a difficulty or a massive pile of steaming crap-it is my friends undeniably clutter that will do a great job of stopping you from moving forward.

Trying to plot a positive path through life, setting goals along the way that will help you to achieve amazing things will NOT work if you do not deal with the clutter first-and all those brilliant ideas and notions that you keep having are just doing their best to divert your attention from what REALLY needs to be dealt with.

So the message today is this-continue to have your amazing ideas and write them down in your journal-then park them. Park them for as long as it takes you to de clutter whatever areas of your life need the most attention.

Here are three areas of your life for you to look at a decide if they need decluttering:

Physical decluttering-your home/office/car/handbag/briefcase-if you are surrounded by stuff you don’t need but are just hanging on to then it will drag you down and black your progress. Take one area at a time and tackle it.

Emotional decluttering-how is your self-belief system? Do you have doubts about your ability to change your life? Write down how you feel about the changes you want to make and identify any negative thoughts-then de clutter those thoughts and move on.

Friendships/relationships/colleagues: Negative people will drag you down-I am not suggesting you actually get rid of people in your life (although some of my clients have decided to end relationships and friendships) that is up to you, but if the people around you are not supporting you then acknowledge that and find people who will.

Having ideas is great-I have lots all the time but I have learned that the only way for me to reach my goals is to always return to de clutter mode first. Once I have clarity and can see a clear pathway forward I can pursue my new idea with vigour-make a plan and reach my goal without having to deal with any elephants blocking my way.

The first step towards personal development work is to declutter-only then can you effectively define your goals and start manifesting positive changes.