Why Mental Clutter Holds You Back: How to Break Free from It

Published on 8 May 2024 at 12:00


Photo by SHVETS production

“The human mind is very powerful. It can create and inspire, or it can discourage and destroy. It’s up to you.” 

-Brad Turnbull


The accumulation of thoughts, worries, and distractions hinders mental clarity. Moreover, your focus will be in disarray, holding you back from reaching your full potential and living a fulfilling life. Mental clutter affects our personal and professional growth. When our minds are a mess, it obviously reflects on our behavior until it spirals. The mental clutter that holds you back will ultimately affect others around you.

While not all of us have the same level of mental clutter, we can cope with it in many ways. Hopefully, these practical steps to declutter your mind daily can be a big step in elevating your mind to success. 


Mental clutter is mostly contributed by the following:

  • Anxiety about the future
  • Excessive dwelling on the past
  • Regret, guilt, shame, and fear
  • Self-doubt and negative thinking
  • Constant mental panic


Decluttering The Physical Environment

Most of the time, physical clutter reflects one’s mental health. You might know someone who is not mentally in a good place and has their entire home cluttered. As they’re connected, the body becomes stressed and overwhelmed with its surroundings, refusing to function. Sometimes, we don’t feel like folding our laundry or leaving our dishes in stockpiles because we want to drown in all that sadness.

On the other hand, gathering the strength and willingness to tidy up our space is enough to leave that dark place. Little by little, our inner selves feel lighter and refreshed once we see the clean surfaces and organized things in our room. That’s because we discover that our minds are also decluttered while cleaning up our space.


Setting Priorities Based On Personal Values

The mental clutter that holds you back is often due to the lack of direction that you might feel in life. With the feeling of going nowhere, you are stuck at a crossroads with so much mental clutter. Moreover, it’s not easy to be clear about what you want to do, whether you’re presented with so many options.

Start with one goal at a time. All it takes to overcome that is listing concrete action plans aligning with your values. Additionally, make sure that those decisions are aligned with those same values. Our choices can either go well or south depending on our mental clutter. That’s why we should know what important things to work on and not the things we thought were “urgent,” which were usually out of impulse. Taking it easy will also help lighten the load, so we won’t fall into that trap.

However, our values and priorities change over time; therefore, regular self-checks are necessary to ensure that our goals align with our values and priorities. 


Not Letting Ourselves Be Chained by Time

When mental clutter holds you back, you’ll feel chained to the burden and baggage that weigh on your soul. Letting go is always the hardest part, but it’s the best thing to do so you won’t have to be shackled any longer. Don’t allow your past to destroy your potential for a better future; live in the present a little more.

Your life experiences often contribute to the mental clutter that holds you back. Moreover, we are led to a false belief that the times we left behind were better than everything else. As a result, we neglect the present and prevent ourselves from appreciating life as it is.

Breaking free from the chains of time is a conscious choice that allows us to be more free. It also takes constant effort to get out of that time loop and live a little more. After all, regret won’t amount to anything without the lessons and changes it brings. While our choices may not change the past, they can greatly influence the future that we want to build. That is why elevating our minds to success involves letting go of the past that only holds us back. 


Spring Cleaning Away the Mental Clutter That Holds You Back

It’s hard to imagine that the piles of mail, accessories, and household items, including some unfamiliar trinkets, must go. We hold these things to a sentimental value at some point because of the memories that come along with them. However, decluttering our lives requires us to let go of them, for they are no longer part of our future.

Think of this process as cleaning your computer storage from all the junk you have hoarded for years. Deleting them may mean losing them for good, but doing it was for the best. It improves your computer’s operation and won’t suffer from any malfunctions in the future. After all, in any situation, nothing beats the magic of spring cleaning to make your space better. 

The mental clutter that holds you back needs to be cleared away so you can enjoy each day. Furthermore, spring cleaning your mind is a great start to feeling the blooming of life springing your way. 

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

Collaboration with your leader is not just a choice but a necessity for success. Like two oars working in tandem to steer a boat through turbulent waters, aligning with your leader allows you to navigate challenges and reach new horizons together. Embrace this partnership, for in unity lies strength, in understanding lies progress, and in harmony lies achievement. Let your actions reflect a shared vision, your words echo a common purpose, and your efforts resonate with a spirit of cooperation. Remember, the journey to greatness is not a solitary path but a collective endeavor, where the bonds between leader and employee are the threads that weave a tapestry of triumph.

—Dr. Jill

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