What stops you from becoming a minimalist?

Learn why you might not be willing to become a minimalist yet and how to overcome those negative ideas.



Becoming minimalist can be quite challenging for some people because, to change your current lifestyle for a minimalist one, you must let go of many fears.


What are precisely those fears? Simple is the fear of losing things and lose our identity with them; the big issue with modern society is that somehow it indoctrinates us this odd concept that to belong or be someone, we must have items attached to us.


Materialism is the way to define who you are, they say. So in a way, letting go of your belongings is letting go of yourself.



The fear of the unknown is what makes people hold on to all their stuff, even if it's items they no use or have fulfilled their purpose a long time ago; humans are conditioned to believe they must keep everything in case something terrible happens.


Sadly, fear is the opposite of freedom and true happiness. Fear will freeze you and stop you from growing and reaching your real-life goals.



Now ask yourself, how much would your life change if you were to let go of all those novel books you read a couple of years ago? The knick-knacks gathering dust in the living room, or the extra furniture that clutter your bedroom? or all the items in your closet, bathroom vanity, or pantry?


One of the most important questions you should ask yourself when this sense of fear appears is: Why am I so scared to let this go?


Don't think the answer, write it down on a paper, be honest, then read it out loud; most likely, you will realize the reason behind such fear is often silly.


The first step to spook away those little fears in your mind is to confront them; here are some common fears and misconceptions that stop you from becoming a minimalist.



Fear of judgment


People love to judge what seems different to them, and what goes against that is a universally accepted lifestyle by society.


Depending on your friends and family circle, a minimalist change can be more or less criticized, but I guarantee you, there will always be some comments about it.


Why? Because people love to criticize either what they don't understand and want to bring you down to their level, some people dislike when others thrive, and trust me; minimalists thrive the most when they find true freedom from materialism and debt.


Here are some examples of things you could do that might end up in judgment.


  • Decluttering your whole house.

  • Getting rid of your car to take the bus or walk.

  • Cut your cable and other subscriptions.

  • Stop going out to eat as frequently.

  • Avoid any activity that involves wasting a lot of money or going to a mall.

  • Deleting most of your social media or unfollow a bunch of people.

  • You want to stop working and invest your money.

  • You want to travel more.


Can you relate to any of these situations? If you fear the possible judgment because of change, is that a valid reason to stop yourself from searching what makes you happy?


Humans are social beings, we like feeling part of something, but within this group, we always have to remember that we are unique, which makes us special.


If your inner circle doesn't respect your lifestyle choice, then it's time to reduce communications with them, and if it's family, you have to explain to them why this is an important change for you; if they love you, they will have to understand.



Fear of loneliness


In a way, this fear is related to the first one. As much as we fear judgment, we also fear pushing people too far because they can't relate to our lifestyle and end up in solitude.


If you mix this with owning less stuff, the sense of emptiness is scary. I have to say this is a normal feeling initially; the sudden change of having a lot to more essentials is difficult.


But eventually, you will feel at ease with the things you like, and you will start to befriend people who share a similar mindset.


Fear of the "what if?"


I wanted to leave the most common fear for last because it's the most frequent.


Even though most people are aware of minimalism's benefits to their lives, they start double questioning their choices when it comes down to decluttering.


But this might come in handy eventually, or I know I haven't used this in years, but who knows?, maybe I'll keep this just in case.


All those phrases are common excuses to stop you from decluttering.



Please don't beat yourself down for doubting; it is normal, and I was in the same place. A good trick to avoid guilt is placing all those what if's items on a box out of sight, and if you happen to need something from it within six months, use it and then find a place for it.


Everything that remains in the box you don't need at all, and it's time to accept cluttering your life, so say goodbye without guilt.


You don't even have to trash it; if it's in good shape, you can donate it, someone else will probably give it a better use.



If you want more guidance to declutter, I recommend reading Marie Kondo's The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, or you can check out this list with 25 items to declutter now.


So, tell me, do you fit in any of these fears? It's OK, to be honest and acknowledge a worry because now you can take steps to fix it.


What can you do to remove these fears that stop you from becoming a minimalist?


Recognize what are your fears


What stops you from reaching the minimalist lifestyle are objects, people, relationships, debt, write it down, and move to the next point.


Remove what stops you


If it's material items, it will be much easier; for harmful or toxic relationships, it might be more challenging to cut it down completely (which I don't recommend) is better to let the relationship cool down slowly.


What if it's work-related? If you are unhappy, try to find a job that makes you happy or create new income sources. Only quit a job when you have financial stability.



Reflect a lot


Minimalism is not just about declutter; approaching it from such a superficial way is a recipe for disaster.


A minimalist meditates a lot, so before decluttering, think of your behavior and how much damage it caused; this way, you prevent repeating the same mistakes in the future.


Adapt your new lifestyle


Often, we are used to having certain things that we don't even need. A lot of people have cable tv when it's such an unnecessary subscription.


You are paying to watch many ads and content that you might not even find interesting; a better solution is to have internet. It can help you work, educate, and entertain. The best part is you limit your exposure to advertisements.


Becoming a true minimalist is not the easiest thing to do, but with the right mindset and let go of your fears, the path will be pleasant.


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