Break up with your fantasy self

My home is the perfect, minimal oasis! I’ve spent a lot of time decluttering and being intentional with my possessions and space and it’s finally paid off! I only eat natural foods which are mostly organic and locally grown and it’s rare that we have excessive packaging and plastic in our home due to the fact that I shop locally at markets, butchers and our local refill shop. My days are spent writing, reading, creating and looking after my family and my home and I wake up each morning with a smile on my face, looking forward to what the day will bring. I carve out time to meditate and exercise daily to ensure I’m looking after my mind and body and have spent a lot of time curating my perfect capsule wardrobe that superbly fits my lifestyle. I have amazing family and friends who I spend time and connect with and I rarely feel lonely, even though I spend intentional time by myself so I can stay in touch with who I am. My social media is carefully curated and is nothing but inspiration and encouragement post after post, I don’t get FOMO or see anything toxic or hurtful. After working on myself through self improvement and journaling, it’s rare that I have down days anymore and when I do I have the tools to bring myself out of my own mind and into the present moment. Basically, my life is everything I’ve ever wanted it to be!

I just want to clarify, that the above is a description of my fantasy self. The person that I would like to be but I’m not. The person that I think I should be in order to be happy and content in life. Some of the things I talked about, I do try to do but not to the level I think I should, and for a while I used to beat myself up about that. For a long time, I didn’t know what a fantasy self was until I saw a few videos on YouTube from creators Christina Mychas and Marissa Zen and they talked about decluttering items you bought for your fantasy self and I felt like it was a bit of a revelation! I suddenly realised what this feeling was when I didn’t feel good enough or when I came across an item that was for my fantasy self, it would make me feel bad about who I actually am. I think the biggest thing after reading back over the description of my fantasy self is how unrealistic it is for me. I would love to be able to shop locally and organically and spend my days writing and creating, but I have to work a full time job and look at the prices when I shop more than anything else. I do spend a lot of time on self improvement and trying to cultivate the tools to bring myself out of bad days but I don’t have them all yet, and if I did then I could probably cure a lot of people from the anxiety and depression that they might feel as well as me. Below, I’m going to talk about some ways that you can break up with your fantasy self and live your actual life.

Get to know yourself – The one person you spend every moment of your life with is yourself, so you really should spend some time getting to know you. Your likes, dislikes, passions, values – they all make you who you are. If you’re not sure where to start, trying getting an empty notebook or some paper and journal for a few weeks or have a look online for a values worksheet which will help you identify what’s important to you. By doing this, you’ll be able to realise what aspects of your fantasy self are just fantasy and what would actually add meaning and value to your life. For example, I’m really passionate about the environment and living sustainably so if my fantasy self was always dressed in the latest trends, then this wouldn’t fit my actual lifestyle and would probably end up making me more miserable than anything else.

Declutter your fantasy self items (and be honest) – Once you’ve gotten to know yourself and what makes you tick, it’s time to clear your life, home and space of items that you’ve bought in the past for your fantasy self. Those shoes that you love but you’ve never worn because wearing heels makes you want to cry. Get rid! The books about astronomy you bought because you quite like the look of stars and thought you should become and expert. Goodbye! The knitting kit you bought and that’s been sat in a drawer for a year because you wanted to make yourself something unique and special. Give it to someone who will make it! Be brutally honest with yourself when going through your items, you’ll likely know which items are for your fantasy self because they’ll be the least (or never) used items in your home. Once you’ve cleared these items away, you’ll be able to make room for what matters to you and brings you value and you’ll also get rid of a lot of feelings of guilt from the items that look judgingly at you because you don’t use them.

Accept that there is no such thing as perfect – The sooner you take this step, the better everything in life will feel. I am a self confessed perfectionist and have spent so much time in my life trying to do something or not even starting some things because of a fear of it not being completely perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist! Just get started and live your life, time will pass by either way.

If there are changes you want to make, make steps towards them – Our fantasy self ideals come from deep inside us and they are usually an image of who we think we need to be in order to live a happy and fulfilled life, so there are going to be elements to them that we aspire to. However, it’s important to bear in mind that its called a ‘fantasy’ self for a reason. Looking through the description of my fantasy self, there are some things in there that I would like to do and that would probably add some value to my life. For example, shopping at my local refill shop, exercising daily and eating more healthy foods. However, realistically I couldn’t do these things to the level I think I ‘should’ because I am only human and I have my actual life to live. So what I do is remember ‘everything in moderation’. I do shop at my local refill shop, but not all the time. I’d love to exercise daily, however I hate getting hot and sweaty so I’m looking at finding something that works best for me, such as a walk during my lunch break or a gentle yoga session a couple of times a week. And for healthy foods, I’ve started to make a conscious effort to swap one or two unhealthy snacks I would normally buy in my weekly shop for fruit. I’m never going to be that person that can give up chocolate and run five miles a day, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your actual life.

Enjoy your life (it’s not another job) – I don’t mind setting goals for myself but you need to be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself to achieve things. Your life isn’t a job, you should be enjoying it and not worrying that you haven’t met some made up deadline you’ve set for yourself. If you work, it’s likely that you already have plenty of goals and deadlines to meet, don’t add to the pile and just enjoy yourself every day.

Hopefully these tips will help you to identify your fantasy self from your real self and break up with them! Learn about yourself, love who you actually are and get rid of the rest because it will only make you stressed and miserable. Embrace the real you!

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