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You'll Flourish Without the Rubbish

You’ll Flourish Without the Rubbish

by | Personal Development

The other day a friend of my mum’s grabbed my hand and put it on the back of her jeans and asked me to feel a bulge.

“What’s that?” I asked feeling something lumpy beneath the denim.

“It’s my pants, they keep falling down.”

“How irritating” I sympathised. “I bet you can’t wait to throw them away.”

“I couldn’t possibly throw them away,” she said aghast. “They cost me a lot of money.”

On the one hand I wanted to laugh – how ludicrous to hang on to something that was rubbish and yet on the other hand I realised that I too could be equally ridiculous.


For example I have dozens of pairs of shoes that I haven’t worn for years and yet I hold on to them ‘just in case’. When it comes to gardening I find it nearly impossible to ‘thin’ out seedlings – I hate the idea of throwing out something that is a potential plant. If you don’t thin out the seedlings then your plants will grow stunted or will die.

Isn’t it true that we often hold on to things that we’ve invested time, energy and/or money into – regardless of whether they’re useful to us any more? Sometimes the best thing to do is to get rid of the rubbish and clear a space.

Stock-Take Your Life

So why not have a stock-take on your life. For example, maybe you hang out with negative people and convince ourselves you like them – when actually all they do is drag you down. If you find yourself with people like that then maybe it’s time to choose some new friends. Or it could be that you respond and behave in an habitual way that doesn’t support you any more.

I was recently coaching a very successful Head Teacher who had the habit of continually putting himself down. If people praised his success he’d dismiss it by saying, “Oh, they didn’t mean it.” Or if he did something that worked well he’d say, “It was just a fluke.” His negative language was undermining himself and it effected how other people saw him. When he binned this negative language life began to open up in ways he’d never imagined.

Don’t be Discouraged

Don’t be put off by the amount of rubbish that you might need to discard in your life. It took Thomas Edison thousands of attempts to perfect the light bulb and he allegedly dismissed his continued lack of success by saying “I haven’t failed I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work”. It took him time to sift through the rubbish until he eventually found the way that worked.

In order to find a jewel you often have to discard a lot of rubbish. Imagine gold-panning. This skilled practise involves spending hours sifting through the grit of a river to find a few flecks of gold. The gold is there but you need patience and determination to find it. Most people spend so much time focussing on the dirt that they never see the gold.

So why not have a spring clean in your life? The bottom line is if you throw out the rubbish, then you flourish.

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