When you’re cooking dinner, working at your desk or even sitting down to relax – what’s getting in your way? Where’s your home not working for you?
I actually gave a new client this as her first assignment: make a list of the things that bother you while using this space. I even suggested posting the list on the wall so she can write things down in the moment she notices them.
I know it can seem whiny and petty to focus on the things that aren’t the way you want them to be. And it can be discouraging if there are a lot of them.
But there’s no point in pretending these things aren’t bothering you.
The only way to fix something is to notice it’s broken
Everyone has things that frustrate them at home. Yes, even me.
You’re not alone.
But you also don’t need to be resigned to them. You can shift them.
In fact, it’s imperative to handle the things that set your teeth on edge and start you ranting. Because who has energy to waste on that?
I know they might seem like small things and you shouldn’t be worried or bothered by them. But I say, to hell with that attitude.
It is a big deal.
This stuff keeps you from enjoying your home. It keeps you from relaxing and feeling comfortable at home. Who wants that?
So right here, right now, I’m giving you permission to admit that those things are annoying you – and decide it’s worth doing something about them.
Before you can decide what to change, you need to know what isn’t working
I know this might seem like a departure from talking about what you want to feel at home and looking at the warm, fuzzy side of things.
But this isn’t about complaining – or feeling sorry for yourself. (And yes, I do that all too often when things aren’t the way I want.)
It’s about acknowledging what isn’t working so you can start creating what you want in a practical, concrete way. After all, I want you to actually change your physical space, not just imagine changing it.
Once you start looking at what isn’t working, you get clearer about what you want. And vice versa.
So don’t shy away from being honest about what is driving you mad. Remember, you’re not pre-settling here.
If it’s bugging you, it’s bugging you
You don’t need to downplay it or pretend – just be honest with yourself. Admit how it makes you feel.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you haven’t got it sorted out already. And you aren’t being silly because it bothers you. Trust me.
Everyone has things that aren’t working the way they would like.
Here, I’ll go first
Right now, my desk is driving me crazy. It’s resisting every attempt I make at cleaning it up – and frankly I’m annoyed. It makes it harder for me to get things done, and I worry that I’m forgetting something important.
When my desk is disorganized, I feel anxious and out of control. I’m edgy. And I avoid working there … so I work somewhere else which generally leads to dumping stuff on my desk at the end of the day.
And that makes it worse.
See what I did there? I told the truth. The truth about how I feel and what I’m doing because of it.
When you go beyond just what is frustrating and get into how it makes you feel and how it affects your life, then you can begin to see a way forward.
Or … at least why you want to do something about it.
The more specific you are the easier it is to fix it
I don’t ask about what isn’t working to make you feel bad. I ask so we can find a solution.
And this is where it helps to be specific.
Take a moment right now and try this out – visualize an area in your home that frustrates you and then write down whatever comes to mind about what isn’t working.
See how specific you can be. “When I do ______, ______ happens.” “When that happens, I feel ______.”
Now you’re getting somewhere.
Ask how it would work in an ideal world
Now I don’t want to leave you hanging here – so switch over to wondering how this space would work in your ideal world.
I’m a big fan of the ideal world. It’s a wonderful place to visit for inspiration … and to see things in a new way.
Right now you’re not looking for a solution – no jumping ahead. Just let yourself consider what you want instead.
Play in the area of possibility.
When you do that you open yourself up to all kinds of new ideas. Some will be good, some not so good. Some will work, somewon’t. But it doesn’t matter.
In my ideal world, my desk is clear. There’s always a clean sheet of paper and a pen at the ready. But I also have a way of dealing with those notes because I write when I work … even when using the computer.
I don’t want to let the notes pile up because that makes me want to avoid my desk.
Now that is something I can find a solution for. Probably by playing some more in my ideal world.
There’s always a solution – but first you need clarity on what you’re solving.
So get comfortable and just let ‘er rip. Tell the truth about what – specifically – isn’t working, how it makes you feel and what you want instead. Let go of the need to find an answer right away.
Who knows, you might just realize what your own office needs.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is not working at your house – and how do you feel about it? How would it work in your ideal world?
Tell me the truth in the comments below – I’d love to hear about your own ah-ha moments.
Ready to do something about your own frustrating space?
I’m getting ready to unveil the results of my interview project so far. But before I do, if you would like some free advice about where to start with creating a home you love click here to book your own interview – in exchange I’ll answer your questions in a complimentary Design Vision Consultation.