You know what’s really tiring, what drains the life out of so many of us each day? The belief that we should be someone we’re not … a fantasy self, if you will.

Our fantasy self is the one who will read all of the books in our backlog and cook all of the fancy magazine-style meals.

For example, I used to persist in the belief that if I’d just print out enough recipes or receive enough cookbooks for Christmas, then surely I’d become the kind of person who cooks for fun.

fantasy self cooking

(This picture totally represents my fantasy self.)

Finally I figured out that – at least for the foreseeable future – I’m just not that person. Though I like the idea of cooking, Real Caroline would rather be reading.

I prefer to prepare a quick, healthy salad or green smoothie and then get right back to my book or blog post.

For the longest time, I couldn’t accept that. So I gathered cookbooks and recipes and used them to shame myself: “Why can’t you get your act together and make something? Why don’t you want to cook, like you’re supposed to? What’s wrong with you?”

Shame is super-tiring. Every time I glanced at my recipe pile, I’d feel my energy ebb away. But when I finally recycled those papers and donated the cookbooks, I felt … free.

This is why I love decluttering: because it’s a practical, tangible way to release our Fantasy Selves and embrace our Real Selves instead.

fantasy self books

We let physical objects pile up because we’re scared of who we’d be without them.

Who are we without those piles? Read my new guest post at Miss Minimalist to find out.

Farewell, Fantasy Self!

Miss Minimalist readers, welcome! If you’ve struggled to let go of your fantasy self, then you’re in the right place.

A Wish Come Clear is about trading perfectionism for possibility. Instead of obsessing about who we think we’re supposed to be, we’re learning to embrace who we really are.

Current readers, check out the new guest post here: Real Life Minimalists Update: Caroline Garnet McGraw (2017)

Miss Minimalist – aka the lovely Francine Jay – writes about “eliminating the distractions that keep us from fully appreciating life” on her blog and in her bestselling book The Joy of Less.

Longtime readers may recall prior essays at Miss Minimalist:

Finally, I recorded a new Facebook Live video, How to Stop Hiding and Start Showing Up for Life. The video was inspired by the original post For the Ones Who Hide Away When They’re Struggling.

You can watch the video by pressing play below. Thank you to those who shared and commented!


Do you struggle to let go of Fantasy Self items? If so, which ones? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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