Beware - Tosser’s Remorse

Hi Friend,

I’ve been working with someone who has responded dramatically to my mentoring. Feeling ready to let it all go. I mean I’m not narcissistic enough to think it’s my doing, despite their willingness to give me all the credit. But, what I did want to talk about is the equally maladaptive behaviour of compulsive tossing. Some of you may have a wry smile at my use of the words “toss” “tossing” and “tosser” but rest assured I’m talking about throwing out stuff not that other behaviour.

My mentee was so motivated by their progress that just chucking it all out seemed extremely appealing. I’ve heard many dream of it all burning down so the decisions were taken out of their hands completely. Sound familiar?

However, having seen this before I was worried that the person was approaching discarding in an almost compulsive way and was at risk of “tosser’s remorse”.

This is when you fall back into compulsive all or nothing thinking:

and instead of getting all the things you start getting rid of all the things.

It’s merely the other side of the same coin.

Frenzied discarding can cause a great deal of anxious regret particularly without some kind of psychological support. Waking up from dissociated discarding can thrust the person who hoards into despair followed by relapse.

The process, for those of us with the luxury of having space and time, starts with selecting what we’d like to keep, and doing this over and over again. This is the most effective way to bring about behaviour change. Going through the steps to make conscious decisions about creating the living environment that suits you is the reason I recommend slow consistent discarding IF it’s possible.*

Remember, this is YOUR journey. It’s not your partner’s, children’s, sibling’s, parent’s journey. They can support you and be there for you but ultimately they can’t make your decisions for you or bring about your change…

Only you have that power and control.

Start building discarding habits.

These habits need to be micro so that if anything get’s in your way you can still complete the tiny action consistently and feel successful. Slowing down to learn the steps so that you can eventually speed up is more sustainable.

This mentee started each and every day by selecting 3 items they’d like to surround themselves with moving forward and did this consistently.

In time they’d build up their decision-making muscles and wanted to speed up the process. The temptation was there to be a whirling dervish of discarding but they heeded my caution.

It is now their hope that with practice they will eventually begin making good choices intuitively without deliberating excessively.

It’s a work in progress. We’re all works in progress.

Until next week :)

Jan <3

*(Of course, I acknowledge that in emergency situations where safety is the immediate concern this slow and steady technique isn’t possible.)

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