There is a lot of misunderstanding about what minimalism is. It seems a lot of people think it means a person throws away all their extra possessions, then never spends much money ever again. I will admit that it is a small part of minimalism. But overall minimalism is about removing clutter from a person’s life so a person can focus on what is really important.
Clutter can be toxic relationships, bad habits, being trapped in the past, time-wasters such as social media, anything of the sort. The clutter is what prevents a person from focusing on what matters and being the best person she can be. Minimalism is about redefining what is important, then removing the clutter so there can be more focus on the values.
My values are being productive, having meaningful relationships, and following the path to becoming my ideal self. What held me back was my reliance on social media and shopping to entertain me. I noticed this was a problem, as I would spend way too much time online or buy a bunch of junk I didn’t need because it was on sale, and I wouldn’t feel fulfilled. What would make me feel fulfilled is working in my journal, doing art, playing my favorite video game, exercising, stuff like that. So back in March I came up with a plan.
To curb attachment to shopping and consumerism I did get rid of a lot of my belongings. Is there any need for me to own so many clothes that all look the same? Why do I own this book collection if I have no interest in it anymore? Why do I have emotional attachment to dozens upon dozens of journals that innards contain burdens? My attachment to possessions weighed me down. Once I sorted through my belongings, and kept what I needed, I felt free. There was less things for me to keep track of, and I felt I could do a lot more with less. Nowadays I set a strict budget for myself so I don’t go back to buying junk I don’t really need.
My second major change was limiting social media. The internet can be used to inspire me or to drag me down. Following drama and people who are not ideal role models wore me out. Social media is also notorious for making people insecure about themselves. Instagram is kind of known for that. Facebook can be like that. A lot of social media can be toxic over time. On Instagram I unfollowed people who did not motivate me, and instead followed people who posted about hobbies that I also had. A couple weeks ago I deleted my entire account because Instagram just made me waste time. On Facebook I sorted through my friends and the pages that I liked. Now I have less than sixty friends on Facebook, but at least I know my feed will only be filled with substantial content. Changing my social media also improved my self-esteem, as I chose to follow people who can inspire me instead of following people who were problematic.
These are only two of the steps I have done to lead a minimalistic life. Now I am proud to say that a lot of my time is dedicated to things I truly care about. My mind is more clear and I am happier. I noticed that my self-esteem improved because I used the world to inspire me instead of making me feel inadequate.
Social media and personal belongings are not meant to be a person’s main pursuit. A human is meant to have an enriching, fulfilling life. Minimalism is removing the clutter so a person can dedicate more time to that.