I’m a strong believer in the idea that your environment has a huge impact on your life (which is, after all, why I’m a feng shui consultant). It follows, then, that if you transform your space, you transform your life. But I also recognize that transforming your space is not the easiest thing in the world. Many constraints—lack of time, money, energy, design know-how—keep us from creating and enjoying our dream home. But perhaps more than anything, it’s your mindset that’s keeping you from making those changes that you’ve been meaning to make forever.
Whenever we face something as daunting as home renovation, our subconscious goes into overdrive trying to convince us to stay safe and not make any sudden movements. We are likely not even fully aware of all our internal chatter: “Don’t go off the trodden path—a tiger might attack and eat you! Don’t start a new project that might help you realize your dream—you might look foolish and embarrass yourself!” If we don’t shift these limiting beliefs, we stay safe and stuck. Why not defy your subconscious, change your outlook, and conquer your space to start?
There are three big mindset shifts, in particular, that has to take place for you to be ready for your space (and life) transformation.
1. You are afraid of change. Yup, your home could be featured on a National Geographic documentary about hoarders, but the mess is familiar, and what if someone mistakenly throws out your favorite college sweatshirt? Which is buried in the pile somewhere. Marie Kondo, in her popular book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, made a strong case that we hold onto our junk and purchase more junk because we are unable to let go of the past and are fearful of our future. A big part of space transformation involves a transformation of ourselves. Don’t let reminders of our past failures or regret linger in our space. Of the mementos of people or experiences that we loved, keep only a few to cherish. Rather than continue to be weighed down by our past, invest in a future that supports your deepest dreams. Design into your space an area for your creativity to flourish, to turn your business idea into reality, to schedule in meditation into your hectic life. Let go of the past, embrace your present, and design for the future.
2. You prioritize everyone else first and yourself last. You can’t spend money on your selfish desires, like home improvement, because you have to pay for your kids’ piano lessons or your mom’s vacation or… there’s always something ahead of you in line. I applaud your generosity to others, but remember that if you are running yourself ragged, everyone around you suffers too. If you search for “self affirmation” on Amazon, you’ll see that there are literally hundreds of books written out there, many with five stars, that can help you value yourself more. If reading is not your thing, there are also countless videos on YouTube that offer useful tips on how to make you a priority. If these resources don’t work for you, transform your home for your family and friends. They will all enjoy your space (as well as a happier you).
3. You don’t think you’re capable of accomplishing such an ambitious project as transforming your space. It’s true that home renovation requires a leap of faith, persistence, and flexibility, as well as material resources. Things will go wrong (that’s a guarantee!). You will get frustrated. Your patience will be tested. Keep a clear picture in your mind of how you want your space to look and feel and replay that picture in your head several times a day, like a rerun of your favorite TV show. As Maxwell Maltz in Psycho-Cybernetics noted, our minds cannot tell the difference between actual and imagined reality. Your mind will set in motion all the complicated moving parts of home renovation to get you closer to what you see in your mind’s eye, even through all the obstacles and setbacks, until you’re actually living that vision in real life.
Make these mindset shifts, transform your space into a restorative and nurturing nest, and watch as your life also transforms. These mindset shifts are effective, not only for getting you ready to tackle home improvement projects, but for pretty much everything else in your life.