Declutter Your Toxic Relationship with Work

subconscious redesign Feb 21, 2022
Declutter Your Toxic Relationship With Work

Decluttering at its core is about so much more than letting go of your physical stuff; decluttering is actually about becoming intentional with how you are living your life and how you are spending your time. We want to get clear on what kind of life we want to be living and in turn declutter everything that does not fit into that life. At one point I might have been here talking about literally decluttering your closet, but today we are diving a lot deeper.


You have a connection and therefore a relationship with everything in your life. A large part of our existence is experienced within our connections; sometimes those connections are not always benefitting our greater purpose and may also need to be decluttered. I really want you to continue to consider your relationship with you, however, I am going to be touching on decluttering relationships in general as well because even with work, there are other people who tend to mix into that relationship (boss, co-workers, employee's, etc.).


The reason I am going to dive into decluttering relationships specifically, is because it is incredibly important to declutter all aspects of your life. After years of organizing and decluttering, I still felt like I was carrying around emotional weight. My space was organized and I truly was surrounded by only my favourite things. Having my space decluttered presented me with the opportunity to look externally at other areas of my life that could be causing the persisting stress and lack of fulfilment. Even today, whenever things feel off or uncomfortable, I can always use this knowledge to look to where I might need to release my relationship or attachment to something in order to re-align myself and my life.


The first area that came up: relationships.


Relationships as an area to declutter


Usually when we talk about decluttering, the first thing that comes to mind is an image of a neat and organized home. We don’t often consider the other areas in our life, such as your time, your emotions, your physical well-being, or your relationships, that are creating stress and overwhelm.


Relationships can also be decluttered, whether with friends, romantic partners, business partners, family members, or even your relationship to your job. Most often, you can be in a toxic, uneven energetic exchange with your work.


When it comes to friendships, we often “fall” into them. We need to become intentional about what kind of friendships we want to have and stay honest when one becomes unhealthy or out of alignment. Relationships are the same; we need to know what we want so that we can identify when it’s no longer something we want.


And yes, you guessed it, a lot of us do the same thing with our jobs. Have you ever taken the first job opportunity you got out of fear that there wouldn't be another better option? Have you ever stayed in a job that was exhausting, draining, and burning you out?


There are two overarching cases to declutter a relationship:

  • The first, is when it’s good but deep down you know you are settling. This can be a tough one, because everything may seem fine but you have a little niggling feeling that is telling you it’s not truly fulfilling. Settling in your job, in your romantic relationship, with your relationship to your schedule and time (you just want more and you have so much you want to do!).
  • The second, is when the relationships is toxic, abusive, aggressive, manipulative, and over-all harmful to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. This is a spectrum and a lot of levels of toxicity can fit into this category. Again, you you most definitely have a toxic relationship with work and with your time... and most people do.


Depending on where you are in your various relationships, there will be different approaches to take. Dealing with a romantic partner break up is far different from addressing friendship conflict or family drama, and is again different from dealing with a toxic work environment.


What do you do when you’re in a relationship (with work) that’s toxic?


Years ago when I was first getting into this work and I finished my material decluttering purge, I still had a heavy weight on my chest. It was more than simply “life-stress” and I started to identify that a friendship was causing a lot of toxicity in my life.


The first step to declutter your relationships: Recognise


Clearing the "clutter" in your space can help you start to pin point where there is still a lack of alignment. A great way to do this (outside of physically purging) is taking 5 minutes to get really quiet. Close down your eyes, and think about all the people and all the things you have relationships with in your life. Similar to a body scan, go over your people, your commitments, your schedule, your work... and just notice what thoughts, feelings or physical sensations come up in the body. 


Once you open your eyes, write down what relationships came up that gave you a "sticky" feeling or pulled you out f feeling peaceful and at ease. The first thing to do is be honest with yourself about how you feel in each and every single one of your relationships-


The second step to declutter your relationships: Rate


This step can be used to declutter any and all areas of life. In this short exercise, you write out all the categories of your life: relationship, friendships, jobs/career, health, time, etc. Here are some examples: your partner, your job, your boss, your schedule, your personal/free time, your immediate family/friends who are constants in your life.


THEN: rate each category or relationship on a scale from 1-10, 10 stating you are incredibly fulfilled in that relationships and it aligns with the life you desire. 1 would indicate that you often feel tense, stressed, or on high alert in relation to this relationship and totally taken advantage of. It doesn't feel like an even exchange and you don't feel seen, heard, or valued. 


The third step to declutter your relationships: Re-envision


In order to identify whether a relationships is not fitting into the life you want to be living, you need to determine what your desired life looks like.


If you are focusing on relationship with work, what does your dream work environment or job look and feel like? Don't worry about getting specific about identifying "what" you need to be doing; simply connect to HOW you want to feel. What would make you feel successful? How would it feel to be in control of your time? What activities do you love having time to do?


Start dreaming up and envisioning what you do want.


The fourth step to declutter your relationships: Remove 


If any relationship has a low rating and you realize it does not match your vision from step three, it may be time to declutter, or at the very least, consider the options. The act of decluttering the relationships with things or people in your life does not need to be and all or nothing approach. Perhaps all you need is a bit of distance or maybe you will slowly step back from the friendship. Alternatively, in toxic situations, the best choice may be to fully cut the person, job, commitment out of your life.


It is incredibly important to connect to yourself, your needs, and your feelings before making a decision. The most important thing is that you make the call that is most aligned for you and do so from a place of calmness, not fear.


Decluttering your relationships is a form of self-care.


Decluttering relationships is a form of self-care for the following reasons:

  1. You need to have clarity on what’s important to you & what you are looking for in work and with your people
  2. You stay honest with yourself when relationships no longer match what you are looking for. It's okay to leave a workplace or reclaim agency of your time if someone else is controlling it for you.
  3. You’ll be creating healthy boundaries in relationships to take care of your own mental and emotional well-being. You will know your enough is enough point and what your value is (and be able to recognise when it's not being acknowledged).
  4. Decluttering relationships that are not serving you in the life you want to be living enables you to stand in your power. Staying in something that doesn't feel good is a form of giving away your power, where we tend to then feel upset and then blame the circumstances around us instead of taking responsibility for making a change.


Decluttering is a form of detoxing & redesigning


Decluttering is a form of detoxing. Releasing everything from your life that is not serving you. Taking action and cutting off toxic relationships, habits, and commitments in your life. Detoxing your mind from limiting beliefs.


And then re-designing. Designing your life the way you actually want it to be. Choosing how you want to be spending your time. Implementing habits that support your goals. Attracting more of that which you desire because you are intentional in your design.


Declutter your Relationships to Attract Abundance


If you are currently in a relationship that is not fulfilling to you, feels negative, or is draining or toxic, you will probably have gotten a feeling deep within your stomach telling you to get out or distance yourself.


When you hold onto relationships that don’t represent the type of relationships you actually want to be having, you attract more of the non-fulfilling relationships and push away your dream relationships.


The law of abundance states “what you focus on you attract more of.”


Decluttering relationships that aren’t serving you, will allow you to put your energy towards the relationships that do light you up. In turn, you will attract more of those healthy, fun and fulfilling relationships, or finally find that dream job that has the perfect hours (or maybe even start your own business!).


This truly is the biggest reason to declutter and get clear on your intentions.


If you are currently unhappy with where you are, whether that be in life or specifically in relationships, you first need to decide what you do want. From there, you can identify what you are currently allowing into your life that does not support those desires.


Connection is an immensely vital part of our existence. We crave it. We need it to survive. But it can also be the cause of our hurt and the derailment from what we actually want.


You are in the creator of your life and you my dear get to decide what is allowed in.



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