Smart cookie and creative entrepreneur Danielle LaPorte maintains that if we want to get serious about making our dreams a reality, what we stop doing is just as important as what we start / continue doing: “Stopping = the white space. Stopping = room to run free and create from the deepest place of being without restraint or compromise. Stopping = more time for what matters most.” Makes sense, right?
A “stop-doing list” aims to cancel out the clarity-blockers, the energy leeches, toxicity in all its shapes and sneaky forms. Spring all about renewal – now’s the time to declare what you want to renew in your life and what you want to toss. To give you some ideas, check out my stop-doing list.
1. Taking things personally. In any situation.
2. Talking to / thinking about people I’ve already expressely declared to have “put in the past.”
3. Delaying doing what I really want to do just because I don’t have the time / money. With a little resourcefulness, there’s a way to start now. There are free things, workshops, events, there are weekends, evenings – there are enough hours in a day and money in the bank, if I get resourceful enough.
4. Thinking there is anywhere more “worthwhile” I could be than right here. (Hint: there is no other place.)
5. Starting my day by opening my laptop. Replace with … oh, something crazy like sitting down at a table eating a reasonable breakfast, maybe reading something like a newspaper or magazine. Consistently, the days I take more time in the morning to just exist before responding to the world, those days are actually way more productive.
6. Putting myself in situations I want to run away from. (Lena Duham taught us this in her book.) It’s just a surefire way to avoid … spending more time in situations that make me want to run away.
7. Doing things without a desired end in mind. Without a clear goal, I’m drifting. I get distracted. With a solid end-goal to work toward, I’m motivated and focused.
8. Filling up my time worrying about the things I “should” do. If I haven’t done it by now, I must not really want to. Replace with focusing on what I like, what I’m good at, and then work on getting really, really good at that.
9. Avoiding criticism. Aristotle: There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Ain’t nobody got time for that.
10. Resisting being a dreamer. There is a strong and persistent part of me is a really gung-ho, starry-eyed idealist that tends to cook up crazy schemes and get super excited about them. Then all too often the adult in me shows up and slaps on the dunce cap and completely disregards them. So: rather than putting the kibosh on outrageous dreams, train these two to be able to work together to co-create.
11. … Drinking Red Bull :/
12. Stop buying clothes I imagine my future self would look so awesome in. Buy clothes I literally want to leave the store in. (I do this often – it’s my ultimate shopping text of truth and surefire way to avoid buyers remorse.)
14. Spending way too much time on Pinterest.
15. Thinking that if I don’t commit wholly to something that it will be easier, or easier to get out of. Replace with seeing things as they are and doing what’s required.
16. Believing I have the power to make or break someone’s happiness.
17. Comparing myself to other people. This can be sneaky, and a slippery slope.
18. Disregarding red flags. Be ruthless in my commitment to trust my gut.
19. Reinventing the wheel. I’m never starting from scratch. And I’m never “in it alone” if I don’t want to be.
20. Automatically assuming there’s someone who is “in charge of all this.” Even if there is, it’s an illusion. You’re always charge of this, ultimately.
21. Assuming everyone who is older than me is more adult-like and will always do the most adult-like thing in every situation.
22. Telling people what they want to hear. Tell the truth. At the end of the day, it’s just easier on everyone.
23. Worrying about the future. Worrying doesn’t make things easier. It doesn’t make you more prepared for the unexpected. It certainly doesn’t instill more confidence in your ability to perform. Stop with the worrying. Replace with trust.
24. Being afraid to ask stupid questions. Because it’s totally better to ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake.
25. Dulling down my enthusiasm and trying to “be cool.” Even in situations where it’s not matched externally. Eckhart Tolle said: “Wherever there is enthusiasm, there is a certain empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.” Boo Ya, Tolle!
26. Resisting what I want. Even if it doesn’t look like the thing I thought I’d have, thought I wanted, or imagined for myself. Trust the want. Where there’s want, there’s momentum. Where there’s momentum, there’s progress. Progress is always good.
27. Trying to streamline or “quick fix” a mad mood. There’s a reason it’s there and denying it or trying to gloss over won’t really do much for in the grander scheme of things except draw the suckiness out. Admit suckiness, look suckiness straight in the face, then make a plan to make a change.
29. Telling myself insane lies like I’m not doing enough, I’m not “ready,” or, my (least) personal favourite – everyone’s having fun without me. #FOMO.
Now, if you really want to hold yourself accountable, I recommend you take a page from my book and publish your stop-doing list on the internet. Or share it with a pal. But do consider adding a few of your own ideas in the comments below, or get in touch with us on Twitter. We want to hear about your spring stop-doings.