Is Your Fantasy Self Wearing You Down? (Guest Post at Miss Minimalist)

You know what’s really tiring, what drains the life out of so many of us each day? The belief that we should be someone we’re not … a fantasy self, if you will.

Our fantasy self is the one who will read all of the books in our backlog and cook all of the fancy magazine-style meals.

For example, I used to persist in the belief that if I’d just print out enough recipes or receive enough cookbooks for Christmas, then surely I’d become the kind of person who cooks for fun.

fantasy self cooking

(This picture totally represents my fantasy self.)

Finally I figured out that – at least for the foreseeable future – I’m just not that person. Though I like the idea of cooking, Real Caroline would rather be reading.

I prefer to prepare a quick, healthy salad or green smoothie and then get right back to my book or blog post.

For the longest time, I couldn’t accept that. So I gathered cookbooks and recipes and used them to shame myself: “Why can’t you get your act together and make something? Why don’t you want to cook, like you’re supposed to? What’s wrong with you?”

Shame is super-tiring. Every time I glanced at my recipe pile, I’d feel my energy ebb away. But when I finally recycled those papers and donated the cookbooks, I felt … free.

This is why I love decluttering: because it’s a practical, tangible way to release our Fantasy Selves and embrace our Real Selves instead.

fantasy self books

We let physical objects pile up because we’re scared of who we’d be without them.

Who are we without those piles? Read my new guest post at Miss Minimalist to find out.

Farewell, Fantasy Self!

Miss Minimalist readers, welcome! If you’ve struggled to let go of your fantasy self, then you’re in the right place.

A Wish Come Clear is about trading perfectionism for possibility. Instead of obsessing about who we think we’re supposed to be, we’re learning to embrace who we really are.

Get new posts via email and pick up your free perfectionist recovery toolkit today.

AWCC readers, check out the new guest post here: Real Life Minimalists Update: Caroline Garnet McGraw (2017)

Miss Minimalist – aka the lovely Francine Jay – writes about “eliminating the distractions that keep us from fully appreciating life” on her blog and in her bestselling book The Joy of Less.

Longtime AWCC readers may recall prior essays at Miss Minimalist:

Finally, I recorded a new Facebook Live video, How to Stop Hiding and Start Showing Up for Life. The video was inspired by the original post For the Ones Who Hide Away When They’re Struggling.

You can watch the video on Facebook or on Youtube, or by pressing play below. Thank you to those who shared and commented!

I’m planning to record a new Facebook Live every other Thursday at 4pm Central Time for the time being to experiment with the platform, so tune in over at A Wish Come Clear’s Facebook Page!


Do you struggle to let go of Fantasy Self items? If so, which ones? Join the conversation in the comments below!


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2 thoughts on “Is Your Fantasy Self Wearing You Down? (Guest Post at Miss Minimalist)

  1. Renee says:

    My goodness! The things I need to let go of! My “To Be Read” pile of books might have actually killed me if it toppled over, so now I have books spread out into smaller, less physically deadly piles. In thinking about what I have, book-wise, I can think of several books that intrigued me when I picked them up originally, but that no longer hold my interest. These would be great to donate to the library. We won’t discuss how many books I have on my Kindle.

    Clothes-wise, I have been able to purge several shirts that I no longer wear, and I’ve gotten rid of some of my old shoes. I still have several dresses that I do like, but in reality, apart from special occasions, I rarely wear them, so obviously some of them can go, too.

    Paper-wise, although I still have a little ways to go, I have made significant progress on getting rid of old bills and assorted other papers from years ago. Psychically, I do feel lighter not having as much paper around, so hopefully the positive trend to reduce will continue until I’ve gotten rid of everything that is not needed.

    Now to get rid of that ancient recliner…

    • Renee, thank you for sharing; I so enjoy reading people’s accounts of what needs to go! And yes, I can totally relate to the books piling up … luckily, our local library is just down the road and they have a used bookshop that welcomes donations and benefits the library. (Of course, I also buy a good many books there too!) 😉 It does help to think of decluttering as benefiting a good cause.

      Congratulations on all the progress you’ve made in purging old clothes and papers too … it is amazing how much lighter you feel after letting go! I tend to keep shoes long past their prime, but I’ve enlisted my mom to help with a shoe-replacement excursion over the holidays.

      Good luck with getting rid of the ancient recliner next! 🙂

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