Embracing Your Inner Guidance: Insights from Tanya Cole-Lesnick on Navigating Energetic Clutter & Limiting beliefs

Tanya Cole-Lesnick, a psychotherapist turned personal development coach, talks about navigating through energetic clutter, confronting limiting beliefs, and the impact of social media trends and cultural and childhood conditioning on our self-image and personal growth.


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Energetic Clutter: A Definition

Energetic clutter is when we don't question [our limiting beliefs], we don't even know they're there, and it's the behaviour as well. It's not just the belief but also how it drives the behaviour. And so it's that pairing that takes up so much space... to really notice, 'Okay, is this something that helps me connect to myself? Or is it something that leads to me abandoning myself?' That's sort of the scary stuff.

Tanya introduced the term ‘Energetic Clutter’ as a metaphorical representation of the mental and emotional baggage that clogs our minds and spirits. Drawing from over three decades of experience in guiding individuals through the process of self-discovery and decluttering, Tanya pointed out how our limiting beliefs, paired with counterproductive behaviors, can monopolize our energy. This form of clutter, she explained, not only depletes our vitality but also hampers our focus on truly meaningful endeavors, allowing trivial pursuits and negative self-perceptions to dictate our lives.

The Perils of Hustling for Self-Worth

The conversation around hustling for worth deeply resonated with me, highlighting the dangerous allure of ‘hustling for worth’—a pervasive mindset conflating self-worth with ceaseless labor. This distinction between hustling for one’s goals and hustling for one’s worth is crucial, as Tanya elaborated. When your sense of value is tied to perpetual motion, the fear of stillness ensues, leading to an endless cycle of overexertion and burnout, devoid of genuine satisfaction or meaningful progress.

My candid recount of my journey through the hustle culture, characterised by long hours with little to no strategic direction, underscored the detrimental effects of such a lifestyle. Despite the initial gratification derived from the sheer volume of work, the lack of tangible results spoke volumes about the inefficacy of equating hard work with inherent value. It was a friend’s intervention that catalyzed a shift towards a more thoughtful, results-oriented approach, proving that effectiveness often trumps effort.

Tanya shared her personal transition from the frenzy of entrepreneurship to a more balanced, introspective mode of operation. She spoke of the necessity to periodically reassess one’s efforts and intentions, ensuring they align with one’s physical and emotional capacities. This introspection fosters a more sustainable approach to work and life, prioritizing rest and mindful engagement over the compulsive need to be perpetually active.

The Significance of Addressing Energetic Clutter

Energetic clutter has a  pervasive impact on our ability to pursue and achieve our goals. It is important to distinguish between goal-oriented struggles and the self-imposed resistance stemming from outdated beliefs and narratives. By confronting and clearing this clutter, we pave the way for a more fulfilled and balanced existence, where our efforts are meaningful, directed, and reflective of our true selves.

This dialogue not only sheds light on the often overlooked aspects of personal growth and well-being but also serves as a call to action for individuals caught in the relentless pursuit of worth through work. It underscores the need for introspection, strategic action, and the courage to let go of the narratives that no longer serve us, guiding us towards a path of genuine self-actualization and peace.

Identifying Limiting Beliefs

Tanya brings to light seven common limiting beliefs through an engaging animation on her site, designed to make the concept of energetic clutter accessible and understandable. These beliefs, which resonate deeply with many, range from people-pleasing out of fear of abandonment to equating self-worth with productivity. Each belief is a thread in the fabric of our daily lives, often woven in so seamlessly that we fail to see how they dictate our actions and drain our energy.

The belief that caring for others at the expense of one’s own needs is a virtue, especially prevalent among mothers, stands out. Tanya challenges this notion, advocating for a balance that teaches our children the importance of self-care and setting healthy boundaries. The pervasive idea that being constantly busy is the only valuable state of being is another belief that Tanya dismantles, emphasizing the significance of rest and enjoyment in cultivating a fulfilling life.

Addressing these deeply ingrained beliefs begins with acknowledging the pain points they cause in our lives. Tanya illustrates this through her practice, where she encourages clients to trace back their feelings of frustration, exhaustion, or irritability to specific beliefs and behaviors. By recognizing patterns and understanding the roots of these emotions, individuals can start to challenge and change the narratives that have held them captive.

The path to overcoming these limiting beliefs is fraught with discomfort and fear, particularly as one attempts to step away from long-held practices like overworking or people-pleasing. Tanya emphasizes the importance of small, manageable steps and the need for grounding techniques to navigate the emotional upheaval that such changes can bring about.

A call to mindful action

This segment of the conversation between serves as a powerful call to action for individuals to examine the beliefs that govern their lives. It encourages a shift towards a more mindful and intentional approach to living, one that values rest and joy as much as it does productivity and achievement. By confronting and clearing our energetic clutter, we can pave the way for a life that is not only more balanced and fulfilling but also more aligned with our true selves and aspirations.

Energetic Clutter vs. Purposeful Energy Expenditure

Tanya delineates between purposeful energy expenditure on meaningful endeavors, such as parenting, and the draining effect of energetic clutter. This distinction clarifies that not all energy-intensive activities constitute clutter; rather, it’s the unexamined, compulsive behaviours and beliefs that sap our vitality and cloud our judgment.

Tanya introduces the idea of regular self-reflection as a tool for maintaining alignment with one’s values and goals. This practice is not just for those experiencing turmoil or dissatisfaction but is recommended as a routine part of a mindful, intentional life. Such introspection can reveal underlying issues contributing to one’s energetic clutter. By journaling or discussing these revelations, individuals can begin to untangle the complex web of beliefs and behaviours that hold them back.

Tanya points out that while being consumed by a project in alignment with one’s passions and objectives can be fulfilling, a perpetual state of consumption, especially without satisfactory results or balance, is a red flag. It signals a disconnect between one’s efforts and their true desires or needs, often masked by the relentless pursuit of achievement at the expense of joy and peace.

By advocating for regular self-reflection, the identification of limiting beliefs, and the differentiation between meaningful engagement and compulsive behavior, they offer a roadmap for navigating the challenges of personal growth.

This conversation underscores the importance of introspection and active engagement with our inner landscapes. It encourages us to question the stories we tell ourselves, to discern the difference between purposeful action and reactive busyness, and to seek balance and fulfilment beyond the metrics of conventional success.

Ultimately, the dialogue is a reminder that the path to overcoming energetic clutter and achieving genuine satisfaction lies in understanding our deepest beliefs and motivations. By doing so, we can align our actions with our hearts, leading to a more balanced, joyful, and purpose-driven life.

The Journey Towards Self-Differentiation

My insights into the portrayal of women in popular media, particularly a TV show in India that glorifies self-sacrifice and servitude even in the face of personal betrayal, opens a critical discussion on the deep-rooted cultural conditioning of women. This segment explores the complex interplay between societal expectations, individual well-being, and the challenging process of self-differentiation.

The TV show serves as a poignant example of how media can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and expectations, especially regarding women’s roles as selfless caretakers, regardless of their personal suffering. This narrative not only reflects but also reinforces the societal pressures on women to prioritize others’ needs above their own, often at the cost of their health and happiness.

The Illusion of Perfection on Social Media + Trusting One's Intuitive Voice

We touch upon the deceptive nature of social media, which often presents an unattainable standard of success and happiness, further complicating individuals’ perceptions of their own lives and struggles. This discussion highlights the danger of comparing one’s behind-the-scenes struggles with others’ highlight reels, fostering unrealistic expectations and self-doubt.

A crucial part of the journey towards self-differentiation and clearing energetic clutter involves learning to trust one’s inner voice and intuition. Tanya discusses the importance of fostering a relationship between the mind and heart, encouraging individuals to rely on their inner guidance rather than external validation.

Loneliness in the Journey of Self-Discovery

Loneliness accompanies the process of questioning and discarding long-held beliefs. Tanya highlights the potential for connection and support through groups and communities of like-minded individuals embarking on similar paths of self-discovery.

There are two powerful insights: the importance of prioritizing one’s well-being above others’ opinions and the value of seeking community and validation through shared experiences, even in online spaces like Reddit. This approach not only helps in validating one’s feelings and struggles but can also be a stepping stone towards seeking professional help or joining support groups.

Strategies to Combat Limiting Beliefs

Tanya suggests that recognizing and labeling thoughts as limiting beliefs can be a powerful first step in challenging them. She recommends tracking when and where these beliefs become most intense, as understanding the context can reveal patterns and triggers. Furthermore, she advocates for finding supportive communities where individuals can share their experiences and learn from each other, emphasizing the importance of safe spaces for open dialogue.

Self-advocacy, criticizing the tendency to internalize negative experiences without challenging them is to be considered. Tanya acknowledges that while some people do fall into a victim mentality, others are capable of adopting new perspectives and making life-changing decisions. She underscores the value of fostering a strong sense of self-belief and confidence.

Tanya outlines her approach to bolstering self-confidence in her clients, including reflecting back their strengths and accomplishments, and encouraging them to question and reframe their self-limiting narratives.

The Drawbacks of Social Media Trends

The one-size-fits-all nature of social media movements is a concern. They often lack sensitivity to individual needs and experiences. Tanya echoes these sentiments, emphasizing that her work focuses on helping people connect with their inner guidance, a process that cannot be fully addressed by broad social media trends. She points out the importance of discerning whether online content aids in self-connection or leads to self-abandonment.

The conversation underscores the importance of recognizing and honoring one’s uniqueness in the face of generalized social media narratives. Movements that fail to address individual wounds and sore spots can ultimately leave people feeling unsupported and unseen.

Parenting, Influence, and Communication

The conversation concludes with a reflection on parenting and the inevitable influence parents have on their children. Tanya shares personal insights into the complexities of raising children with awareness and open dialogue, acknowledging that while parents may inadvertently pass on limiting beliefs, maintaining open communication can mitigate these impacts and support children in forging their own paths.

To contact tanya for help, use the following resources -

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