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SURPRISING CONNECTION #7: The Presidential Debates and Navigating Uncertain Times (and Closets)

It wasn’t only CNN. There appeared to be a messy debate going on in my walk-in closet too! Yes, my clothes closet.

My itty-bitty sized skirts and pants of years gone by were jostling for position with the clothes that mostly fit me today. My Old Navy shirts were competing with my prized Nordstrom dresses. My yoga pants were mocking my suit jackets. It was like a raging debate over “who is Brenda now?”

Flip flops and pumps were vying for space on the closet floor in the same way our Presidential hopefuls vie for space on that small political stage.

Temperamental towers of sweaters threatened to topple over. Scarves struggled to find their rightful place on hangers and shelves.

Much like the American people’s frustration that we aren’t seeing better Presidential options, I too was struggling over finding good wardrobe options in the midst of my closet mayhem.

The fact was the same clothes kept stepping to the podium again and again, even though my closet was filled with candidates I had voted for with my credit card years ago. Better candidates were obscured by this chaos. And, it was becoming apparent that I couldn’t make my closet “great again” if I didn’t face this down and bring some new order to it.

I mean, while I couldn’t affect change in our Presidential options, there WAS hope for the closet of which I was President and needed to take some accountability.

As of today, I have achieved a type of world peace—peace to my wardrobe world, that is! Here are some tips I used to achieve wardrobe world peace. (They double as tips for our Presidential hopefuls for future debates as well.)

May these tips help you navigate whatever messy and uncertain situation you are facing and electing to do something about (even if it’s simply getting through this political season.)

  1. Accept that things are what they are—imperfect. Be it candidates, my closet or your scenario, what matters most is that you figure out what you can control and get busy doing your part.

  2. Address the important questions. The questions that brought order to my closet debate may be the same questions you need to answer about your situation: “Does this still fit? Does this bring me satisfaction and joy? Is this what I need now or do I need something different?”

  3. Stick to the issues at hand. Don’t get stuck in the past. Let go of what no longer serves you. You can’t move forward while still clinging to the past. As hard as it was, those itty-bitty clothes of the past had to go to the donation pile. Letting go felt good. I beg our Presidential candidates to help us look to the future and less to the past too. What do you need to let go of?

  4. Remember that making positive change in one area can create temporary disarray in another. As my closet improved, my bedroom looked worse. Progress is the outcome, but the process can be messy. Don’t be surprised if your situation as well as the political process gets messier before getting better.

  5. Don’t forget about policy. I have a new closet policy. For each new item I purchase, an old one must go. What new policy might you need to put in place? What new policies do you want for our country’s future?

  6. Consider the impact of your actions on others. Cleaning up my closet mess helped others. Charitable organizations benefited from what I was willing to let go of. Who could benefit from your changes?

I admit, of late I walk in to my closet just to experience this refreshing new order and soak it in. It’s like that feeling I get after the Presidential election when those yard signs come down and negative campaign ads disappear. I love that decluttering of the airwaves and lawns.

Where is there a “debate” raging in work life or personal life that it’s finally time to pay attention to? What do you need to confront? What no longer fits? What new possibilities do you want to make room for?

If there’s any way BKR Consulting can help, let me know. After all, we are “stronger together.”

This blog was approved of by the committee for controlling what we can in uncertain times.

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