More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less…” – Cait Flanders

If you met me in 2018 or earlier, you had met another version of me who had no idea about mindfulness, coaching, nor minimalist lifestyle.

But these three have become powerful tools that have enabled me to be more with less.

Mindfulness helped me to simplify my thoughts. I feel more in control of my thoughts vs they run me.

Coaching helped me to reconnect with myself. I gain clarity on how to live life by design vs by defaultWhereas minimalism helped me to declutter things. It reminds me that time is my most valuable resource in life, not things. They serve me to minimize distractions in my life that keep me from doing what truly matters.

We live in a society that creates false value on owning more stuff. 

I was guilty as charged. I grew up in Indonesia, one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets.

I also grew up in a home where my mom loved keeping stuff, especially sentimental items.

My direct physical environment at the time, really normalized the constant pursuit of “more”.

Fast forward to now, I’ve moved homes 7 times in the last 23 years.

Life has shown me that the opposite is better. So here I am, in my ongoing journey to live more with “less”.

Living with less helps me to create the space—physically, mentally, emotionally, and with your resources and time—the end goal is to live more. To live up to your full potential, by making conscious choices in every single moment.


My lessons learned from “living with less”

It felt really overwhelming at first, but each time I had to move, I had to reflect on THE essentials I need.  It became a regular practice to sort my things & helped me to learn the art of letting go. 

1. Minimalism & detachment are true freedom

Each time I let go of the items of my past, I took a moment of gratitude. 

Thanking the item for its service. 

Keeping its memory with me as I throw, or donate.

Every item purchased is never really mine to possess.

Each lived with me temporarily. 

Its memories live on, inside me.

With attachment comes a very strong urge to control (things, person, circumstances).

It does not mean that I always feel detached. It just means that I am more capable of practicing detachment when required.

“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.”  – Ali ibn abi Talib 

learn to detach

2. Minimalism accelerates self-awareness

It requires serious mental effort seven times in 23 years to identify what I need to keep and what to let go of. In order to do this, I must set aside reflection time and space for me to focus on needs (vs wants). 

It forces deep questions of values and life meaning upon me that really helped me in my ongoing personal growth journey. The more I reflect, the more I know myself and what is truly important for me.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”Carl Jung


3. Minimalism is a lifestyle

It is about embracing the mindset that you’re actively reducing distractions that keep you away from doing things that truly matter to you. 

When this idea was applied to other life areas, I improved my quality of life, relationships, productivity and happiness.

If you’re curious about getting started with minimalism, this is a great place to start. You’ll be able to get closer to living a life you love. I hope they’ll be helpful to you in making the most of your time and energy:

1. Relationships

As a recovering people pleaser, I learned the hard way that quality matters more than quantity.

Spend time with supportive people

Being mindful of those relationships with people who are chronically negative, unsupportive and spending more time with those who are more positive. Supportive people give me more energy and help me reach my potential. 

The more time I spend with those positive influences in my life, the better quality of life I have.

Name 3 people who drain you & replace time you spend with them each week by the other 3 who energize you.

2. Schedule

We live in a world where being busy is seen as a badge of honor. I too, used to be proud with my schedule jam-packed with meetings and activities that only resulted in overwhelm! 

When I started learning and knowing to say NO more, I reduce my stress and overwhelm and I get to say YES more to things that really serve my self-care and growth. 

Say No to 1 thing each day. This should be something that doesn’t help you to move forward with your goals nor boost your wellbeing.

3. Money

practice intentional spending

The practice of decluttering from things, helped me to be more intentional in my spending. I value experiences more than things, whenever I spend time with friends or families or when I want to treat myself on my birthday. 

Reminding myself to do less impulsive buying and only buy stuff that I really need, would give me less stress and overwhelm in tidying the house and I get to spend my money on the few things that really are contributing to my sustained wellbeing and happiness.

Define 1 Experience you’d like to give yourself & understand your WHY. Have that at the top of mind so that each time you have the urge to buy things, you can remind yourself of your “grand vision” and stay on track on spending your precious money on the biggest project in your life: YOU.

4. Digital

In our fast-paced, interconnected world, I got overloaded amount of information coming at me and I am sure I was not the only one who became addicted to my devices.

Applying minimalism in my digital world, being a healthy skeptic in the digital realm, maintaining my sanity, and mental energy so that I can do more things that serve me, my health and my growth better.

Track how much time you spend on your devices that don’t serve your growth. Commit to saving that much time each day, to finally do things you’ve been wanting (or delaying) to do.

Minimalism is a lifestyle

Embracing “living with less” in more aspects of life has helped me to be more intentional in using my time and energy. Just like with everything, it only gets easier with more practice and repetition. 

The more space you have —physically, mentally, emotionally, the more time and energy you will have for things that really matter to you.

You’ll make more conscious choices.

You will make space for the essentials.

You will get more energy.

You will try something new.

You will take bigger risks.

You will trust yourself more.

You will LIVE more. 

And BE more…

If you are looking to simplify your inner & outer development, I work with individuals and teams who care about inside out transformation & care deeply about 3P: Purpose, People and Planet.  

I empower them to successfully navigate change in their lives through science-backed coaching, mindset work and mindfulness practice. 

This post was contributed by Catherine Le Liboux. The founder of Stepping Up, she’s a certified coach specializing in Personal Leadership and Mental Fitness. Check out her LinkedIn profile to find more on what she does or here to book an appointment.