Spring Cleaning the Mental Garbage

“Tell yourself everything will work out, things will get better, you are important, you are worthy of great things, you are loveable, the time is now, this too shall pass, you can be who you really are, the best is yet to come, you are strong, you can do this!” – Doe Zantamata

Point to Ponder:
What stories have you bought?
What stories have you created and clung to as a way of excusing yourself from having the family, relationships, health, career, self- confidence, life you want, etc?

Action Item:
Decide what the new story is you’re going to tell yourself
about who you are and what you are capable of.

If you are like me, I really want a couple of days to completely dedicate to spring cleaning. The idea of clearing out the clutter and non-essentials that I have collected over the past year (or ten…) would be liberating and feel so good!  But, of course the ability to dedicate several days to this task (which I would need) is almost impossible. Instead, I’ve made it a goal to clean a little each week. With that said, I also feel like I have collected negative and useless thoughts over time that aren’t true and don’t serve me, my family, my relationships, or my life.  In other words, I’ve collected mental garbage that I need to purge and be done with!

Darren Hardy, the author and publisher of my favorite magazine Success, recently wrote an excellent article titled “The Stories We Tell Ourselves.”  The article is heavy on physicality, but it can of course be related to everything we tell ourselves we can’t do — our excuses and even the lies we tell ourselves.  So while we are spring cleaning our homes, what better time to focus on mental spring cleaning too. I actually think it’s equally as important, if not more important that the physical act of cleaning our homes.

THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES
by Darren Hardy

We are all excellent storytellers. We have a story for everything.  We have a story for why we can’t lose weight, stick to our diets, jog, do pushups, get up early, eat healthy, exercise regularly and stay disciplined. Examples are:

“I’m big-boned.”
“It’s bad for my knees.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m too old.”
“It’s impossible when I travel.”
“I deserve a reward.”
“I have PMS.”
“It’s fat-free.”

Recently my friend Kerri told me a story she heard when she was six months into her pregnancy. She had gained a significant amount of weight (she was, after all, pregnant) and started to worry whether she could ever regain her previous figure. She called a mom-friend and asked, “What really happens with this baby weight after my son is born? Will it all go away?” Her friend replied, “Well, a woman once told me you keep 10 pounds per child.” Kerri nearly dropped the phone. The friend’s pronouncement deflated her hopes of returning to her pre-baby weight and shape.

Later that week, Kerri was at the spin studio where she takes fitness classes. Kerri related the 10-pounds-per-child story to Wendy, who also was there to work out. “That’s ridiculous!” Wendy exclaimed. “I’ve had seven children, so I should be 70 pounds overweight. That’s just an excuse—don’t buy that story.” Then Wendy added that “it won’t be easy or automatic, but with hard work and time, you can get your body back… and better.” This mother of seven was indeed in terrific shape, better than most who have never given birth. My friend decided to buy Wendy’s story instead of her other friend’s.

You know that the only thing keeping you from the body you want—the energy and vitality you want—are the stories you buy and retell yourself (and others).

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4 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning the Mental Garbage

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