As I continue to declutter my home, I realise that my head could do with a bit of a clear out too. Our minds accumulate a plethora of thoughts throughout the days and weeks of a year, and it is the negative ones that tend to linger, impacting our overall mental state. As well as the smaller ones, you can probably think of a few larger negative thoughts that have become wedged in your own mind and are taking up space. These are possibly seeds planted by others in the past. Here are a few of mine:
He’ll never set the world on fire
He’ll never be able to hold down a proper job
You’re out of his league
We don’t always eliminate these thoughts when the seed is planted. In fact, many of us allow them to get cosy instead, eventually giving them permission to take charge of our life and install doubt or provoke a crash of confidence. These kinds of negative affirmations only hold us back. They really should be tossed away with the rubbish at the earliest opportunity.
If you are taking advice from my last post about decluttering, then maybe here is something you can add to your new year ritual. With each physical piece of rubbish you throw away (and I'm talking about the recycling, rather than donations to charity), take a moment to send a negative thought with it and finally put it to rest.
For example, while throwing away last years diary, I might say something like ‘He’ll never set the world on fire’ and then banish both the item and the negative phrase to the bin. I might conclude the process with a counter phrase such as 'I intend to make a positive impression on all I interact with'. If you have a little extra time, you might want to write the negative thoughts on slips of paper and ritually discard them with the garbage. Notice how free you feel as you let each one go.
Think of your mind as being a little like your phone. Every so often you will need to delete a few apps or erase a few hundred pointless photos to keep everything working effectively. Similarly, to keep a clear and organised mind, deleting useless or self-sabotaging thoughts will help it to stay healthy and focused.
Take a little time to go through those beliefs that hold you back or cause upset. They might sound something like these - 'You're too old to start a new career!', 'You're not slim enough to wear nice clothes!', or 'You'll never cope without me!'. Now send them to the trash in time for a fresh new year!
© Steven Bright 2023