If you live in an area that has four distinct seasons, you're familiar with the spring cleaning bug. Now is the time to clean the cobwebs, but don't limit your efforts to your physical surroundings; this is a good time to do a bit of spring cleaning of your mind as well.
If you really want to achieve your goals and dreams, you'll need all of the internal resources you can muster. Cleanse yourself of negativity and you will reduce stress, become a better problem solver, be more decisive, have more energy, and enjoy countless other benefits.
As you're removing the junk from basements and cleaning closets consider taking out the "head trash" as well. What exactly are we cleaning up here? Let's take a look at what head trash is made of:
- Negative thoughts about others.
- Defeating, negative self-talk.
- Old, potentially harmful habits.
- Beliefs that limit or prevent your success.
- Painful memories that play and replay in your head.
- Fear-based thinking.
Here are a few simple things you can do right now to clean up the foundation on which your success is built.
Be aware of your negative thoughts.
As soon you have a thought that feels negative or even toxic, replace it with a positive one. For example, "I can't figure this out, I'm not very smart," becomes, "I have some amazing gifts and talents, this just isn't one of them and that's okay."
If it's difficult for you to recognize a negative thought versus what you believe is reality, pay more attention to your body. Tense shoulders, a pounding heart, mild headaches, discomfort in the stomach are just a few of the indicators that there's some toxic thinking going on. It's most likely not your truth, just an old pattern that you're stuck in.
Hang out with great people.
Make a list of all the negative and positive people in your life. Make sure you start spending more time with the positive people; those who support and encourage you, make you laugh, and believe in you. If you don't have a positive support network start building one. Networking groups, old contact lists, Meet-ups, special interest groups, and social media are all great places to explore.
Start focusing on the future.
Stop going to the past to look for success; you will never find it there. If you live in the past, you will never create a better future. Make a list of all the great things you want to accomplish and go after them. Create a vision board, start talking more about the good stuff, use powerful affirmations and visualization. Keep the focus forward!
Commit to giving up one bad habit.
Do you ever admit to yourself or others that you know something isn't good for you, but you do it anyway? If you know it's not good for you why do you do it? Bad habits are not stress relievers if that's what you're telling yourself; they actually create more stress! Begin with something small if you must, just to build confidence in your ability to kick bad habits. You can do it! If you really struggle then seek professional help; there's a qualified expert out there for everything!
Expel a fear.
This can be a big challenge for some, but it's okay to take baby steps. Ask yourself, what is one fear that is holding me back? What would your life be like if you no longer had this fear? What would you be able to do that you cannot do right now? Commit to facing your fear and start taking action daily toward overcoming it. Small, yet consistent steps toward your goal can be very effective. Journaling, coaching, counseling, self-help books, affirmation work, and visualization are powerful tools and resources.
Improve your mindfulness practice.
What is mindfulness anyway? You are probably noticing more and more about it because successful people are finally talking about how mindfulness is greatly responsible for their success. A mindfulness practice consists of things like, meditation, visualization, good self-care including sleep, diet, and exercise, being fully present (not allowing your mind to drift), daily use of affirmations, and a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. You may have/do some of these things already, why not give your practice a boost by adding one small improvement at a time?
What are your favorite, most powerful tools and resources for keeping your mind free of clutter and head trash? Share them with us in the comments section!