According to my www.awarenessdays.com calendar today is ‘National Old Stuff Day,’ all about ‘out with the old, in with the new;’ reflecting on those things that are no longer useful to us and getting rid.
This got me thinking - surely this applies, metaphorically speaking, to mindset. Our brains have a tendency to collect, and hoard, a few too many unhelpful, self-critical elements that can, without intervention, form a personal script, or ‘thinking trap’ that isn’t helpful, accurate or kind – yet somehow, over the years, we hang on to it – often permitting it to form a narrative that can hinder our personal development and happiness. Mine can be pretty mean - it tells me that everyone else on the planet is better equipped, qualified, able (insert other wonderful qualities here) than I am, serving only to batter my confidence and reduce the likelihood of me trying new and exciting things.
These fixed, fused thoughts would not pass through Socrates’ ‘triple filter’ test*; we certainly wouldn’t think or say them about anyone else: why do we continue to do it to ourselves? So, in the same way we would clear out an overloaded and chaotic wardrobe, crammed to bursting with things that no longer fit/suit, we can commit to doing the same with headspace. From my own perspective this means practising what I preach: applying new tools, tips and strategies, and doing it consistently, to replace those unhelpful personal stories with ones that support me to be, and feel, my best.
When faced with any new challenge (and this, for me, is a big one), I go first to my Insights® Discovery profile to explore how this presents (both consciously and less-consciously) through the lens of my inclined colour energies – as someone who leads with a double feeling preference, I’m well aware that my ‘go-to’ response tends to be emotive, subjective and assumptive, but not always constructive. Being able to ‘dial up’ and flex a more logical, rational approach is a definite development area for me – manifesting an imaginary Columbo (this is optional btw – other fictional detectives are available) to assert ‘just the facts’ of the matter helps, as does writing down the answers for belt and braces rationality. His line of questioning looks little something like this:
Activating Situation – what happened?
What did you say to yourself when this happened?
What was the result /impact of this belief?
How realistic/helpful/logical is this belief?
What are the actual facts of the situation?
What can you tell yourself next time?
What do you feel as a result – how does this help?
This is followed swiftly by the use of positive affirmations and “anchoring statements”** to help counteract those pesky self-limiting beliefs – taking time and making space for quiet reflection and contemplation is vital here (this may be more challenging for those who lead with extraversion) – you’re worth every minute. Thinking about thinking, and continually exploring ways to boost and expand our psychological flexibility is always key – if something isn’t working, and is unlikely to do so in the future, Chuck. It. Out. And then find something shiny, new and positive to replace it – something that fits.
*Triple Filter Test
Is it true?
Is it kind or good?
Is it useful or necessary?
** “…the process by which any representation (internal or external) gets connected to and triggers a subsequent string of representations and responses. Anchors can be naturally occurring or set up deliberately. An example of an anchor for a particular set of responses is what happens when you think of the way a special, much-loved person says your name.” Tony Robbins – Author, Coach & Philanthropist