I’ve been doing something else this early spring: mental house cleaning. It’s been amazing to remove the clutter of old, useless or harmful thoughts from my mind. There is lots of room now for new ideas to take root, bloom and provide value for the coming year.
What to Clean Out of Your Mental House
I think there are three different mental burdens to get rid of.
1) Beliefs that hold you back. These include “I’m too busy” or “We don’t have time.” Do you often say “it’s not in the budget”or “we don’t have the money” or “we’ll have to think it over”? Would you have room for new growth if you jettisoned these beliefs out of your mental house? I give you some alternatives below.
2) People you think belong but really don’t. They may be people you’ve met via networking, or somehow you’ve been following them on LinkedIn or other social media, or they are people who seem to pop up everywhere. They aren’t actively harmful. However, they take your attention away from others who could contribute to your life. You can clean them out of your mental house with a simple unfollow or unsubscribe.
3) People who negatively affect your well-being. These may be experts with national followings, or well-connected local individuals. They thrive on exclusion, creating inner circles that taunt those outside. They are all about themselves, even as they profess wanting to help others. As long as you give them space in your mental house, you will never cultivate new, prosperous ideas.
Grow Your Mental House
We are driven to fill vacuums. Now that you’ve cleaned your mental house of what’s undesirable, take some time to bring these into that nice, welcoming space.
1) Beliefs that help you grow. Here are two for you to welcome:
“I can do less and accomplish more.” So many obligations can be tossed if we trust ourselves. Most of what keeps you too busy can be stopped. Do it. Promise you’ll say “no, thank you” as much as you need to.
“We have money for what’s important.” This is a belief you have to repeat daily. Budgets and financial statements make you feel that once you’ve written down your spending plan for the year, that ends your freedom to spend on other options. Sweep that belief out right now.
2) The right people. Most people you meet are good people. Mental house cleaning helps you keep in mind people who are right for you: your life, your company, your goals. Whom do you want to hear from, read about or spend time with that nurtures you? Suddenly you will find quite a few new folks are showing up.
3) Inspiring and inclusive. If ever there is a time to trust your hunches, it is when you choose people to learn from and be inspired by. Ask yourself “What is it about this person that inspires me? Do I feel included, that the change and growth they promise is within my reach? Does this person welcome my voice as it is? Can I go all in, knowing that they’ll encourage me through the mistakes I will inevitably make; though I’ll backslide, they’ll show me how there’s a bit of success in each effort?”
Speaking from my own experience, since my mental house cleaning, choosing those who are inspiring and inclusive gives me an extra surge of energy each and every day.
Make Time for Your Mental House Cleaning
It was early February when I first had the insight to begin my mental house cleaning. At that time I focused on getting rid of exclusionary people–unsubscribing and unfollowing them and those affiliated with them. I felt ten feet tall that day!
The sense of freedom to bring in new, inspiring and inclusive people continues.
In mid-March I realized a second mental house cleaning was in order. This was the one when I cleaned out the “not right for me” people. I can’t emphasize enough that my criteria is very personal: is this person right for me? How do I know?
I’m still working on cleaning out some of my beliefs that hold me back. I’m quite good at prioritizing high-value activities; I need to expand the definition of what what qualifies as a high value activity and make time for them.
What will you start cleaning out of your mental house? When? Today would be a great day to start! You will be amazed and what you make space for when you do!
Let me know what happens when you do your own mental house cleaning. 703-801-0345or firstname.lastname@example.org.