I am a working mum. This means I have a lot of things to do including tidying up. I often find myself gathering things to be put away as I move from room to room. I often find that I pick up some toys, then find my son’s cardigan, and as I try to pick up the cardi…I drop the toys.
Our hands have a finite capacity. We can only hold so much at any one time, and the more we move, the less that capacity is. Our emotional capacity is pretty much the same too. We can only hold so much emotional baggage before it impacts on our health, our ability to live our lives and our relationships.
If you imagine yourself going through your daily life, you pick up little bits of baggage here and there; being queue jumped in the coffeeshop, your name being missed off an inconsequential email, the cake tray running out before you get there, etc. These build up and then you end up loosing it over the most banal comment from some stranger on the bus.
Also, we can hit a bad patch in work and before we know it we hate our job, have homicidal dreams of the boss and cannot seem to do anything right. We lose the ability to make decisions and we become stuck.
So to avoid ruts and rucks we need to learn to keep our emotional hands free, to put down the things we no longer want to make space for something we do want. You cannot park a new car in your parking space, without first removing the old car, so it makes sense to clear things out so you can have new things.
When we clear things out, we often feel a new wave of fresh energy, like the air has come alive. The same is true of an emotional clear out. So whilst it might be obvious what you need to clear out of your cupboards, it is not always as clear as to what you need to purge emotionally, so here is a few thoughts to start you off.
- Is there anything your thoughts constantly return to?
If you have recurring thoughts, particularly if they come from nowhere, then there is something unresolved or you need to let it go. Be aware of these thoughts and ask what you need to do to resolve the issue or if it is not serving you, ask what thoughts would serve you better. Focus on the new thoughts instead.
- Are you weighed down by particular thoughts?
Sometimes a thought will pop into our head and it makes us feel heavy or anxious. These thoughts generally do not serve us and are a hangover from a past period in our lives. Find a thought to replace them.
- Is there something you feel guilty about?
We have all done things we are not proud of and generally reconcile this as we thought we were doing our best, could not have avoided it or trivialising the consequences of the deed. Sometimes however, despite our best efforts to move on, our guilt drags us back to our inertia. Make amends. Find a way to show yourself you have learned from it and grown, you have minimised the damage to you and others and that you will act differently in the future. Even if it is too late to recompense the other parties, you still need to apologise – even if you put it in a letter and never send it.
- You don’t feel worthy.
It is now often referred to as imposter syndrome, where we feel we have not earned our success. If we have thoughts of not being worthy, then sooner or later these will lead to self-sabotage. These thoughts must be dealt with at the source.
- Do your beliefs still serve you?
We often hold on to old beliefs, because they served us well back when, but now they are not helping in the slightest. These need to be shed. These can be sayings from a parent, grandparent or loved one, a school philosophy, an old motivational saying amongst others. What it really means though is your inner talk is going to be sabotaging you.
It is important to clean out our emotional stuff, just as we clean out our wardrobe to maintain perspective, clarity and confidence. To avoid standing in our own way we need to clear our mental path and that starts with identifying the rogue thoughts. There are many ways to do this and I can help you….if you book a clarity call.
Another good way to do this is to identify the thought, challenge it, then accept it, adapt it or scrap it. In order to successfully identify the thought you need to be aware of yourself and your thoughts in general. A good way to do this is through journaling.
Journaling has become a lot more sophisticated since the “Dear Diary, today I …..” days of our youth. Now there are numerous formats you can choose, many questions you can answer and multiple ways of getting in touch with your feelings. For some quick inspiration why not try the 30 day challenge and find a journal format that works with you.