In the last episode, Kat Nieh talks about purging and decluttering your environment. Today, she addresses something even more important than your physical space—your mindset. Discover how you can clear your mental space and take a mindful attitude towards that voice inside your head that sometimes can be mean and nasty. It takes a lot of determination to cut out negative thoughts and belief, but learning how to protect your precious mental space will empower you to take charge of your behavior and how you view yourself.
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[EPISODE 19] – Your Environment Matters – The Mindset Edition
Happy New Year! It is now 2020… without the flying cars, the hoverboards, the post-apocalyptic world, any alien invasions, and colonize planets along with commercial space travel, etc. Thank, God, some of those didn’t happen while for others, what a shame! That would’ve been so cool!
With the New Year here, we typically have the tradition of setting out new years resolutions, right? In the past, have they worked for you? Were you able to stick with them? Did you stop setting them altogether because of the “Oh, why bother? It doesn’t work anyways” mindset? Maybe this episode could kick start some new beliefs for you.
We are wrapping up the purge-to-better-your-life series with part three: “Your Environment Matters—The Mindset Edition.” Yup, this episode is a book reading as well from my book, Dear Workaholics, which you can get your own physical and digital copy on Amazon. Now that we’ve covered decluttering your environment and noticing the people you frequently interact with, and limiting and removing those negative people in your life, let’s move straight into your mindset aka the conversations you have with yourself in your own head.
This might be the most important part to work on. As you being alive, you are physically and mentally connected to your head 24/7. Thoughts are constantly flowing. Decisions are being made due to those thoughts. Did you know there was something else even deeper that’s running your thoughts? Yes, your beliefs!
Your brain is ran by a series of programs—the ones that are keeping your body alive and running like a well-oiled machine… and the ones controlled by your conscious and unconscious mind! Those beliefs could serve you well, like giving you the determination to continue tackling all those challenging tasks. There are ones that aren’t serving you well as they’re holding you back and creating barriers to achieve the goals you desire.
Your thoughts are oh-so important. Your behaviors are being ran by your thoughts and beliefs, whether you like it or not. Once you truly understand that and have that heightened awareness of what your thoughts are and what they’re doing to you, that is when you’re able to empower yourself and change your thoughts and make them stick through practice.Your mental space is even more important than your physical space, as you carry your mental space with you everywhere you go. Click To Tweet
Let’s get started with the book reading for Chapter 8.3 – Protect That Precious Mental Space.
I started the chapter with a quote from Brittany Burgunder. She says, “It’s surprising how much free time and productivity you gain when you lose the busyness in your mind.”
Environment, check. What else can you purge to improve your life? Here’s a crucial one. That space between your ears that governs your behavior, your thoughts, and your mood—your mind.
I was so tired of judging myself and all the negativity that is so prominent in our day-to-day lives. I attended yoga retreats, embarked on spiritual journeys, went to personal development courses, read books, got multiple coaches, and tried meditation just to figure out how to purge all those limiting beliefs and those negative thoughts in my head.
This is what I realized and learned. Your mental space is even more important than your physical space as you carry your mental space with you everywhere you go.
Say hello to the little voices in your head. Hey, don’t deny it. We all have one or maybe more than one. You think it’s yourself talking, but is it really? I thought it was. It always sounded like me, but if you pay closer attention when that voice comes up, it’s actually pretty random, involuntary, and reactionary as well. So it can’t be you since you should be the one steering, right? Instead, think of it as a companion that’s constantly there, always talking to you, and sometimes have a little too much to say.
Alright, tell that voice to calm down a little. Instead, let’s listen to what Steve Taylor, PhD has to say about this matter. “It’s important for us to take a mindful attitude toward the voice in your head, accepting it without identifying with it . . . We should allow it to flow by, in the background, without paying much heed to it, and without letting it determine our moods or state of mind. The important thing to remember is: Your thoughts are not you, in the same way that your digestion is not you. They are just part of a process that is taking place inside you.”
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want to empower you to control that voice. Knowing that it’s not you means you could treat it like any other person—talk back to it or even walk away.
Note how that voice talks to you. When that voice gets mean and nasty, go ahead and tell it to shut up. Would you allow anyone else talk to you like that? No? I don’t think so. Tune it out like someone’s nagging at you. You don’t have to listen to that voice at all. Let those negative thoughts go. Stop letting it put you down. It’s really the harshest critic you’ll ever meet.
Jim Rohn famously said that, “You’re the average of the five people you spent the most time with.” That voice in your head is absolutely the person you spend the most time with. Make a choice. Protect that precious mental space of yours.
Pick another voice that is kinder and more encouraging, just like how you choose your friends. Ditch the meanie and buddy up with the good-hearted, fun-living one. Feed your mind positive thoughts and good vibes. It could definitely make you a happier person if you do.
So, tell that voice “no”. Choose not to dwell on those negative thoughts or let it carry you away into a downward spiral. Choose to change your mind, and think about something else instead. You can absolutely control your thoughts, so wield that power wisely and towards positivity.
That is end of Chapter 8.3.
Here’s my add to that chapter: When a negative thought comes up, stop and reevaluate it like a curious child who won’t stop asking questions. Notice what you just said to yourself. Choose to see it as purely an opinion (because honestly, it is rarely a fact). Notice how it’s making you feel—Do you like feeling that way? And ask “Has it really been serving you?” If the answer is “no”, then decide what would you like to think and believe in instead. How would that make you feel better about yourself and move yourself towards your goals?
With enough practice, you can absolutely shift your beliefs. There are some tougher ones that could be super-duper deeply ingrained within you, and that’s why I am so grateful to have learned tools and techniques through NLP to help my clients get through their limiting beliefs, including my own. There is so much more to dive into this as well, which I’ll share future episodes.Your negative thought is really the harshest critic you'll ever meet. Click To Tweet
I also want to share a quote by James Allen, the author of As a Man Thinketh, who wrote “You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” If your thoughts say you can, you can absolutely do it easily. If your thoughts are telling you things like “That’s impossible. You can’t do that. You’re not good enough. You can’t beat life,” then that’s what you’ll believe. You’ll get discouraged and beat yourself up. And those are exactly the thoughts that are stopping you from achieving your goals. Wouldn’t you like to let those go? Choose to let them go, so you could be more of the person you want to be so you could achieve those larger goals you set up for yourself, especially for this year in 2020.
What else can you do to purge the noise and chatter in your head? I have four more points to share, which I included in the exercise at the end of the chapter in my book, Dear Workaholics. I also included these in the PDF you could download here on my website. Go download it for more ideas and additional self-reflection prompts.
Here are four more things you could do to help you purge all the additional noise and chatter in your head:
- Meditate. There’s the traditional form of meditation we all know about. Sit there quietly. If that works for you, awesome. Try guided meditations if your mind wanders a bit. If not, what else can you do? Take a walk or hike, go work out, paint, dance, cook, play an instrument, pick your favorite hobby, etc. Meditation is more about focusing on your experience at the present moment. It’s like you’re in the zone and forgetting about all the other thoughts running in your head.
- Journaling. Sometimes we need to get those negative thoughts out of our heads after writing it down. It’s like clearing your mental space. Instead of resisting, let it all flow out on paper. When you’re done, you can even crumble up and throw it away or burn it up in the fireplace as a symbolic way of getting rid of it.
- Be grateful. Gratitude worked wonders for me. You can thank and appreciate every single thing or a person around you. By seeing the good and the positive, it means that you’re focusing on the good and the positive rather than on the negative.Even in the worst situation, it’s still possible for you to see the good in it. What have you learned? What good happened to you after the event? Hey, you’re still alive. That’s something you’d be grateful for. Train this muscle and enjoy bathing in positivity.
- Face it head on. This is a bit more advanced. Even our negative thoughts are trying to teach us something. If you’re willing to tackle this challenge head on, listen to what the voice is telling you and do a lot of introspection. Dig deep to figure out why it’s telling you that. Where is that negative belief coming from? What is the voice trying to teach or warn you about? It’s uncomfortable and it takes effort, but it’s possible to walk away with some amazing insights about yourself. You can even minimize the power of that negative thought in the future.
That is the end of the exercise.
Start enjoying a quieter mind after you go through these exercises and notice doesn’t it feel so much nicer to have that serenity, calmness, and positivity in your mind as well? Once you’re more in alignment with your mind, notice how the negativity minimizes and how that voice starts to support you instead.
You’re probably hearing that resistance in your inner little voice because you’re doing something that isn’t in alignment with you. It’s giving you that negative feedback. Once you are in alignment, once you work through why those negative beliefs are coming up and once you choose to fill your mind with more compassionate and positive thoughts, notice how you’re thinking and feeling now and how that reflects out in your behavior and actions.
To wrap up the three parts, Episode 17 – The Clutter Edition, Episode 18 – The People Edition, and this episode – The Mindset Edition, here’s what I wrote in Chapter 8.5, which is called “Make Space for The Greater Things in Life”. I started that chapter with this quote from Judy Culbertson. She says, “The point is you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart. If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything else that does.”
My dear Workaholics, fill your space with people who light your soul up with laughter, spend more time with those that inspire you to be a better person. Let your external influences make your world a brighter place.
Crowd out the negative with an abundance of positive beliefs and thoughts. Fill your head with images of all the things you want to do in this world. Build a force field to keep the negative out. Clean out your space. Fill your physical surroundings with things that serve you well and remind you of happiness and your outrageous desires.
You did it! You managed to surgically remove elements from your environmental, mental and social spaces. And through this process, you also learned so much about what you tolerate, what you are exposed to on a regular basis, and where your boundaries are. You continued tapping into your intentions, missions, goals and values to help you determine what to keep around and what to let go. Congratulations for letting go of the clutter, noise and negativity and make room for freedom, positivity and new possibilities.
That is end of Chapter 8.5. I hope you took the time to take the action as you followed along with these episodes.
Share with me your story or experiences through my website, DearWorkaholics.com or Instagram. I would love to hear from you to see what came up for you, or if you have any feedback for me, let me know how I could help you. In the next episode, I’ll continue sharing where my mindset shifting knowledge and tools. Who knows, I might even make this whole month of January all about mindset to help you get this awesome 2020 year off on the right foot.
Until next time, you got this!