Out With The Old, In With The New: De-Clutter Your Mental Closet
"Clutter isn't just the stuff in your closet. It's anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living." - Peter Walsh
Last weekend my boyfriend and i got super motivated and did a big spring cleaning of our closets.
It was great to go through everything, try stuff on for size (hello sexy fashion show), and toss out everything that didn't fit, we no longer liked, or was outdated.
I tried my discarded clothes on one last time and had a few good laughs at some questionable fashion choices. His, not mine, obviously.
The purge resulted in 5 bags of clothing for donation and free space in my once overstuffed closet, which in Manhattan is prime real estate.
My newfound closet space got me thinking...Our brains act like closets for our thoughts. Instead of being filled with clothes, our "mental closets" are filled with ideas and beliefs.
Most of us haven’t given our mental closets a good spring cleaning in a long time, if ever. Our mental closets are filled to the brim, thoughts pouring out, other thoughts buried in the back and forgotten.
We're all walking around wearing ideas and beliefs, some of which don't fit us anymore, are ripped and tattered, and don't make us feel good when we put them on.
So, what if, we did a mental closet Spring cleaning?
What if we went through our mental closet and “tried on” our ideas and beliefs and got rid of those that no longer fit and serve us?
What if we made a little room for new ideas and beliefs?
Most of us don’t stop and take inventory of the beliefs we carry around day in and day out, although it is our beliefs that shape our reality.
"Each of us lives within and operates out of a complex set of beliefs that define us and the world in which we live. Beliefs are our reality-making blueprint. Your beliefs organize the world for you." (Read more about beliefs here.)
Our beliefs dictate the actions we take, which in turn affect the results we get, and those results then go right back and reinforce our beliefs. It's a loop that can work for or against us.
Our beliefs are powerful, and yet, most of us are walking around with a ton of false, crappy, limiting beliefs.
“When you think about all the struggles we go through in life, most of it comes from our self-limiting beliefs,” says Arizona-based entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown. “When we’re stuck, it’s not because we are held back by someone else.” (Read more here.)
Most of us haven’t stopped to check our beliefs since we stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause (spoiler alert).
I think most of us can agree those were false beliefs, but they were very real to most of us as children.
Think about how those beliefs affected our actions. I remember tying a piece of floss around my tooth, attaching it to the doorknob and slamming the door shut in hopes of yanking my tooth out.
"Without challenging and questioning your beliefs, your thoughts, perceptions, actions, and especially, your emotions will always be on an unconscious auto-pilot. False and limiting beliefs are like parasites in that they stay inactive in your mind until some thought or event triggers their response." (Read more about how beliefs affect the mind here.)
So, back to our “mental closet.”
My guess is we all have a few outdated, ill-fitting beliefs shoved into the back of our mental closet that we’ve kept around because we didn’t know they were back there, haven’t tried them on in a while, or just didn’t realize how ridiculous they made us look.
"All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things other people are certain are impossible." (Read more about what Tony Robbins has to say about beliefs here.)
So, who's ready to do a little Spring cleaning and drop their beliefs that no longer fit off at Goodwill with me?
Next week, I'll share some mental closet Spring cleaning tips!