Many of us carry round a whole lot of clutter. I'm not talking handbags and briefcases here, rather the mental baggage that clutters up our minds and slows down our thinking processes. Tasks that we tell ourselves we should do, but we don't do. Conversations that we should have but we don't. Bad habits which we could break but we don't break. That's a whole lot of coulds and shoulds, consuming more than their fair share of emotional attention. And they are doing a sterling job of holding us back from focussing our energies on the more productive and the more constructive. We often know only too well the need to let go, but somehow we just don’t.
Are you like this?
If you are, I bet it has a negative influence on your confidence and self esteem, not to mention your stress levels, mental wellbeing and productivity.
Let's get exercising
Take a look at your life and get rid of this baggage by working through the following exercise, built round simple list making and self coaching questions. In effect, what we are doing is making certain tasks 'complete', taking decisions by drawing a line under them and moving on.
Work through the exercise over the course of a few days and make sure that you document your responses to get that mental chatter out of your head for once and for all.
What are you putting up with?
- List ten things that you are putting up with at home.
- List ten things that you are putting up with at work.
- Make an action plan to get rid of/communicate/action each item on the lists.
- Make a list of things that are unresolved/unfinished in your life.
- Make an action plan of how to reduce this number.
- Did you ever say that you were going to keep in touch with someone yet have done nothing about it? Call them or send an email to them today
- Make a list of all the coulds, woulds, shoulds, maybes, oughts that you are telling yourself. Make a plan of action for each and every one or boldly strike it through with a line and let it go.
- Which standards are you valuing too highly? Are you being realistic, or do you have perfectionistic tendencies?Take a look back at all the lists you have made thus far and ask yourself is there a compromise, a short-cut or a simpler way forward.
- Which standards do you need to raise? List five (real) people who you admire. Identify their greatest qualities, behaviours and consider how they lead their life. What standards do they have? What standards could you raise to emulate their success?
By completing these exercises, not only will you be able to let go of some of the things that have been taking up your valuable attention but you will also get some clarity over your priorities and knock on the head those things that sap your self esteem. In time you'll be able to focus more on the here and now and the future, as opposed to getting bogged down in the mire of mental clutter. Way to go!