Your home or office may be filled with “clutter”, stuff you don’t need. That’s why there are experts who will help you organize your space. Well, your head can be filled with clutter, too. I call this brain clutter “vaporisms.”
Vaporisms can take the form of idle daydreams, “grass is always greener” thoughts, negative self-talk, etc. Your thoughts determine who you are and what you do. Do you want to be a vapid, self-defeating dreamer, or do you want to be a dynamic, productive success?
Fears, doubts, insecurities, and the like are part of life, and you will always have them popping in to visit. Sorry. But, you can push on in spite of them. You can choose to let them stay, or you can show them the door.
If you can identify your own negative or “cluttering” thought patterns then you can overcome them. For example, if you tend to fall into the “poor me” trap, plan to replace “poor me’ thoughts with something like, “I control my own destiny”, “I determine my own happiness”, “I am so thankful for ________” (gratitude is an awesome anti-vaporism), “Look at what I accomplished today”, etc.
Here is an exercise to de-clutter your mind by showing vaporisms the door.
The Anti-Vaporism Workout
All you need for this is a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.
Examine your thoughts. What are your personal vaporisms? Create a table with two columns. Label the left side “Vaporisms” and the right side “Positivisms”. What vaporisms are cluttering up your mind today? Start listing them in the left column. Don’t analyze, just let them out.
2. Let Go
Now that they have emerged from your head, it is time to say good-bye. If you are feeling particularly creative, you can even give them names(”Bye Bob!”). Cross each one off as you say good-bye.
It is not enough to just empty out the negative thoughts; you have to replace them with something positive, i.e. “positivisms”, or those vaporisms can creep right back in. For example, replace “I can’t” with “I can and I will”, or “Someday I’ll do it” with “I’m going to start right now”. Write down the positivisms in the right-hand column, then say them out loud. Tear or cut the vaporism column from your paper and throw it away. Put the positivism list somewhere you can see it often.
I also suggest that you try this alternative and see if it works for you. Research has shown that it may be more effective to promote positive thoughts and habits if you pep yourself up in in the third person. For example, instead of saying to yourself, “I can do this,” say to yourself, “Okay Mary [use your own name of course], you can do this.” We are often our own harshest critics, so talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.
Final tip: I don’t recommend talking out loud to yourself in the third person when other people are around. That would just be plain weird.