The other day I was talking with my husband in the car and I, in my most loving manner, said, “Geez, you got some issues.” To which he replied, “Yeah, I’m a hoarder. I hoard my issues.” Now, that got me thinking. I have to admit that I loved watching Clean House’ Search for the Messiest House in America. I was absolutely mesmerized by the sight of a house crammed with enough stuff to fill a 12,000 sq ft warehouse. “Wow! That’s some serious shopping!” I thought. Not to mention a waste of money and life energy. But if you think about how cluttered the kitchen counter gets in a week if you don’t pick anything up and just keep heaping up the mail, it’s easy to see how in a year, you’d have a real mess on your hands!
It’s the same with issues. All those hurt feelings, slights, off-handed comments that just stay with you and keep on building if you don’t purge them. Not making the final cut for cheerleading may not seem like a big deal but if you still think about it, it needs to go.
So how do you purge all those thoughts that just make you crazy and keep you stuck? Here are a few exercises that will help you move past your issues.
Make the Decision to Move On
Some people love nothing more than to wallow in their past pain. It not only makes them feel special, it also helps them stay stuck by “proving” that bad things happen all the time. It also relieves them from all responsibility for the incident.
“Don’t get married. He’ll/she’ll leave you just like your father/mother left me.” No one ever mentioned that the marriage was doomed from the start because they were incompatible. Instead the wounded makes sure she/he has a good excuse for never putting themselves out there again.
Make the decision that enough is enough. Playing it safe may seem like the smart thing to do but change happens even when you’re sitting at home.
Once you’ve made the decision to make a change it’s time to take some steps to move in that direction.
Change the Channel
I know that sounds easy enough but what can you do when the tape keeps rolling over and over in your head?
You have to remember two things:
It’s just thoughts. It’s not reality at the present moment. It’s YOU just making yourself crazy by recalling past slights or unpleasant events. If a bear is chasing you in the woods, you will not be thinking about how many times you failed at starting a jogging routine. You will run like you qualified for the Boston marathon. That’s reality.
You can change your thoughts. Yeah, you really can. Some will say “But then I’ll be living in fantasyland.” There’s a good chance you already are. Experts say that memory tends to be very unreliable. So unless you have someone to collaborate all your memories, there’s a good chance it didn’t happen the way you remember.
When you find yourself going down a slippery slope of self-doubt or you find you’re repeating old habits, change what you’re doing. Get up from your seat, go for a walk, call a friend, go the mall, just change whatever you’re doing to snap yourself out of it and see a brighter picture.
These techniques are quick and simple but take practice. Old habits are hard to break. If you find yourself constantly reverting back, give yourself a limit on negative thinking and then give yourself a reward.
Now that you cleared up some of your brain space. It’s time to learn a new activity!! The sky’s the limit!
Eva Lewandowski MBA, is a certified Life Coach, certified EFT Practitioner, seminar leader, speaker and co-host of a weekly internet radio show “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva”. She is also a 30 year veteran of Corporate America as an IT consultant. Using the skills she learned in acting classes, life coaching and EFT certification training as well as her struggle with debilitating stage fright, she created, Stand Up and Be Heard!, a program that teaches professionals how to overcome their fear of the spotlight. She is also the author of “Put on Your Phone Face: Tips and Techniques for teleconferences and conference calls”.