Does your closet look like the leftovers from an Orphan Annie film?
There’s something satisfying about clearing your closet of old clothes that you hang on to ‘just in case.’
In case of what?
That you lose the weight to fit into your skinny, skinny jeans or are you keeping your fat clothes in case you put weight back on?
Or maybe you’re sure that one day that multicoloured waistcoat will come back in fashion.
Throw it out, and make space for new stuff. And not just in your closet
Get rid of all the junk you’ve stored in your mental closet. You’ve got years of outdated beliefs, old information, and negative self-talk stored that takes up space and trips you up.
It’s time to let it go and declutter that mental junk.
Dump outdated beliefs
Are your beliefs things that you still believe, or are they gathering dust?
A belief is a story we tell ourselves or have been told, and then we believe it as if it were true. Because, of course, mostly they aren’t true.
Beliefs are how we generalize and make sense of the world and can be really powerful. Even the beliefs you don’t consciously believe lurk in the dark corners of your mind and hold you back.
Beliefs that you’re shy, confident, clever, stupid, graceful, or clumsy, things you believe as if these are facts rather than opinions.
It’s time to ask yourself, is this true? How do I know that it’s true? What would happen if you didn’t believe it to be true?
Think about things that you’ve changed in your life. Think back to five years ago, do you do the same things you do now? Do you eat the same foods? Drink the same drinks?
No, I’m sure that you don’t.
Things are different in your life because tastes change and circumstances change, so why do you hold tight to some beliefs and not let them change or disappear?
Maybe you don’t notice them? Some beliefs slip under the radar.
When I was young, my mum told me never to buy books from second-hand shops because she said people bought books for sick relatives who then cough and sneeze all over them, and I was likely to pick up something awful.
It took me years to even pick up a second-hand book. Until I remembered that she took me to the library every week.
The belief that second-hand books were germ-ridden stuck to me like toffee without me realizing it. So look at the ideas you run.
An Italian friend wouldn’t dream of swimming for at least a few hours after he’s eaten a meal as he grew up around a belief that you could die if you swam on a full stomach. He won’t even have a bath until he feels he’s fully digested a meal.
Ask yourself why you believe things and dump those outdated beliefs.
Ditch the Diet Information
One of the first things I tell a weight loss client is to ditch all the diet information they’ve accumulated over the years.
Most dieters have tried everything from cabbage soup to baby food, and along the way, they store useless information they don’t need.
I’ve had clients tell me that they can’t eat avocados because avocados contain fat, albeit good fat, but they tuck into a Frankenstein food product like a processed pie.
They have a mind full of useless information that doesn’t serve them well. They obsessively count calories without noticing where the calories come from.
They listen to outdated research that has been discredited but is still trotted out by slimming clubs and courses.
And before they can listen with fresh ears and eyes, they need to declutter the junk about the junk they eat.
They’re so full of useless information and diet sheets that many can’t remember what they like to eat. The mountains of information have swamped their wisdom about when and what to eat.
Do you head straight for the self-improvement section at the bookstore, or are your eyes drawn to the latest self-help book in the Amazon charts?
There are hundreds of books telling you how to improve.
You might have felt the fear in the 80s and not given a Fuck forty years later, and the chances are you’ve picked up useless information along the way.
And now it’s time to get rid of it all.
You don’t need to improve yourself. The self you show up as today might not even be the same self you are tomorrow, so which self are you trying to improve?
If you want to learn Spanish, get fitter, or eat better, fill your boots. Learning new things is fun, but you know you can’t pour new wine into a glass half full of old wine; you need to throw away the old wine before you can refill.
And this is the same for you.
Get rid of the old information that clutters your head about why you need to be more. You weren’t born to be more; you were born to be.
Clear out that junk and leave room to have your fresh ideas and to listen to your wisdom rather than holding on to advice from people who think they know what’s best for you.
Remember, you’re the best at knowing what is best.
Let go of the feeling that you’re not enough
Enough for what?
It’s impossible not to be enough. You were born enough.
Clients tell me what their teachers said about them, their parents, or their ex-lovers. All the comments about how they aren’t clever enough, good enough, think enough, or any other flavour of lack you can imagine.
And my clients wear these negative comments like a coat.
In the same way, I’d encourage these clients to clear the old coat out of the closet; I ask them to clear this junk from their mental closet.
The only way to do this is to notice what you say to yourself. Clients tell me they hear their mother’s voice even though their mother has been dead for twenty years.
Norman Bates, eat your heart out.
Start a new narrative. A narrative that encourages you to believe that you’re good enough, clever enough, strong enough, and loving enough.
Stripping old beliefs is like stripping layers and layers of paint and varnish from a wooden door to reveal its original beauty.
Decluttering your mental closet gives you space for new thoughts and beliefs. Freedom to create and learn.
Marie Kondo your mind and be the you you are today.