These are testing times for us both mentally and physically. Locked down in our homes and experiencing fear and uncertainty about the future, there’s a lot of time to dwell and ruminate. Of course, a certain level of anxious thinking is inevitable – these are unprecedented circumstances and it’s only natural to worry. But I’d like to suggest that we try to diffuse the anxiety by using this time as much as we can as a period of self-reflection and spring cleaning. Making a concerted effort to let go of the things that aren’t serving us can only be beneficial for balancing our minds and helping us cope in dark times – as well as preparing us to restart with a refreshed sense of purpose and clarity when we return to some semblance of normality.
So – my questions to you this week are – what are you holding on to that isn’t helping you? What in your emotional and physical life is preventing you from progressing?
Examine your idea of ‘self’.
Is your mind often full of nagging beliefs and thoughts about yourself and your capabilities? Our beliefs are shaped by our culture, upbringing and personal experiences – not to mention the important role of the media and the information we have access to. They can affect the way we view our lives and our potential – limiting what we think is possible. Practise questioning these beliefs. Examine them with intellectual rigour and do your research. Ask yourself how these beliefs are serving you. Seek evidence to counter them. Clear the obstacles from your mind and open the way to new possibilities.
Examine your relationships.
Think about all the relationships in your life. Are they all positive and mutually beneficial? Are you clinging on to some that don’t nurture you or that are mentally draining? Do some of your relationships have a negative impact on you emotionally? Take the decision to remove toxic or unhelpful relationships from your life – let them go and allow yourself the freedom to move on.
Examine your resentments.
Do you find yourself feeling resentful about people or experiences from your past? Holding on to to such negative energy isn’t helping you. The past has happened – you can’t change it, and dwelling on resentments keeps you stuck. Liberate yourself from its draining effect. Concentrate on things you can control and change and you will have the space and energy to progress.
Examine your assumptions.
We all make assumptions – it’s the way our brains try to make sense of the world quickly when there’s incomplete information. (See my blog on this here). But the problem with assumptions is that our emotions cloud our judgment. Our assumptions are skewed thinking based on our own feelings and learned behaviour – they do not represent objective reality. So when we make a negative assumption – we are often disempowering ourselves and holding ourselves back. Think about all the assumptions you make about yourself and about others’ motivations. Examine these assumptions. Are they really true or are they based on old, biased information and experiences? If they are – try letting them go. Think of other solutions and possibilities.
Examine your physical space.
We’re all familiar with the latest craze of tidying, organising and decluttering popularised by the likes of Marie Kondo and Mrs Hinch – but there’s a reason it’s struck home with millions. Ditching the physical distractions from our lives is hugely important for achieving balance and calm and for giving us both the physical and mental space to move on. Look at the physical possessions around you – are they all necessary or are some of them just remnants of the past? Are they useful – or are they just memories? Clear out what you can. Pare down your physical surroundings and in turn, your mind will quieten.
Letting go of the things in our lives that are having an adverse impact, is the only way we can create the mental and physical space for the new. Let go of the negative and make room for the positive. Tune into this week’s podcast to hear more about the power of letting go. Are you a lawyer interested in the Having It All Coaching Programme? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.