03/16/2013 11:42 am ET Updated May 16, 2013

Start Your Psychological Spring Cleaning

We sprang forward. Time to clear out the winter dust bunnies in your brain and make some space for the good stuff!

Let's start the spring clean with the question, "What's your racket?" Meaning, what is the nonsense story you continually tell yourself about yourself that gets in your way?

Let me share one of mine. When I was in my 20s, I used to declare, "I can't cook." Finally, my mother said, "Terri, that is so tired. If you can read, you can cook. Why don't you just say what you really mean, that you don't want to cook? Which is fine." Um... well... yeah, I guess I never thought of that. I was afraid if I learned how to cook, someone would expect it of me. I would have to be some kind of magician in the kitchen -- all meals, all the time.

Now that you have an idea of what I'm talking about, here are some steps to giving yourself that deep-down spring clean.

Step One: Identify Your Racket

What are the negative tales you think, say, or feel about yourself? What do you tell yourself you cannot do? Think of the ways you put yourself down in front of others or alone. There are many reasons why you may do this: not to feel like you're threatening others, to say it before someone else can, because your parents taught you to be "humble," or the fear that feeling or saying good things about yourself makes you conceited. Another reason people limit themselves with lies is so they don't have to take a risk. If I say I can't cook, then I don't have to try and fail, right? It spares me from finding out I am a bad cook, but it also robs me of the experience of trying and succeeding or perhaps trying and deciding I don't enjoy cooking, which is totally different than saying I am incapable.

Step Two: Declare the Limiting Belief a Lie

Once you realize what your rackets are, take time to journal about how these false beliefs came into being. Really think back to how the whole thing started. Did someone say or do something to you that caused you to feel fear or that you were somehow incapable? Remember how you felt at the time and write a comprehensive narrative about it. Connect the facts with the feelings. Then have one person you trust witness it for you. Read or tell them the story, then burn it. Yup, I mean actually light it on fire and release it back into the universe (someplace safe, please) and out of your experience.

Step Three: Rewrite Your Script

Here is the deal: It is your life. It is your story. If you don't like the storyline you are currently rocking, change it! It is all on you to change your mind about whatever does not work for you. I had a friend who hated her legs, and when her then-boyfriend (now husband) declared she had the best gams in town, she feared he was actually making fun of her. As it became apparent that he truly felt this way, she decided to go with it and see her legs as luscious instead of a liability. She has not regretted that decision and even wears short skirts now with a sassy attitude. I have no doubt she could have talked him out of it, but why would she want to do that? Beauty and truth are very subjective. Why not see things in a way that empowers you? It is just as easy or easier, and yields much more positive results.

Note: This is different than being in denial. We always have a choice as to how we view a situation, and I am suggesting viewing your life in a way that empowers you and taking responsibility for your own happiness because you are the only one who can.

Step Four: Write Affirmations to Support Your New Script

An affirmation is something you declare to be true. So now your job is to write affirmations about what you are creating. For example: "I am so happy and grateful that I (insert affirmation here)." Since the universe can only say "yes," be specific with the words you choose. Use only positive language in the present tense.
Fear gets kicked up when we change our minds about things. Remember fear is just a feeling, not a fact.

Now, out with the old -- throw the windows open and air the place out -- and in with the new freshness of spring (in your mind, that is). Make room in your mind for all of the life experiences that you are creating for this beautiful new beginning.

What are you tossing, and what are you longing to replace it with? Share in the comments!

Love Love Love


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