That piece of head trash, it impacts how we experience the world. It impacts how events occur to us. We see things as evidence of what we believe to be true. – Erin Pheil
I heard this last week as I was listening to a favorite podcast, Productive Flourishing. The topic of the episode is eliminating self-sabotage and limiting beliefs (click on Productive Flourishing above to hear the episode, nothing to download).
Funny how I’d never heard the phrase head trash, yet I immediately knew what it meant. Of course, I started thinking about my head trash. I know that you know what I’m talking about. It’s that incessant noise in our heads that tells us we’re doing everything wrong. That we can’t trust our own judgement; that we can’t manifest whatever it is we want; that people don’t really want to hear what we have to say.
As I listened to the episode, I was particularly struck by Erin’s points around the way we’re always looking for, and usually find, evidence to prove our back story. For example, this morning – a Monday – I’ve been berating myself over spending $600 last week on two business programs. The way I see it, that $600 proves to me that I refuse to control my spending; that I’ll never be able to control it; that I’m a total failure with money.
And, as I’m thinking these trashy thoughts, I’m lining up all the evidence to prove them. I’m spending too much on my office space; I’ve already spent too much money designing my new space; I eat out too much; I can’t budget, and on and on and on and on. And I take all of this evidence as proof that I can’t change; that I can’t do it. What’s really happened is I’ve earned enough money to keep everything going as my new endeavors come together.
Head trash – isn’t that perfect? It exists only in my head; it can’t stand up to the light of day. Oh, wow! I just realized that head trash is what Katty Kay and Claire Shipman are talking about in their book, The Confidence Code, when they wrote this: “Confidence occurs when the insidious self-perception that you aren’t able is trumped by the stark reality of your achievements.”
Is there anything more insidious than our head trash? It creeps into our brains and sits there, poisoning our ability to see what we’ve accomplished.
So, how do we empty that head trash? Personally, I’d like to burn it out, but that’s a no go. I’m thinking there’s no easy way to get rid of it, other than holding it up to the light of day.
Or, even better, talking to a trusted friend about it – because, here’s the thing, if I bury that trash? It’s going to get stinkier and stronger every day it’s buried – just like those banana peels and coffee grounds in your trashcan right now.
Here’s what I’m doing with my current load of head trash. I’m reframing how I think about those two business programs. It occurred to me that this is the perfect place to apply what’s supposed to be my ruling thought: This is going to turn out better than I can imagine. I even came up with the construct myself.
Finding my voice again
Right now, I’m slowly and painfully moving my thinking around those two programs to owning that there was a reason I bought them. That there is something lurking in the programs that will show me a different way of looking at their topics: emails to my list and podcasting. Which is hilarious if you look at my head trash up there in the third paragraph – “people don’t want to hear what I have to say.”
Interesting. What I really did was find two programs to prod me to put my voice out there again. And, y’all, what am I doing in this blog post? I’m putting my voice out there (I know you knew that, but just in case).
Don’t spill that head trash.
So, is it time for you to empty your head trash? What’s lurking up there in your magnificent brain, tricking you into thinking your amazingness isn’t enough – or worse, it doesn’t even exist? Cinch that trash bag up tight – don’t be spilling any of that particular trash – and throw it out.
Remember, that you’re amazing just as you are right this minute. Remember that it’s your head trash doing its best to fuzz up your view of your accomplishments. It’s also making you forget that This is going to turn out better than you can imagine. Because, it will, it will absolutely turn out better than you can even begin to imagine.