How many times have you allowed someone to take up space in your head for free?
If you have read my previous blog post ‘Why you need to start saying ‘No’ then you will have seen me refer to your time and energy as a financial transaction. In this case, let’s think of your headspace as a place to rent.
I know that I’m definitely guilty of allowing people to occupy my headspace, free of charge, for way too long. Most of the time, they don’t have any reason to be there, they’ve just turned up, put up their feet, poured a wine and decided they are staying until told otherwise.
Whether it be a friend who has wronged you, the ex’s new girl, a relative who’s pissed you off or just some random girl you saw on the internet and for a split second you compared yourself with her and now she’s moved in and is eating your snacks.
Whatever the reason for them sneaking in and claiming squatter’s rights, it’s not okay and they need to leave.
But here’s the thing, they are only there because you allow them to be.
For a long time, I thought that I didn’t have any control over my thoughts and in some aspects you don’t, they pop up and seem to appear from nowhere. However, you do get to choose which thoughts are true to you, and which ones are a result of your own insecurities or the dreaded comparisontis bug.
A good way to differentiate this is by asking yourself; has this thought come from an actual fact or is it coming from an assumption or a story that I’m telling myself?
Most of the time I’ve found that these squatters in my head are actually there because of assumptions or story’s that stem from my own insecurities and the way I feel about myself.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s definitely possible to get a handle on them and learn how to choose better thoughts instead.
Here are some things that worked for me:
- Come up with a line or phrase that you can say to yourself whenever you recognise the negative thought patterns appearing. For me, I realised that my main insecurity was that I didn’t feel like I was enough, so whenever my mind tried to lure me down the rabbit hole of my own bullshit story, I would stop it in it’s tracks and simply say ‘I am enough’. Sometimes I would have to say it multiple times, but sure enough, the more I did it, the more I believed it and easier it became to redirect my thoughts.
- Whoever it is that is setting up camp in your mind, is only going to stay there longer if you keep seeing them on social media. Unfollow them. Now, I know that just the thought of doing this is going to bring up all kinds of resistance, because I also know that watching their every move on social media has become your new part time job. It has become an addiction. But in order to start the eviction process and get them out of your head, you need to go cold turkey on this one. Get it done.
- Stop talking to your friends about them who will just throw more coal on the fire and pour the unwelcome visitor another glass of wine. I know that your friends have good intentions and your best interests at heart, but by talking about you know who, you are just giving her more power over your mind and allowing her to stay longer. Unless you have a friend that is willing to just listen unbiasedly, give honest feedback, who will not contribute towards any bitching or feed your addiction by joining you in your cyber-stalking, then don’t do it to yourself.
- Finally, find a positive way to occupy your mind until they have left for good and you’ve changed the locks. What do you enjoy doing that you can get lost in? Do you enjoy a good book? A walk in nature? Going to the gym? Or maybe you just prefer to binge watch the latest series on Netflix. Whatever works for you, use it.
Changes don’t just happen overnight, but I do know that using these steps consistently, forgiving yourself when you f*ck up and then getting back on track, will get you there.
As I said, it’s not going to be easy, but I can tell you it’s going to be worth it.
It’s time to take back what is rightfully yours my friend, clear that space for the people who deserve to be there.