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Head Trash

February 8, 2011 –

Have you ever had one of those days when negative thoughts seem to permeate everything coming into your head? Maybe you didn’t have a great workout or you catch every red light or you feel overwhelmed or frankly everything just seems to be working against you. These evil little seedling start to make you doubt yourself and your capabilities.

“You can’t do this.”

“You’ll never finish what you start so why will today be any different?”

“You always get all the bad luck. Why will this time be any different?”

“You always see other’s succeed. You simply don’t have what it takes.”

And on and on and on. I call this HEAD TRASH! Head Trash is defined as any thought or inner voice that prevents you from taking a specific action to generate better results. It is your worst enemy on every given day.

I recently had a day when I had an abundance of head trash. All my passions, goals, and dreams seemed to get further away as the head trash came in. All the reasons why I couldn’t do something mounted while all the reasons I could do something shrunk.  Getting through the day was hard. Motivation was low. It’s like a parasite sucking all your energy from you. I visualize the Dementor’s from Harry Potter that feed off human happiness and cause depression and despair to anyone near them.

So, what do we do? We fight against it like we are fighting for our lives! Sometimes it is tough to shake, especially if we are not feeling the most upbeat that day. I found a great article on the web* and wanted to share it with the team. It’s quotes below.

“To achieve the results you deserve and are capable of it is essential that you dump your head trash. While this is easier said than done, applying a few techniques will help.

First, focus on what you CAN do that will generate a positive outcome. Instead of thinking of the negative aspect of the task, concentrate on the best possible outcome. For example, most salespeople hate to cold call.  But if you put yourself into the mindset that making these calls will generate new business, or at the very least, that they will help you connect with new and interesting people, your willingness to invest in this task will dramatically improve.

Next, take action immediately. Most people procrastinate when head trash invades their thinking and this prevents them from moving forward. However, taking one step or small action supersedes the desire to remain complacent. I believe it was Confucius who said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I have learned from experience that making a difficult telephone call eliminates the need to procrastinate and stimulates my desire to take further action throughout the day. And, as I continue to take action, the trash that may have collected in my head is emptied.

It is also important to associate with action-oriented people who support your goals and objectives. I start the week by talking to a good friend of mine every Monday morning. During our conversations we discuss the challenges from the previous week and explore options and ideas. I also belong to a Mastermind group and when we meet each month, where we help each other look for new opportunities within our respective businesses. All of these conversations help eliminate my head trash and motivate me to try new approaches and apply different ideas.

Take out your trash and watch the difference in your results.”

One other thing that helps me is visualization. My high school soccer coach used to make us visualize success before a game. While on the bus, he would call the team’s attention 15 minutes before we got to our opponent’s field. He would tell us to visualize ourselves dribbling down the field and making a goal. Positive visualization is a really powerful tool!

So empty the Head Trash. You can do ANYTHING you put your focus and energy behind.


5 Responses to “Head Trash”

  1. Mark Magee says:

    Great post and oh so true! There’s times when I don’t want to work out in the morning but I push play anyway. By the time the short warm up is over I’m ready to go and so glad that I took that small step just to “get started”…sometimes that’s all it takes!

  2. Coach Leo says:

    Great post, Mike. I am 100% with you with visualization which is something I used back in my teens when I was super active in sports. Today, when I work out, I use a $6 mirror I bought at Wal-mart next to my TV. Call it vanity but visualization, short term (as you exercise) and long term (projected results) can really do wonders.

  3. […] of strength have times when they lack self-confidence. There are times when I get caught up in my Head Trash and I feel like I am standing in quick […]

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