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What would happen if you took all the "mental furniture" and moved it out, or better yet, lit it on fire?

Now that’s a visual!

And who couldn’t stand to have a bit more confidence? What if you could improve your confidence level by taking all of your old furniture outside and lighting it on fire? Well, you can, but keep in mind, we’re talking about MENTAL furniture. Today’s Monday Moment is inspired by a great author, Dr. Shad Helmstetter. He wrote a book called “What To Say When You Talk to Yourself” and when I read this particular analogy about self talk and what we do to ourselves when we talk to ourselves about improving and doing things better, it was one I couldn’t resist sharing with you!

Imagine for a moment, a “mental apartment”  – the place where you live with your thoughts. It’s furnished with everything you think about yourself – good and bad – and because this mental apartment has been with us a while, it is usually filled with “hand me down” furniture. It is the old negative way of thinking that was handed down from our parents, our teachers, our friends, and anyone else who has helped us with the programming of our sub conscious mind.

Imagine that because this is “hand me down” furniture, the sofa is sagging, the cups have broken handles, the chairs are broken and shaky, ready to fall apart if sat in too heavily. The pictures are hung crooked, the kitchen table leans, the walls are yellowed and faded and the coils on the bedsprings are showing through. Now let’s say I agree to come over and help you get rid of all your old furniture. So at four-thirty tomorrow afternoon I show up and help you move all your furniture out of your mental apartment and we stack it up stored in the garage. By six o’clock we’ve finished and and it’s empty and spotless. You look around and think “This is great! I’ve gotten rid of all of my old negative stuff and negative thinking. Now, I can be a positive thinker!”

That’s at six o’clock. You stand around, walk through your mental apartment and then stand around some more. A little later than evening after spending an hour or so with nothing but yourself and an empty apartment, what do you suppose you’ll do? You will go out into the garage, where the old furniture is stored and get a chair! A little later, you’ll make another trip to the garage and bring in a table and a dish or two. We are most comfortable with the thoughts we have lived with the most. It makes no difference if those thoughts aren’t the best for us  – it’s what we know, it’s what we’re most secure with.

When you decide to stop thinking negatively and increase your confidence, and do not have an immediate, new positive vocabulary to replace the old, you will always return to what is comfortable, that old mental apartment of furniture and old negative self talk of the past. If you got rid of the your old furniture and stored it in the garage, and you had no new furniture to replace it with, if I were to visit you in say three weeks, you would have put all that old furniture in back in your apartment. You may have rearranged and freshened it up a bit to make it look different, but it’s the same old furniture and the same old programming you had in the first place.

So, instead, let’s say I visit you and show up with a truck of brand new shiny furniture, the most beautiful you’ve ever seen! And this time, I help you carry all that new furniture into your mental apartment, your new positive self talk, and we don’t store the old negative self talk (or furniture) in the garage. We pile it up in a huge pile and set a match to it. We get rid of it. We light it on fire.

This time when I leave you are surrounded by beauty and new thinking in your mental apartment. What was once filled with tattered hopes and broken down dreams is now filled with the bright new beginnings of an exciting new you. The new mental furniture and new sense of confidence, through your new self talk, stands on the sturdy legs of self assurance; you have replaced frustration and quiet resignation with the contagious confidence of promise and belief. THAT is how positive thinking should work.”

Hope you enjoyed Dr. Helstetter’s take on things as much as I did. 🙂 Anyone up for furniture shopping? Maybe we should add a furniture shopping field trip or two to our Contagious Coaching programs!

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