Is anyone else ready to shake off these past couple of years and have a fresh start? It’s time to hit the reset button. Think spring cleaning for your mind! This following ritual is a powerful way to set a new course for the future.
When working out, you have to endure some tension and strain to build muscle. In the same way, our mind may initially resist clearing out fears and anxieties that hold us back. Regardless, showing up to the mental gym reaps massive benefits. You can repeat this process over and over again on different topics in any area of your life that’s in need of an upgrade.
Contrary to popular belief, inner work is not just for patchouli-wearing crystal owners (I prefer frankincense oil myself). It’s also for top-level athletes and executives who have to face fear and intense emotion with courage and vision to be the high achievers that they are. Plus, it’s what our partners, friends and colleagues often wish we would do to show up more fully for ourselves and take some strain off our relationships. Consider this next level, proactive self-care.
Supplies needed: Pen, paper, and water.
Find a private space where you will not be disturbed. Close the door, turn your phone on airplane mode or off, if you can. Commit to being present and going through the steps. Bonus points for mood lighting and relaxing music.
Write down a list of your fears or things holding you back. You could pick a specific subject to clear around — money, career, relationships, body, etc., or pick a goal and write a list of all your resistances to achieve that goal.
For example, if your goal is to attract an ideal romantic partner, try to braindump your fears and doubts — “What if I found them and then lost them? What if I’ll always be alone? What if they don’t think I’m successful enough? What if they’re not attracted to me? What if I’m not sure they’re the one?”
What are you ready to let go of from the winter or the past couple of years? Let’s get the emotional residue out of your system! We all may have subconscious resistance to getting what we want. Even goals that seem amazing to have — like more money or a new job — are going to come with a host of fears that could hold us back. If you name the resistance, it loses its grip on you. When you take this step, you’re moving powerfully toward your goals.
Destroy the paper. Rip it up, shred it, burn it or flush it down the toilet. Smokey Bear warning: Use a metal container or fire-safe environment if you’re actually burning something. There are few things more satisfying than destroying your fears! Remember being a kid and destroying sandcastles? Knock it down! Get rid of it. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Now, it’s time to really dream! Answer these questions:
Don’t be realistic; shoot for the moon! Take as long as you need. It’s about going beyond just thinking and into imagination. You can set “realistic” goals all you want later. For now, give yourself permission to dream and see what happens.
Shift your physiological state — dance to your favorite song of the week, take 10 deep belly breaths or explore how your body wants to move in its own way, like a run, sex or Wim Hof breathing (channel The Iceman!).
Pro tip: Celebrate out loud that what you asked for is already on its way (i.e. “I am so grateful for all of this wealth and opportunity coming my way”). Speaking out loud what you desire with emotion trains your subconscious mind more powerfully than just thinking or visualizing positive thoughts, and when done together, it can yield profound results.
Congratulations on completing your DIY personal growth ritual. Rinse and repeat any time you need. Feel free to write to tell us how it went! firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Authors
Peter Craig is a TEDx speaker and licensed counselor specializing in peak performance, relationships and mindfulness at Presence Wellness. Dana Arielle is an intimacy and relationship expert and life coach at DanaArielle.com.