They say the cream always rises to the top; but does crap do the same?
I’m not talking about literal “crap” — I’m referring to the negative beliefs that lie in the basement of your being and block you from your life of joy, fulfillment and freedom.
A Life of Noise
Social media and email before bed. Restless sleep. Loud alarm waking you up in the morning.
More social media and email right after you wake up. Out the door and into the traffic. Arrive at work. More social. More email. Now the meetings start.
Traffic on the way home — while checking your email and social. Get home, dinner with the family (thinking about work).
TV. Social. Email. Sleep.
Does this, or something similar, sound familiar to you?
Our lives today are filled with noise. Constant movement. Noise.
And more noise.
As a result, our minds are on fire. We can't stand sitting still. We're frustrated (and maybe scared) of silence.
We're so conditioned to seek out the noise like a warm security blanket that one recent study found that the majority of humans would actually rather submit themselves to electric shocks than sit alone with their thoughts:
"In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative."
Why are we so resistant to sitting alone with our thoughts?
Yes, some of it is the conditioning that leads us to crave the noise. But some of it is the fact that sitting in silence can allow our "crap" to rise to the surface.
What Kind of Crap?
In our Mindful Month Decelerator program, one of the most basic things we do — and also the biggest challenge for our participants — is to simply sit in silence for five minutes immediately after waking up.
Sitting in silence instead of jumping into the noise.
I've had clients who simply cannot do it (we work with them to make it a habit).
A big reasons is that sitting in outer silence allows the inner noise to rise. Within that inner noise is the "crap."
Perhaps our thoughts keep moving to a conversation that triggered us yesterday, an upcoming project that's causing anxiety, a memory from the past that is causing stress.
Oftentimes, it simply isn't fun to allow these thoughts and emotions to rise to the top.
We'd rather ignore them and hide them in the noise of daily life.
But when we avoid and hide and ignore, we aren't addressing these thoughts and emotions, which are rooted in our fundamental subconscious beliefs. It's those beliefs that fuel our thoughts which fuel our actions which fuel our results.
So, we can ignore them – but they are still driving our results.
Until we go below deck and confront and deal with these beliefs, they'll continue to drive the results we don't want.
Sitting in silence allows these things — as uncomfortable as they might be — to rise to the top.
The Actual Magic of Positive Affirmations
So many people like to espouse the power of positive affirmations, but are you simply pouring this positivity on top of the negative crap?
Imagine you walk into the kitchen to pour some refreshing water into your favorite glass — but your favorite glass is filled with dirt. Would you simply pour the water on top of it and drink the mud?
Of course not.
You'd clear the dirt out, clean the glass, and then pour in the water.
It's like that with positive affirmations.
Until you identify the negative dirt in your being, and clear and clean it, simply pouring on the positive affirmations will simply create mud.
Umar Hameed, a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner and sales trainer, addressed this in our most recent interview on the Freedom Media Network.
"A lot of people believe in positive affirmations. And I love them too. Here's why I like them," said Umar. "When I say, 'all women find me attractive. All women find me attractive...' I'm listening for the voice in the background saying, 'who are you kidding?'"
"The magic isn't in the affirmation," he explained. "To me, the magic is when that negative voice comes up. Because if you can trace that down to the belief that's causing it and change that belief that voice goes away."
In other words, you allow the crap to rise to the top. Then you can trace it trace it down to the limiting belief that is at the foundation of the limiting thoughts.
An Exercise to Help You
Starting tomorrow morning, when you wake up in the morning — go to to the bathroom (if you have to), and then go somewhere quiet and alone and just sit for at least five minutes.
Sit in silence before you speak to others, before you pray, before you do positive affirmations, before you check email, before you get on the phone, before you check social media.
Sit in silence for just five minutes as soon as you wake up.
Do this for five days in a row.
Each time after you sit in silence, as yourself...
What resistance did I feel to sitting in silence?
Why do I think that resistance was there?
What common thoughts or emotions keep coming into my head?
Is anything "triggering" me while I sit? What is it?
Right after you sit, journal the answers to those questions — as well as any additional observations you have — in a notebook.
Pay attention to the resistance. Become aware of the thoughts and emotions. What are they?
Do the same ones keep coming up? Is there a common theme?
Allow the crap to rise to the top.
Then become to investigate the beliefs that are at the root of the crap.
The next step is clearing and cleaning those beliefs, but first things first.
Try this exercise for the next five days and see what comes up. If you'd like to share your observations and results with me, please feel free to message me here on LinkedIn.
And when you're ready to move on to the next phase, which is clearing and cleaning your limiting beliefs, and if you feel you need help doing so, you can click here to book a call with me.
Curt Mercadante helps driven men free themselves from the limiting beliefs and stress that block their joy, fulfillment, and freedom. Click here to get access to our FREE Freedom Lifestyle Audio Course.