Empty the Trash

It started with a simple task: update my Mac computer.

Never mind the fact that I hadn’t done this for eons. Like literally…I looked it up. Eons means “an indefinitely long period of time.” (Thanks dictionary.com) Eons, people. Eons. For real I can’t remember how many months it had been, or years, since I had updated this computer. The reason why doesn’t really matter, but I’ll tell it to you anyway. This computer lived in our office and was rarely used. Because laptops. That’s why. And then the day arrived where I needed to use a computer program that required way more space than my laptop had on it. Thus my Mac desktop moved home to save the day!

It started with this simple task. Hours later, I was pulling my hair out!

You see, I noticed that the trash can on this computer was overflowing. In fact, it was overflowing so much that it was birthing new baby trash cans all around it, sprinkling their ripe trash can smell. In digital terms, this means that the trash can was so full that I couldn’t even see an end in sight!

So I emptied the trash.

Let me ask you a question…has it ever taken you 45 minutes to empty your trash? No? Didn’t think so! Usually emptying the trash – whether real trash or digital trash – takes maybe 5 minutes tops if you have to walk to the dumpster. Well, this task, took 45 minutes. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES! Just to empty my digital trash can of files that I didn’t need anymore!

By the time it was all said and done, my computer had emptied (a.k.a. deleted) 978,452 files. You guys! That is almost 1 million!!! I mean, math is not my strong point – but the numbers don’t lie! Seven figures of files to delete!!!

It’s been about a month now and I am staying on top of this trash can situation, emptying it once a week now instead of every few eons. It did get me thinking though…

When is the last time I emptied the trash can in my mind?

And good grief, how many “files” are stuck decaying in a rancid smell there?!

Think about it for yourself. We all have trashy, negative thoughts that pop in and out of our heads all day long. All day. Every. Day. When we don’t know this, those thoughts pile up. And they smell! Let me tell ya!

What if you had 978,452 files of negative, trashy thoughts about yourself just stuck there in your head? Chances are good that if you’ve never thought about this – and you struggle with rising up into a better version of yourself – your mental trash can is overflowing and birthing baby trash cans of icky negativity all around it. The stench is probably making you scrunch your face every day. Ew!

Listen, emptying your trash is not hard. It is a little time consuming. You might not have nearly one million files to empty, but the ones that are stuck there are certainly stinking up the place. So let’s band together and empty your trash. For real. It’s time!

The good news is that this process will be much less messy than emptying the real trash, and certainly less stressful than emptying the digital trash that always comes with technical difficulties. Let’s go…

Step 1 Grab a notebook and pen, pour yourself some coffee or tea or whatever your comfort drink is, and sit yourself down on a chair and answer this question: What are all of the negative thoughts toward myself that I’ve had lately?

Step 2 – Actually answer it. You’ll be tempted not to. In fact, just when you read the question you’ll probably realize that your actual kitchen trash needs to be taken care of! Don’t do it. You owe it to yourself to get this out of your head and on paper!

Step 3 – For every negative thing you write down about yourself, write down 3 positives that you see in yourself. This one is gonna stretch you a bit. It really will. It will be worth it though.

Step 4 – Make the decision to immediately speak a positive word of encouragement to yourself the moment a negative, trashy thought pops back in. This is important. Skipping this step will be like emptying the kitchen trash and then not putting in a new bag. Ew!

Step 5 Surround yourself with people who are willing to encourage you too. It might not be your family, it might not be your spouse, it might not even be your friends. However, I promise you that there are people in this world who will do this for you and with you. You just have to find them!

Okay then. There you go. Now, clearly, you’re going to have to apply this often. If not, you’ll just have another million trashy thoughts to empty eons from now. *wink*

Much love,

~Coach Mandy



P.S. If you really are in desperate need of help with this, then I invite you to join the team and me for the UNASHAMED Mini-Retreat. We’re going to be emptying LOTS of trashy thoughts that day, and we’ve got plenty of cleanup supplies to make this a long-lasting habit! Join us!

Mandy B. Anderson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Big Blue Couch™ Coaching, LLC. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, Mandy has walked the road of an Overcomer her entire life. She is passionate about helping others rise above their circumstances, be brave, and live beautifully whole. She is the author of the books, In Sickness and In Health: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Cystic Fibrosis to Total Health Unashamed: Embracing Your Authentic Self in a Cookie Cutter World, and She Who Overcomes. Mandy lives in North Dakota with her husband, Nate, and their fur-baby, Ajah B.