I just finished a memory course at Southern Methodist University. The class was all about the lively mind and techniques to engage the right-brain and left-brain simultaneously in order to skip short-term memory and move straight to long-term memory. What we learned was quite fascinating, but before we were able to start learning memory tricks, our professor had us get comfortable with forgetting.
She had us say to ourselves the mantra, "It's natural to forget." Then she had us play the "Cancel" game. This game is suitable for children and adults because it helps us identify and toss out negative talk.
Our professor told us to imagine ourselves holding two buckets. In the right bucket you hold good rocks and in the left bucket you hold bad rocks. Good rocks come from the positive thoughts and experiences in life and the bad rocks from the negative.
How often do we fill our bad rock bucket full with negative self-talk or bad comments from friends, family, co-workers, and ourselves? We also throw bad rocks at others. That bad rock bucket is easy to overflow and tilt the scales.
But there's a trick to keep the bad rocks from filling your bucket. You can push them out by saying, "Cancel." It's as easy as that. When you notice yourself engaging in negative self-talk, just stop and say, "Cancel." If someone says something mean to you say, "Cancel," and throw the bad rock out. If you catch yourself having a mean thought about someone, just stop and say, "Cancel."
Before you know it you can retrain your brain to focus on the positive, rather than the negative and your good rock bucket will be full and overflowing. You need them because there are plenty of bad rocks out there.
As you try to engage in self-help or seek career guidance and make better career decisions, try playing the "Cancel" game a little. I've already noticed a big difference in my attitude. I'm not perfect and can get down too. When I do, no matter how much I don't like putting on that smile, I try to do it and focus on the positive, good rocks, in my life, and it does help me feel better. Feeling better lends to a greater work life balance and self-awareness.