What is Head Trash and Why Do We Need to Get Rid of It?

(Episode 1 of 2 with Noah St. John)

What is Head Trash and Why Do We Need to Get Rid of It?
Sometimes the only thing holding us back is what’s in our head. We may consciously or unconsciously think we can’t do something, and that leads us to not being able to do it. Noah St. John is an expert in “head trash” or the mental blocks that hold us back. In today’s episode, we’ll define head trash, learn how to identify it, and discuss one method for getting rid of our head trash. In episode two with Noah, we’ll discuss more habits that can help us with our mental blocks. Noah St. John is known as the millionaire habits coach. He’s the author of books, such as The Secret Code of Success and Power Habits. Noah’s coaching clients have added more than $2.7 billion in sales by following his legendary methods. He’s appeared on more than 1,000 media outlets, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Entrepreneur, and The Huffington Post. 

What is head trash?

Noah’s passion is to empower people and help them take out their “head trash.” Many people have what Noah calls head trash, which holds them back. When we take out our head trash we can have more joy, fulfillment, happiness, and freedom in our lives. What is head trash? Head trash is the voice in our head that says, “I can’t do it because . . .” and we fill in the blank with whatever we think is the reason we can’t do something. We all have dreams; we all have things that we want. Our dream may be happiness, a new house, a new car, or to find the love of our lives. When we think about these dreams, our next thought is often, “Yeah, but I probably can’t do it,” or “It’s probably for other people but not for me.” What we’re really saying is, “But I can’t do it because . . .”

How do we identify our head trash?

Noah’s clients often tell him, “No, this is too simple.” Noah said, “Simple is the ultimate form of sophistication. Simplicity scales, complexity doesn’t. So, yes, it’s simple but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy.” To identify our head trash we can write down our big dream. What is our ultimate goal? What do we want in life? We must get specific about it. Then, once we have that, we can write down why we can’t have it. What’s the reason or excuse we’re making for why we can’t get to that goal? “I don’t have the time,” “I don’t have the money,” “I can’t afford it,” “My spouse won’t let me do that,” “My family will make fun of me,” or “My friends will think I’m stupid.” Whatever it might be, that’s the very thing that’s holding us back. This is what’s holding us back from making $10,000 more a month. If we think we can’t, we’re going to make it true.

Why We Need to Take Out the Trash Sooner Rather Than Later

Just like regular trash, our head trash can pile up. Imagine if we decided not to take out the trash in our home for a week. Then the next week we said, “I don’t feel like taking out the trash.” And the next week, and then the next. Soon it turns into months and then years. After 10 years of leaving the trash, how bad would the house smell? Head trash needs to be taken out regularly before it really becomes an issue. The problem is many people don’t know they have head trash because most of it is unconscious. Just like with an iceberg, we only see the top 5%, while the other 95% is underneath the surface. People go years without addressing that 95%. 

One Way to Take Out the Trash: Affirmations 

We all likely know what affirmations are: a statement of something we want to be true. In Noah’s workshops with his clients or his live events, he’ll often have the audience members say an affirmation. So, they’ll all say, “I am rich,” and then they’ll start laughing. Noah will ask, “Why are you laughing?” and they’ll say, “Well, I’m not rich.” Noah will say, “But you just said you were,” and they’ll respond with, “Yeah, but I don’t believe it.” The problem with this old method of saying affirmations is that we don’t believe them. Our immediate response is often, “Yeah, right.” We can tell ourselves that we’re rich, we’re happy, and we’re successful, but inside we don’t believe it because we know we’re unhappy, we’re broke, and we’re miserable. About 20 years ago, Noah was trying to do this method. He was reading all these books that said if you do exercises like this, they’ll help you become successful, but they weren’t working for him. For decades, self-help gurus and others have been telling us this method works, and we believe it just because they tell us.  For hundreds of years, humans believed the earth was flat and the center of the universe until someone came along and questioned those beliefs. Sometimes we have to question assumptions. One morning in the shower, Noah had an “aha” moment. He realized we’re going around making statements we don’t believe when the human mind actually responds automatically to something even more powerful: questions.  Instead of saying, “I am rich,” we can ask, “Why am I so rich?” This causes our brain to circumvent the “Yeah, right” response and focus on what we have. Affirmations cause us to focus on what we don’t have. “When you focus on lack, what do you get? More lack, more experience of not having. [But] when you focus on what you have, what do you get? More having,” Noah said. He calls these questions affirmations. Noah had been focused on what he didn’t have for his whole life because he grew up in poverty. That’s what his brain, and most of our brains, was trained to do. When he realized this, Noah had almost nothing; he was living in a 300 square foot basement apartment. But he shifted his focus to what he did have, which allowed him to grow and have more. We can do the same thing by using affirmations to focus on what we already have and create a growth mindset, which will allow us to pursue our goals without our head trash getting in the way.

Key Takeaways

Thank you so much Noah for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode: 1. Head trash is the voice in our head that says, “I can’t do it because . . .” 2. We can identify our head trash by asking what our goals are and why we can’t achieve those goals. 3. Head trash can build up. We need to take it out sooner rather than later, and regularly. 4. One way to take out our head trash is through affirmations. Instead of saying, “I am rich,” we can ask, “Why am I rich?” This forces our brains to focus on what we have, not what we don’t as well as helping us process how to get where we want to be

Connect with Noah

To learn more about or connect with Noah:

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    About the author

    Nathan Gwilliam

    Nathan Gwilliam

    I help organizations navigate tectonic shifts that are transforming the business landscape, so they can optimize marketing, accelerate profits, and make a greater difference for good.

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