Extreme Esteem: GIGO – garbage in, garbage out

“Take out the garbage. True happiness comes from within not from without!”

– Ken Poirot, American financial advisor and best-selling author

“You’re sure Dave won’t mind?” I asked. “He really loves this old chesterfield.”

“It’s garbage and it’s going to the landfill,” replied Colleen. “I told him about it.”

I wondered if Dave knew that I was helping his wife haul it there. I also wondered if he knew about the five or so boxes that Colleen was also loading into my truck. Dave had always been a bit of a hoarder and I occasionally wondered why he hung on so tightly to things most people would consider garbage. To be honest, most of it looked like garbage to me, too.

Garbage is all around us. But even more so, it’s in us: in our thoughts and our words, demonstrated in our attitude and expressed through our behaviour. The garbage I’m referring to is self-destructive ways of thinking and being that hold us back from happiness and success.

Think about any self-defeating belief, whether it be about success, abundance, happiness or joy. It’s obvious these notions are counter-productive so where did they come from and why do we hang on so tightly to them? Sometimes we collect and hoard our garbage. Other times, the garbage was given to us by a parent, sibling, or authority figure and we accepted it as useful or our burden to carry. Letting go can be a challenge as much of this “garbage” functions below the level of conscious awareness and never sees the light of a rational examination.

Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO) is a phrase used in the field of computer science. Computers will obediently process the most irrational of input data and produce equally nonsensical output. The subconscious mind is much like a computer in this respect. Wrong information and poor programming will generally bring about an adverse outcome. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

One of the best ways to rid ourselves of this garbage is to begin building our self-esteem. Improving our self-esteem requires a serious look at our belief and value systems. All change starts with awareness and, once aware, we can begin to rewrite the program.

When our programming is faulty and our output illogical or even self-destructive, we tend to defend our self-defeating behaviour in one of three ways: generalize, distort, or edit.

We may generalize our problems and assume everyone has the same ones. For example, we may assume everyone lives paycheque to paycheque if we do, and getting ahead is, therefore, impossible, so why bother trying?

Distortion is when we take an event and begin to exaggerate its importance or significance, for example, winning $10 on a lottery ticket and then assuming the big win is just a ticket or two away. Recently, I was at the mall and stood behind a man at the lotto kiosk who checked 42 tickets without winning a nickel. I know, I counted. He sighed heavily with each non-winning ticket and trudged away downhearted.

When we edit an experience, we leave out the parts that don’t support our beliefs or viewpoint. This is especially true when we’re justifying inappropriate behaviour.

Here’s something to keep in mind. Once you raise your awareness to the point of recognizing the garbage that you’re holding onto, you then need to take full responsibility for your programming and the quality of the data you feed into your computer-like subconscious. It means choosing to program yourself with useful information and beliefs: carefully selecting what you read, watch, say, hear, accept as true, and experience. Keep in mind, the GIGO premise also operates in reverse: quality in equals quality out.

In the words of American best-selling author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, “What comes out of your mouth is determined by what goes into your mind.”

Not living the life you would like? It’s probably time you took out the garbage.

Murray Fuhrer is a self-esteem expert and facilitator. His most recent book is entitled Extreme Esteem: The Four Factors. For more information on self-esteem, check the Extreme Esteem website at www.extremeesteem.ca

Just Posted

WATCH: Christmas Wish Breakfast toy donations almost double

All toys donated Sunday will be given to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau and Red Deer Salvation Army

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month