You may think….
this blog is about going on a trip and how you pack your bag! That you find you pack everything but the kitchen sink because you may need that one thing and you surely don’t want to be without it. And, this is about how you can pack lighter and be more efficient Nope, it is not! My hope is you do become a little more efficient however in a different way.
This is about the ‘mental luggage’ you are carrying around. Some don’t even realize they are carrying it until something happens and then the weight hits and feels very heavy! Others feel the weight every minute of every day. This ‘luggage’ can be from our past and it can be from our present or a combination of both. It is what we choose to do with it that makes a difference.
My ‘luggage’ was heavy
and I carried it for years, not even realizing it. It was full of self-doubt, lower self-esteem, shame, not being ‘enough’ and so much more. Yes, I functioned in the world, always had a job, worked, made friends, my family loved me. Which, you might be saying in your head right now, “Really? Then what do you have that could be so bad? You had all this good.” That is the point, it is about what we choose to put in our luggage.What a person perceives as their ‘weight’. It might not seem like a big deal to another, that doesn’t mean the weight of it isn’t large for me! We all have our own private ‘scale’. Each of us has things, events, lack of things, not enough money, stress, and other people that we let get to us in ways that are very hard to let go of. So, we pack them in our bags and carry them. The next thing comes along and it goes into the bag too and pretty soon, that luggage is so heavy we can’t even pick it up. It can be what brings a person to a breaking point.
We cover up that our luggage is heavy. We don’t want other to see it is heavy. This is done by putting a smile on our faces, showing confidence, pretending all is OK, and yet inside the person, there is the fear of another finding out that this isn’t the ‘real me’, I am a fraud, and I can’t have you see how scared I am? If you know the ‘real me’ you won’t like me anymore or want to work with me, you won’t trust me, etc. The list is long of those fearful feelings!
Unpacking and lightening the load can be the hardest yet best thing you can do for yourself. The day I started to lighten my load was when I was going through a program, that had me dig deep as I was exploring why I am in the profession I am in. They kept digging and I kept revealing things, not just to them, but to myself also. And, I realized that day, where a lot of the weight of my luggage came from. It was being bullied as a child. And yet, until that moment I really didn’t realize how much it had affected me from then and throughout my adulthood. It was the day, I started emptying my bags. Trust me it took a while for me to put those bags down and stop carrying them. But, when I did what a relief it was!
How to start putting your ‘luggage’ down:
- Reflect on what is weighing on you both in your personal and business lives.
- Realize what is in your control to work on or fix and what is not.
- Learn to let go of what is out of your control or you can’t fix. Carrying that weight does not serve you.
- Find a person or several people, they can be a professional, a good friend, someone you trust, to talk to about what is weighing you down. Remember they may not be able to ‘fix it’ either, however, they may be able to help you find the path to lighter luggage.
- Try and find the good in what you thought is bad. At a certain point, you may start to see how what you thought was bad actually helped you in some way become the person you are now. You just couldn’t see it before.
- Learn to understand that no matter what you have been through, you are not alone. Someone else out there has walked your path. Maybe in a different way, but they did. Learning that you are not alone can be one of the best ways to put that luggage down or at least getting some help carrying it for a while.
- Work on the things you do have control over. Maybe not all of them at once, but one piece of the puzzle at a time. It helps in making the picture clearer.
- The things you don’t have control over, hand those to someone else who can fix it. Then you don’t have to worry about it any longer.
- Did I say, find someone to talk to? Someone, you trust? And you might tell them these words, ‘I am going to talk and I don’t need you to fix it for me’. See sometimes we just need someone to listen and hear. They don’t have to fix it, they just have to be there.
- Try, mentally, to recognize when you are picking your heavy luggage back up and ask yourself what can you do, to not do that by using some of the ideas above. Ask if this task is ‘serving you’.
- Remember that you are an awesome person, and out there you have touched someone else’s life, somehow, someway. And, maybe you can help them put their luggage down or by helping them carry it for a while until they can let it go. Remember, you are not alone!
Do yourself a great service and start to lighten the load. When you do you will find that your mind is clearer, your stress levels are lower, the sun seems to shine just a little brighter. We all can use a little more sunshine and warmth! You have it within you!
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