Through all our past experiences, we have accumulated learned behaviors we needed at the time to protect ourselves. We have had our feelings hurt, we learned lessons and created rules for ourselves. We have even learned things about who we are or found that we perceive ourselves in a certain way.
All this past baggage can become a freight train we drag into the future with us. The lessons and rules that used to serve us, are no longer valid.
Are you holding onto the past, dragging it into future experiences? To know if you are doing this, ask yourself whether you hesitate when something good comes your way. Do you talk yourself out of doing things you really want to do? Do you stop yourself from asking for a raise or sharing an idea at work? Do you hold back from asserting yourself when you’d like to be more forceful?
Our past baggage has skewed our perception of who we are. Often the way we see ourselves is very different from the way other people see us. We may feel inadequate or unconfident, yet others think we are amazing. We feel the way we do about ourselves because of accumulated life experiences. We learn to value ourselves and what is possible for us based on those experiences.
As the year started, and you moved into January armed with your list of things you hoped to accomplish, how many things did you not add because you thought they were not possible for you?
If we can let go of things that no longer serve us, we can make room for the things in life we really want. It is about freeing our past perception of ourselves and creating ourselves anew. As children, we never believed things were not possible until someone told us so and put us in a box. Let’s climb out of the boxes we find ourselves in and start from where we are now.
Begin to unload your baggage by doing the following:
- Decide what really matters to you. Who do you want to be today? Take one small action to support this. For example, if you want to be more outspoken, look for an opportunity where you can do this. When we look for opportunities, they come to us. Ever thought about a certain car or a specific color? Before you know it, you see it everywhere you look.
- Recognize that whatever happened to you is in the past. You no longer have control over this, nor can you change it. You can hold onto that past and as a result repeat those patterns, or you can decide that the past experience is not who you are. It was something that happened to you, but it does not own you.
- Remind yourself that, at this moment, the only thing that can limit you now is you. Your circumstances might not allow you to be where you want to be, but you can still control your thoughts, your perception of your life and the actions you choose to take each day. Take actions that support who you are and where you want to be.
See yourself as you want to be, with no limits. You get to decide if you want to stay in the reality you are in, or create a better one.