To Be Successful in Life You Need to Leave Your Baggage Behind

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Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

The biggest challenge with feeling successful and accomplishing goals is the drama that holds you back.

Have you ever noticed your posture when you’re sad, depressed, or embroiled in a problem?

You’re probably hunched over. Does your back hurt? When you walk, are your eyes and head tilted down, literally avoiding seeing what’s ahead of you?

Louise Hay, the author of, You Can Heal Your Life, suggests that a sore back indicates the weight of emotional burden, and holding onto things you need to let go of.

“Back pain can be related to many emotions in your life. Lower back pain may reflect your fear of money or lack of financial support. A pain in your middle back may be connected to your guilt. Do you wish some people would get off your back? Do you feel stuck in all that stuff back there? Upper back pain could be related to you holding back love or feeling unloved. Do you feel a lack of emotional support?”

Life Supports You

Too often we drag our shit behind us like a burden of pride. Some people make a grandiose affair of it. They want their baggage to get noticed. They buy the most expensive Louis Vuitton and parade their problems for everyone to see and make comment.

What looks pretty on the outside is hiding a stinking cesspool on the inside.

I like to use the distinction between luggage and baggage. If you travel a lot you should invest in quality luggage. It will make your travels easier as you move forward to experience new adventures.

Divest yourself of emotional baggage.

It’s an easy statement to make. Easier said than done. For many years I held onto my past. I thought about people who made me feel bad and unworthy. I reacted to how heteronormative culture boxed me in and made me feel shame for being a gay man. I felt like a loser graduating high school with a 51% average.

When you don’t clean out your closets, you become a hoarder. The same with emotional baggage. The longer you hold onto it, the more it becomes. At some point I was dragging around so much shit, even I didn’t want to be around myself.

There were many key moments in my life where I looked at my baggage and said, “Enough!” I did the work to let go. One successful step forward was getting into university and falling in love with German language. I held an A- average and was on the Dean’s list every year. That allowed me to let go of not feeling smart enough.

In my early 30s I discovered personal development. I read and listened to all the greats in the field. On a weekend program I had a transformational breakthrough that changed my life. It was the simple awareness that I am 100% responsible for my feelings and actions. It was a proverbial light-bulb-turning-on moment and I never looked back.

With 2018 around the corner, what action can you take to let go of what’s holding you back? How would it feel to move forward with ease and be who you want to be?

There are many ways to deal with your past.

Journaling on a regular basis is a free tool for self-awareness and personal growth. Working with a therapist or support group is helpful when you feel you can’t do this work alone.

A coach will help you focus on the present and the future, mindful to keep you moving forward, not hindered by the burdens of the past.

Coaching is different than therapy. As a coach I help you focus on daily practices and habits, instead of trying to solve past challenges. It’s what we do with consistency and frequency that amounts to improvement and accomplishment over time.

From my experience working with therapists and coaches, I find coaching to be a more effective and pro-active tool for creating change.

How does coaching help you create change?

The idea is not to ignore the challenges of your past, but to pull you out of the mindless habit of focusing on what was, and what you cannot change. The focus becomes, what can you do now.

Too much focus on the past will keep you stuck, because you’re always looking behind you.

Too much focus on the future and you will start to worry about how you’re going to accomplish your goals.

There is only one place you can ever be

You can only ever be here and now, in the present moment. When you focus on what you can do in this moment, you have a better chance of feeling successful and accomplishing your goals and desires.

Having a plan — a list of what to practice and do in your day, having a 90 day progress plan, and written goals and dreams for the next 10 years — will help guide you in choosing what you need to do in this moment.

You can’t do everything at once. You can’t solve all your problems from the past in an instant.

What you can do is one thing at a time.

When you shift your focus from the past,

From what’s holding you back…

What you didn’t do…

What didn’t work…

To what you can do now…

That choice, that single shift in focus, will completely alter the direction of your life for the better.

If what you’ve read resonates with you and you’d like to explore working with me, find our more here.

Written by

I help human-hearted creatives cultivate their purpose to experience more freedom, impact, and joy in their lives.

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