You might say.
But bear with me.
Have a look at the stack of suitcases photo above.
Now imagine a man carrying them on his back.
His back is stooped by the deadweight of the big baggage strapped across his back.
Hands and arms are being stretched far behind, dragging a couple more heavy bags on each side.
He’s barely walking like an injured soldier, returning home after WW2.
Blanched face and vacant eyes.
Oozing exhaustion from every pore.
But he can’t stop because he can’t go back.
He does his best to keep moving, putting one foot in front of the other.
Your Own Suitcases on Your Back
What if I tell you you’re carrying a stack of suitcases of your own like this weary man?
And you don’t know it.
I didn’t know it, either.
I had a massive baggage called an inferiority complex. It was instilled in me during my childhood.
And I’ve lived with it for the best part of my adult life.
Seeing my parents struggle to get by, I grew up with a belief that I was destined to live like them.
When I graduated and found a job, I wanted to start my own business.
But every time I wanted to emulate someone’s success, the inner voice jumped in.
Hey, this person has a privileged background and superior gene – you have neither!
I constantly compared my poor background to others and gave up before even trying.
My parents’ struggle was their baggage.
But as a kid, I assumed I’d inherited the same baggage without knowing I was doing so.
I took some of my parents’ baggage and carried them with me.
Whose Bag are You Carrying with You?
Here are loads of examples.
People who make us small because they feel small. People who make us feel worthless because they feel worthless about themselves. Lousy people who interject their unhappiness to our life.
People who sit in front of the TV telling you you’re lazy. People who tell you with their mouth full, you’re fat.
Those who mock you for trying to do things to improve your life. Keep saying you’re wasting your time.
People who expect you to please them all the time because they don’t know how to be happy on their own.
The list goes on.
Here’s the thing.
If a family member or a friend makes you feel insecure, she’s projecting her own baggage onto you.
She’s insecure, not you.
You’re exposed to it repeatedly.
Before you know it, you have their baggage shifted to your back. You accept it as truth and make it your belief.
You lug through life with old baggage on your back.
They are so deep-seated that they become part of you.
Toss the Bags off Your Back
Remember the poor man above carrying heavy suitcases on his back and in both hands?
Can you imagine how weak he must sound when he tries to talk while carrying the heavy load?
He’s completely burned out.
No matter how many times he repeats magic words to himself, he can’t save himself from the burden.
Unless he gets rid of the heavy load off his back first.
So he stops.
Let go of the darn suitcases in hands. Unstrap the ones on his back. With renewed strength, he kicks them off to the ditch.
He wonders why he even carried them.
His face comes alive. A faint smile back on his face. Pulls his back straight.
He starts walking. Slowly at first. But soon, with a spring in his step.
He utters a few words to himself. His once weak words now sound stronger. He even sings!
That’s what you need to do.
You need to identify the baggage you involuntarily put on your back that doesn’t belong to you.
And get rid of them.
Shake Shake Shake
Picture yourself, you’re shaking your entire body so violently that all the baggage is falling off your back.
Feel the instant relief from the heavy suitcases off your body.
But These People are Part of My Life …
Not everyone can cut toxic people out of their life.
If you’re in this situation, learn to keep an emotional distance.
Be alert to identify criticism and negativity for truly what they are: their baggage, not yours.
They’re venting their own issues. Let them.
But keep shaking the bags off your back. They aren’t yours. They never were.
All these baggages you’ve carried with you made you feel insignificant, never good enough or a total failure.
You know deep down it’s not true. You’re a good person. You are good enough as you are.
You deserve everything you want in life.
Um, Still Not Sure…
I get it.
We’ve carried this baggage for so long to dump at one go.
Try these 3 questions.
No, really, ask:
What’s one thing that I achieved and am proud of?
Big or small, it doesn’t matter what other people think.
It’s your achievement close to your heart that matters to you. That you’re very proud of.
So you have one achievement you’re thinking right now that puts a smile on your face and makes you sit a little taller, right?
Ask the next question:
Who’s one person that loves me?
Do you see his or her face in your mind? The smile that makes you feel totally loved?
Even with all your faults and flaws, this one person always loves you, right?
The last question:
What’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through?
Do you remember the frustration, pain, heartache and despair you felt then?
It was an impossibly dark place. But you overcame.
You’re here now.
We are Good Enough
We achieved something that made us proud in the past.
There’s someone who loves us just as we are, no matter what.
We got through one of the most difficult time to be here right now.
We are good enough as we are.
When you hit roadblocks while pursuing your dream life, remember them.
Remember, you are good enough.
Daily Mantra – “I’m Good Enough”
Now that you’ve identified and got rid of your baggage, and are nodding to why you are good enough as you are, it’s time to use a powerful mantra to cement the whole thing in your mind.
We will not let any doubt creep in.
Make this your daily mantra:
I’m good enough.
Say it out loud.
When you say it for the first time, you’ll sound unconvincing to yourself. You feel like a fraud.
Those are natural feelings.
You’ve only just gotten rid of the baggage.
Keep repeating the mantra as often as you can.
You’ll regain your strength and confidence and eventually sing like our weary man who kicked his suitcases to the ditch.
Decide now, you’ll not skip a day saying this mantra.
As time goes, you’ll notice that your whole thinking is being shifted.
When you’re stuck,
♠ “I’m good enough – I’ll find a way.”
As you feel frustrated,
♠ “I’m good enough – I can do this. I know I can.”
When you feel discouraged,
♠ “I’m good enough – I know I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
When you face a setback,
♠ “I’m good enough – I got through a tougher time. This is nothing. I’ll get through it.”
Say the mantra as many times as you can every day.
Or allocate a certain time so it becomes automatic as you engage in normal activities e.g. when you brush your teeth or before going to bed.
Make this powerful daily mantra your 30 Day Challenge.
If you find yourself skipped a day, start afresh from that day.
Experience how these few words can change your life completely and start living a happier and lighter life.
♣ After this post, I discovered the world-renowned therapist Marisa Peer’s TED Talk. I was pleasantly surprised to hear her words resonate with my thoughts. Watch her talk below.
In a nutshell,
The way you feel about everything all the time is down to two things. The pictures in your head and the words you say to yourself.
– Marisa Peer
Would you like to learn more about how to talk to yourself in the right way? Below are the best books to read.
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