Last week I ground to a halt. Not because I couldn’t do what I needed to do or didn’t know what I needed to do…in fact, it was quite the opposite I was all too aware of the weight of baggage I was carrying.
Over the past 3 years, my wife and I have been in a total whirlwind of activity. It seemed like an endless stream of MUST DO’s. The first 18 months was calculated, my wife was completing her nursing degree while I managed the building of a Granny Flat and ran everything else. With only one busy oarsman pulling, jobs we would have ordinarily got done had to be left to “when we get a chance” which never happened. Andreia was put on hold, the gardens suffered and handyman jobs piled up. Commitments to volunteer groups were reduced to the social elements to achieve our goals which were completed on time and budget.
Then 12 months ago today, when we thought “cool job done let’s get back to normal”, all hell broke loose when my wife’s employers took adverse action against her, humiliating her in the workplace and throwing our lives into a tailspin. Now we truly learned the meaning of an endless stream of MUST DO’s. The battle for little people to gain recognition of harm is long and hard. The good news we have now won recognition of what happened to her, but we are now steeped in playing the legal game of cat and mouse…I tell you it is soul-destroying and it takes up time like a vacuum consumes dust.
Brick wall, sheet anchor or baggage?
That brings me to last week. Shortly we will be launching a long-planned, and we hope well thought out social media campaign which we hope will boost demand for our services. After all, that is the purpose of marketing, and that was what stopped me cold. At the time, I couldn’t identify the reason, was I afraid of success? Afraid of rejection? (Isn’t everyone?). In my case, as a hardened marketer, rejection is a sign you are fishing in the wrong pond. Was it that I didn’t want to disrupt my comfortable lifestyle (LOL) hardly! Nevertheless, I was completely dis-empowered around commitments for Andreia.
No man is an island
The worst thing you can do to your business partner is to keep them in the dark on what’s happening in your world I decided to call Tanja and tell her. “Hey I can’t commit to making this happen on the timetable we have, I know we’ve delayed and delayed often for very good reasons, we’ve made decisions that have held us back, and I know that all sounds like excuses, and this is where I am right now.” Not exactly what you want to hear from a coach who would propose you hire them to get you to the next level of performance. Baggage will stop anyone when it gets heavy enough.
Getting help with the baggage
Tanja (the coach you really want LOL) thought for a minute and then took me through a self-inventory to try and help me discover what it was that was stopping me. What was the FEAR I was feeling around the prospect of promoting Andreia. After a while, it became clear it was baggage. Baggage created and packed in the past that I was dragging along while trying to create a future. Baggage, I felt in some cases I was obliged to carry. Some of it baggage I was and still am in love with. Some baggage I was trying to ignore, and some baggage I didn’t even know was loaded up for the ride. A lot of baggage collectively creating a psychological weight so great that to push forward and create new obligations was a terrifying prospect.
There are great coaches, and then there’s Tanja!!
This didn’t all come out while I was working with Tanja, but when a good coach puts you on the right track, you are able to work with the concepts and bring forward into your consciousness what you need to know and do. Again, it doesn’t happen all at once, and I had a painful few days… truth be told I’m still not comfortable AND I am moving forward again.
“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Complete or let it go!
I am moving forward again by starting to “Complete or Let Go” the myriad of obligations I have been carrying around neatly packed into my baggage. First, I had to draw breath by getting honest with myself and those close to me, I was and are still struggling to carry the load I have shouldered. Then you need to get straight with yourself, “the willing horse gets the load”. I am responsible for accepting every stitch of baggage I choose to carry, AND so are YOU. Once you’ve brought yourself space and taken responsibility, the cull begins.
Jettison the freeloading baggage
First off, stocktake! Exactly what baggage am I carrying and why? That’s when I discovered the freeloaders I didn’t even notice were still there. Stuff from the distant past cares about the way people perceived me and my actions born of who I was being. You teach people how to treat you by how you interact with them. It is then pointless to blame them or get upset with their actions…you did the damage…let it go, move on. Hmm, that felt better. What’s next?
Then review the baggage you’re obligated to
What about this baggage I feel “obliged to carry”? Hey, I either choose to carry it or not. Nobody can obligate me to carry any burden unless I agree to carry it. Right then, which bags do I want to be responsible for and which is it time for me to complete and put down? Ahhh a bit more relief.
The price you pay to be true.
Now for the tough stuff, the baggage I love or that comes because it is an act of love to carry it. Those are the life choices we all have to make;
“YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT SO LONG AS YOU ARE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE”
This is where values come to play, my top value is “family”. Above all else family! A distance back, but still core to me, is Being who I say I am. Being who I decide I am and having the courage to BE ME.
Writing this blog is me being me, telling my truth. It is, I hope, a demonstration of the virtue of Andreia. I write and expose myself and my world not knowing the outcome, knowing full well that I could be as easily condemned and ridiculed as praised and revered for walking the walk. Well, that is over to you. What I do know is Tanja is an awesome coach, and I have walked a lot of roads and carried a lot of burdens so I have a few hints that might help you on your journey.
If you’d like to know more about what it’s like to strip back the shield and live authentically, be you that you were born to be, click here to book a place at our next demonstration. Oh and keep an eye out for the aforementioned social media we hope above else it is useful in helping you shift your baggage.