With teams I work with, I talk about the three different kinds of mental baggage we carry:
We all have mental baggage. How we deal with the baggage often determines how we travel on the road ahead.
Events are the things that happen to us. Things that are out of our control: the weather, the economy, disease, accidents, betrayal and more. We then carry the baggage, the burden, and the stress from how that event negatively (or even positively) affected our life. It becomes a weight that we carry.
Consequences are the types of baggage that come from a cause and effect relationship we’ve played a role in. Something that we did, said, or worked on that didn’t play out the way we had hoped. There is baggage we carry then as we try to figure out how to move on, work through it, rebound, salvage it, or not repeat it.
Thoughts are perhaps the most significant kind of baggage. As the famous motivational speaker Zig Zigler once said, “The most influential person you will talk to all day is yourself.” The stories we tell ourselves and the way we make sense of the world, how we perceive it, and how we choose to respond, creates our reality. So many of us spend way too much time carrying around the mental baggage of the stories we tell ourselves—the negative thoughts that consume us—and the tragedy is that most of them are false.
I invite you to reflect on this today: What is a burden that is weighing on you day after day? Name it and identify what elements are things you can’t do anything about and what you just need to carry in a healthier way. What one to three commitments will you make to yourself to move forward?
Let go of the mental baggage. Forge ahead.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at JasonVBarger.com
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