Got Baggage?

Get Clear From the Inside Out

April 2014 Insights

Let’s face it no matter how “perfect” your upbringing may have been or how fortunate your life is turning out, we all have some level of “emotional baggage”. I use the term emotional baggage loosely as a means to describe the cumulation of responses to our negative life experiences. It is not the degree of anguish one experiences that is most important but rather how well aware one is of its impact on their current life and how they choose to manage it.

blog_mar14Getting clear from the inside out is nothing you haven’t heard me mention before. I’ve made references to its significance many times in past newsletters. However, in this month’s Key’s to Success Insights I’d like to provide greater clarity and share how in Energy Leadership coaching emotional baggage can show up and and rear its ugly head into four distinct barriers, limiting the level of success and happiness we have in our lives.

Just to be clear here, my intention in this newsletter is not to dig up any unpleasant memories or have you labor over all past unfortunate experiences. Rather my hope is to minimize the power of your emotional baggage by revealing how it slips into your inner game of thoughts and feelings.

Barriers to Success

1) Limiting beliefs- Limiting beliefs are the general beliefs you have about the world,your environment and situation, and the people around you that stand in your way.Generally, these beliefs are accepted as truths (to you) because somewhere along the line you have learned them from someone else (i.e parents, teachers, friends etc.), from something that happened to you or from another “authority”, such as the   media, a book, or movie.  So often I hear women I work with say things like; “Happiness is reserved for the lucky” or “Women cannot be good mothers if they  pursue too many of their own interests”.  These are great examples of limiting beliefs because clearly if you don’t think you are responsible for your own happiness nor think you are capable enough of being a good parent while maintaining your own personal growth, you’re not likely to devote much time and energy to achieving either.

2) Disempowering Assumptions– Similar, though more personal than limiting beliefs are the  disempowering assumptions we make due to past failures or negative experiences. People who fall prey to making assumptions limit their self-growth because they aren’t considering other possibilities nor seeking alternative solutions for better a outcome. Common assumptions I often hear  clients say include; “Some habits just can’t be broken” , “My husband (partner) just doesn’t get it” or  how about the famous “I just  don’t have enough time to consider doing that for myself right now”.

3) False Interpretations- Many of us make the mistake of creating an opinion about an event, situation, or experience from only their own personal viewpoint. Our personal viewpoint is often tainted by our emotional baggage. If we don’t seek other objective perspectives, we limit ourselves by not considering other possible ways to look at or explain something.  As a result we often wind up wasting a great deal of time, energy and money marching off in the wrong direction. Consider these interpretations; “She doesn’t like me”, “They don’t care about …” and “My son/daughter is just plain lazy”. Clearly , if we accept these interpretations as truths you have little control over what may or can happen next.

4) Our Inner Critic- Deeply rooted inside all of us forms an annoying, debilitating voice whispering a message in some shape or form that you are just not good enough. The inner critic thrives on your fears and can be heard saying things like “I don’t have enough experience”, “I’m not pretty enough” or “Who am I kidding, here?” They are highly personal and heavily tied into our emotional baggage. The inner critic feeds off of our former pain and embarrassment and ultimately squashes our highest potential.

I urge you to take some time to assess how your emotional baggage is showing up. Consider how limiting beliefs, disempowering assumptions, false interpretations and your inner critic maybe playing out in your life. Though we may not have the option to pack up our emotions and ship them off to a faraway place, we do have the ability to take charge of them and choose how much we will let them affect the rest of our lives.


 It’s your choice….the past does not have to define your future.

Best Wishes for Success