I am a big fan of decluttering. A big fan. Every so often setting aside a couple of hours on a rainy weekend day to go through the wardrobe/drawers/kitchen cupboards/loft and ruthlessly get rid of anything I don’t need anymore. And when I say ruthless, I mean ruthless. There’s no other way to do a clear out. Haven’t used/worn it in the last six months? IT GOES. ‘Oh, but that’s the top I wore on first date with other half.’ Yeah and you were also half a stone lighter and not approaching the second year of your fourth decade. IT GOES. ‘Oh but that’s the cookery book I bought when I was planning to shift that half stone with a low carb diet.’ Your favourite things are pasta, pizza and potatoes and you’ve not opened the damn thing since you bought it. IT GOES.
You get the picture.
A good old clear out is so good for the soul, not to mention the Feng Shui in your home, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be amazed at how much lighter and less irritated you feel in general after a couple of hours spent GETTING RID OF SHIT YOU DON’T NEED.
The same can be said of all the emotional baggage and clutter we allow ourselves to be weighed down by on an ongoing basis. Same thing – SHIT WE DON’T NEED. And for most of us it’s shit we’ve been carrying around for so long we’re not quite sure when we acquired it, what purpose it serves (hint – usually not a positive one) and who we are without it. Emotional baggage along with any beliefs and thoughts that don’t serve us are weighty, cumbersome, often distressing and can be so ingrained in our everyday thinking and part of who we think we are, that we often don’t notice just how effective they are at halting our progress and keeping our wheels spinning in the same old puddle of sludgy muck. (Think the festival car park on Monday morning when it’s chucked it down with rain for the whole weekend.)
Is it time to do an inventory of your emotional baggage and take a good look at what you’ve been dragging along with you for far too long? Below are two of the most common limiting beliefs I see my clients struggling with and the impact they have on dreams, goals, aspirations and sometimes just simply getting through the day!
1. I’m not good enough. If there was such a thing as an emotional baggage reclaim belt, this is the bag that most people waiting patiently and expectantly for their weighty luggage would claim as their own. It’s the belief that the vast majority of clients will articulate at some point over the course of their coaching, and one that can be pretty hard to let go of. However, it should be top of the GET RID list and here’s why. The fact is you are good enough. There may well be people in your industry, sector or community who have more experience, maybe more training, and are a little further along the path than you currently are, but that does not mean that right now, in this moment you are not good enough to get started. To take the first step. And then you figure out the rest of the steps from there. Two years ago I started writing a play, which is just about ready to be sent to a director. Two years ago was I good enough to write a play that would be taken seriously by a director? Possibly not! The point is, I was good enough to START writing a play that would be workshopped and rewritten and restructured and worked on until it was good enough to be taken seriously by a director. Right now you are good enough to start – maybe not as good as you’re going to get – but starting is the only thing that matters, and you will learn and grow and improve and expand and possibly start all over again, and with grit and determination and, if necessary, sheer bloody mindedness, get to where you want to be. So go start, and keep starting as many times as you need to. You are good enough and you’ll only get better and better. Don’t let this belief keep you playing small.
2. I don’t deserve to be successful. This one is a blood relative of ‘I’m not good enough’ but a damn sight more sneaky and often times we don’t even realise that it’s working in cahoots with the other bugger. It’s often linked to feelings of unworthiness that we have unwittingly accumulated since childhood, and even though we may never have heard the exact words, you don’t deserve X, Y, or Z, in this instance actions speak louder than words. Feelings of unworthiness tend to stem from parental neglect, intentional or otherwise. It may have been that your parents were struggling hugely with their own battles and simply didn’t have the bandwidth to give you everything that you needed. If there was a divorce early on in your childhood this can also be a huge contributing factor, and even bereavement in early childhood can leave our little minds wondering why we weren’t worth sticking around for or cared for properly. Little people don’t have the capacity to see the world and adult situations beyond their own very limited viewpoint, so lack of soul nourishment and the necessary emotional care in children inevitably leads to an overall sense of ‘I must not be worth it and I don’t deserve it.’ This can then become a very tough one to shake in adulthood, but shake it you must. The thing is, if you don’t believe in you then why should or would anyone else? If you don’t walk into the job interview or meeting with your manager about a promotion believing that damn straight you deserve it, you want it and you’re worthy of it, then it makes it difficult for your boss to take a punt on you. Start paying attention to those pesky ‘I don’t deserve it’ thoughts when they pop into your head and threaten to derail you. Bringing attention to them is the first step towards replacing them with more positive thoughts that do serve you. Make it a daily practice and if you need to, literally say out loud: ‘Not today, thanks. Today I believe I’m the nuts.’ Sounds cheesy maybe, but the more you say it, the more you will start to believe it, and the more your brain will start to cooperate by creating new neural pathways to more positive beliefs.
Time to take a good inventory on all that excess, unnecessary baggage and reset the default to ‘hell yes I’m good enough and damn straight I deserve it.’ Because, in the words of the utterly brilliant Roisin Murphy, The Time Is Now! Go do that thing that your heart is longing to do.