susandusterhoft | , , , , , , , , , , ,| By
I used to “journal.”
Doesn’t that sound distinguished and all grown up? Just writing it should make me feel a bit better about my maturity and intelligence but alas, there is that darned “used to” in front of it. It was past tense, way back when. Obviously, I don’t do it anymore, but maybe I should. This morning, I was flipping through an old journal and saw a quote from Mark Nepo:
“We cannot hold on to things and enter.”
Naturally, this got me thinking about baggage.
I carry a bit of baggage. To be honest, I carry a ton of it.
Baggage – it comes in many forms.
- Need for Perfection
- Lack of Forgiveness
Why do I carry all that crap around?
- I am proud; I find it hard to accept when I am wrong or when I did not know something I should have known.
- I have a quick temper and I’m even quicker to judge.
- I am sensitive and take nearly everything personally.
- I hold myself and others to extremely high standards.
- I have a long memory and instinctively use it to validate a bias, offense, or criticism.
I’m a gem, aren’t I?
Ugh, I can do better.
I’m a leader, an HR professional, a consultant, a volunteer and mentor. Shoot, I’m a mother, a sister, a daughter and a friend. Lots of people are watching me so I need to do better!
[Tweet “If I am not willing to let things go, how can I expect others to do so? #leadbyexample”]
Carrying baggage around is not good behavior.
I have to quit kicking myself in the butt for what I did or failed to do. I need to quit “what if-ing” and over-analyzing my decisions. Regret baggage has so much power over my self esteem, my ability to handle stress, my courage in taking risks, etc. I need to let it go.
I have to quit allowing my anger to mold my behavior to and my judgment of others. I have to quit allowing my resentment and jealousy to get in the way of celebrating another’s achievements. Anger and resentment baggage stops my mind from seeing the good in others and decreases or eliminates my anticipation and acceptance of the possibilities and contributions they bring. I need to let it go.
I need to quit being a slave to perfection and, instead, accept “good enough” from myself and others. I need to realize that “best efforts” are really the only realistic expectations I should have. Perfection baggage is loud and screams “you’re never good enough, you must win, and you must be perfect to have any value here.” I need to let it go.
I must quit holding things over others’ heads and accept that they, like me, screw things up from time to time. I need to turn the other cheek when offenses happen and I need to enable learning and development when mistakes are made. Lack of forgiveness baggage is incredibly disruptive as it serves as an invitation for fear and distrust, it disables any chance of engagement and collaboration and it blocks all learning and satisfaction. I need to let it go.
It is hard, for sure! And, as I ponder over what I have written here, I realize I have to value the relationship more than, or perhaps as much as, I value myself in order to leave the baggage behind.
I cannot hold on to it and enter.