Are you hot and bothered? Are people irritating you more than usual? Maybe you need to strip down and lighten up! You may be hauling around a ball and chain you’re not even aware of.
I’m referring to emotional garbage taken on as truth. It stagnates and sours life and blocks you from your true purpose. As a career coach, I spend a lot of time tweaking the dials in my clients’ heads to better frequencies. They describe being depressed, stuck, frozen by fear, often unconsciously comfortable in victim mode believing (hoping?) they are helpless. Their theory (conscious or not) is that if they are helpless then they are absolved of responsibility for becoming unstuck. We talk a lot about how to overcome fear (false evidence appearing real), or, as one client describes it, “lies the devil tells you.” Fears create TONS of emotional garbage. We’re only born with two innate fears: loud noises and falling. The rest are learned.
Life Coach and best-selling author, Martha Beck, recently posted a blog: The Willingness Factor: Learn to Avoid Avoidance, in which she tackles this very subject: “When fear makes your choices for you, no security measures on earth will keep the things you dread from finding you. But if you can avoid avoidance—if you can choose to embrace experiences out of passion, enthusiasm, and a readiness to feel whatever arises—then nothing, nothing in all this dangerous world, can keep you from being safe.”
In addition to fear, another BIG part of that emotional baggage ball and chain is negative, cynical people who you allow to feed your insecurities to the point that you believe them. Most of these people are your family and ‘friends.’ Face it. You’re not so inclined to believe strangers but you will take a family or friend comment as the literal truth. Why carry that baggage around? Emancipate yourself from such nonsense. “You only get what you accept.”
In “Change or Die,” Alan Deutschman states that people rarely change on the basis of the “three F’s:” facts, fear or force. He maintains that it is the “three R’s” that enable people to change: relate, repeat and reframe. Reframing requires that you see the situation in pure truth form first.
Just this week I had conversations with three people: a friend, a family member and a client. They are all miserable, heartsick and stuck. The primary cause stems from their tolerance and acceptance of nasty comments and disrespect from their spouses, children and/or siblings. For whatever reason, none them are able or willing to confront and overcome the hurt. They continue to tolerate and believe the garbage that is preventing them from happy, well-adjusted living.
So, what’s to be done with these negative people polluting your air and junking up your life? Beck refers to them as emotional muggers. “Like all opportunistic criminals, emotional muggers target people who wander around bad neighborhoods. The best way to become a victim is to turn your own mind into such a place – a place filled with self-hatred, unfair criticism, and gloomy predictions. This kind of setting not only attracts muggers but can leave you so emotionally tapped out that you turn to psychological crime yourself.”
Would you volunteer to be mugged? Of course not! So, how do you sever the ball and chain? Beck encourages “victims” to make THREE brave commitments that she believes will cultivate an environment filled with an inner space of clean, clear self-confidence:
“First, vow never to deliberately create suffering for yourself or others. (If you can’t do this, count on being mugged frequently. There’s no honor among thieves). Second, always own your mistakes and do your best to correct them. Third, forgive yourself when your best isn’t good enough. Keeping these commitments creates deep strength that scares off most emotional muggers.”
I would add an important fourth vow: NEVER, EVER give ANYONE license to rob you of your true worth and self-esteem. No one can take it from you without your willingness to give it up. You’ll only be taking on someone else’s insecurity and need for validation at the expense of your own happiness. As one of the most time-honored, famous mothers once said:
For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, try and find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
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