In the first chapter of my upcoming book, we discuss, “how you think” is just as important as “what you think.” There is a fantastic exercise that forces you to dig deeper to discover which events and people in your past contributed to who you are today.

In one of my keynote trainings, I’ll walk around a room of thousands and ask people to name the baggage they’re still carrying around with them. They scream out “self-doubt”, “spouse doesn’t support”, “fear of failure”, “tried before and failed”, “family laughed at me”, “my mom told me I would never succeed at anything”, “no money”, etc. 

For each point of pain they yell out, I will have an audience member hand me a bag to represent the pain. I collect all of these bags of pain and walk around with them on my shoulders and back until the bags have weighted me down. Then I walk up on the stage with all of this baggage and say to the audience, “How are you going to succeed when you walk into a brand new business or relationship and this is how you show up?” 

What’s even worse, some of you unintentionally pass this baggage on to your children.

Everyone has had baggage at one time or another. You can’t go through the human experience without it. But those who learn to turn their experiences—their mess—around have a better chance of succeeding at everything in their personal and professional life.

That’s why the last part of my “Baggage Training” consists of me physically taking those heavy bags off my shoulders, placing the bags on the floor, and deciding to NO LONGER carry those bags around any more!  That is the moment you experience what real freedom feels like.

Look at that child who was helpless and forgive him or her. Forgive all those people who played some part in your baggage. If it’s too difficult, find a support group to help you recognize and release the negative emotions you’ve been carrying around with you. It’s those deeply rooted experiences that keep you helpless. 

Your exercise for today…

1.Think of the emotional baggage that you are carrying around.  

2. Write it down.  

3. Come up with two ways to get rid of the baggage.  

4.  Release it and never pick it up again.