In the previous post I talked about the secret advantage of leaving your home country that no one seems to know about (read here). As a follow up on that post I’d like to address the pesky things that prevent you from fully stepping into that advantage.
And the honor goes to … your saboteur. Your inner critic. Your committee. Your shadow. Your… you pick the word/phrase to describe the annoying negative voice in your head that scares you half to death with the prospect of future calamities should you dare change.
When you leave your home country behind and the barriers seem to disappear, they don’t always disappear for good. Whether you want it or not, inadvertently you bring quite a few of them with you. Just like over the years you may have transported various bugs in your luggage from country to country (we are still trying to get rid of those silverfish!), you are most likely carrying with you the thinking from your childhood and cultural influences.
Some of those beliefs may still very much valid for you – but others may not be. Yet, you don’t really know the difference because most of them have become automatic. If you drive a car long enough, soon you won’t even notice how you get from place to place because the driving has entered your subconscious and you are no longer consciously directing yourself to drive.
The same with beliefs and habits. Until you begin to question them and bring them into the surface of your conscious thinking, you won’t know if they are still serving you or if they are impeding you.
You won’t know if you are engaging in a behavior because you chose to – or because your saboteur is directing you to in order to avoid some grand disaster that’s purely an assumption.
How can you start really getting rid of that saboteur luggage you don’t want anymore?
Here are four steps to start you on your way:
Step 1. Observe your behavior and beliefs closely. What makes you think and do what you think and do? Start especially with the times when you are having doubts. Check in to see what thoughts are dominating.
Step 2. If you discover that you are engaging in “I cannot” or “I should not” or “I should” or “I should have”, take note. A lot of these statements are the domain of the saboteur who will be working overtime to create fear of something in you. Check in with yourself as to how valid those fears are for you NOW.
Step 3. Try using a different language. Instead of “I cannot”, “I should”, etc – use “I choose to” or “I choose not to”. Take charge by exercising choice. How does that change things?
Step 4. Repeat at every opportunity. Work out the muscle of knowing which of your habits and thinking need to go.
Getting rid of the saboteur luggage is one of the most important steps in engaging YOU — the YOU that you are meant to be.