With the New Year upon us, the question I invite you to ask yourself is:
What do I want to take with me in 2023?
Visualize a suitcase – not a rollerboard that we could use as carry-on – but an old time suitcase (something similar to the old world map one pictured here).
In it are all of your thoughts, ideas, belief systems, everything you were taught and/or influenced by over the past. In other words, your history … whether it was 10 or 20 years ago, or yesterday or even earlier today. It’s all history.
Now let’s unpack that suitcase and see what’s in it.
Start with the obvious first.
Hardware. Has your hardware supported and served you and your customers, both internal and external? If your answer is yes, put it back in the suitcase. However, if your answer is “yes, but” ____________ (you fill in the blank)” or “not really but” ______ (fill in the blank),” the answer is no.
Put it aside for the moment.
Ultimately we are going to create three piles:
- 1. Gets repacked, definite yeses.
- 2. Gets sent to the next person who needs it or set aside for another year.
- 3. Gets tossed.
Has your hardware supported and served you and your customers, both internal and external?
What about your software? Does it support and serve you and your customers both internal and external?
If it makes you feel like you’re working with one hand tied behind your back, I think not. It may be at 75% or 85% but is that good enough? It wouldn’t be for me on either side of the table.
What about the systems you have in place? Are they win-win constructs or are there some “yes, buts” there as well?
In today’s world of pandemics, insecurities about our present and our future, and with remote workers, what is working well and what is not working? Find the low-hanging fruit and toss it and only pack the best of it all.
What has served you well that you want to continue to avail yourself of? Put that in the now empty suitcase.
Now WHO served you well? Easy peasy right into the suitcase. It’s the ‘yes, but’ ones you want to put aside.
So far you may have some things or people in your #2 or #3 pile. Let’s leave them there for the moment.
In today’s world of pandemics, insecurities about our present and our future, and with remote workers, what is working well and what is not working?
It’s now time to get personal.
Here are some questions to assist you.
- 1. What are your belief systems?
- 2. Do you see through eyes of abundance and where do your eyes see scarcity?
- In other words, do you live in a land of abundance regardless of the circumstances; or is there a lack thereof, therefore scarcity?
- 3. What about your friends?
There’s a saying that people come into your life for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime. Think who you want to take with you in 2023.
What served you well many years ago but upon observation is no longer useful?
An example that comes to mind is an innocent one (perhaps). When we were children we were taught (or at least I was) “don’t talk to strangers.” This was very good advice for young ones for their safety and protection.
So, let’s say you’re still carrying that around with you, unconsciously of course until now. How does that manifest?
Perhaps you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been, and you’re lost. The thought never enters your mind to stop and ask for directions. Why? Because your embedded or historical belief system is “don’t talk to strangers.”
Now that it’s at the level of awareness, it makes perfect sense to say, “I’m an adult, I can make my own decisions” and release that old belief. But before we toss it away, let’s thank it for taking such good care of us for so long and send it to someone who can benefit from it. But this definitely does not go into your suitcase!
It’s your choice what gets repacked, what gets sent onto the next person, or what gets tossed.
Please know there are no “should” or “shouldn’ts“ here. There are no right or wrong answers either. You’re in charge.
How do you know what is in the suitcase you might ask?
Sit quietly and hear the voice in your head. (If you don’t know what voice, stop reading and get quiet and you’ll hear it).
Write down what it says and know that you can trust that it is one of the belief systems you are carrying around. Usually it’s a simple statement, it could be judgmental, or could be stated as if it were a fact. However, it is not a fact. It is someone’s opinion and most likely, not even your own.
Imagine if you will as you unpack the suitcase how many thoughts, belief systems, ideas, your education and influencers, present and past, are a part of you consciously and unconsciously. What is unconscious we have no control over. Once brought to consciousness we are in charge.
This is where awareness enters and the more awareness we have the more control we have. The more control we have, the more choices we have, and the more choices we have, the better we are to make good ones.
Our thoughts and beliefs need to be challenged because some not only no longer serve you, but some are not even true. Maybe they were never true and someone in authority superimposed their own beliefs on you.
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater though. There are very good thoughts, ideas, and beliefs in that suitcase. They are the very things that have gotten you to this juncture in your life.
Now you have the opportunity to reflect and choose what (and/or maybe who) goes forward with you into 2023.
What a gift to give yourself!
I had a major belief that held me back for a bit. Very simply, I heard “You don’t deserve to fill in the blank.”
I would hear this one whenever I took a business risk, raised my fees, or stepped out of my comfort zone, both personally and professionally.
I didn’t like hearing that voice, and I disliked even more that a part of me believed it. But I had a choice. I could play it safe and maybe that would quell the voice, or I could shift my perception.
I chose to shift my perception and to challenge the “deservability” with a simple. “Yes, I deserve to have it all!” So whenever sometimes, not often anymore, when I am stretching for something I hear that voice and say, “Thank you for sharing. Yes I do deserve to have this and anything else I strive for.”
I hope you know that you can choose to live in an “and” world not an “either or“ world. It’s not I can have this but not that, but rather, I can have it all. And so can you. Again, not to beat a dead horse, but it’s a choice.
Many times, it’s as simple as shifting your perception. In The Course in Miracles Lesson 21 is “I am determined to see things differently.” This could be a person or a situation.
What if it’s as simple as that? Well, I can tell you it is. It may not be easy, but it is simple. Imagine if you said this or customize to your own language every morning for a week and then at the end of the week, I promise you, you’ll feel different.
Some belief systems I have heard clients report include (I give you these merely as examples):
- I can’t make more money than my father; it would be disrespectful.
- Why would anyone listen to me or buy my products or services?
- Wait until they learn this one thing about me.
- Where do you think you’re going, young lady/young man?!
- Or we’ve invested so much money in this, we can’t change now.
- It isn’t perfect but it does work.
And then there are the “yes, buts.”
- Yes, but remember what happened the last time.
- Yes, but you’re not old enough/pretty enough/handsome enough/thin enough/tall enough/smart enough…fill in your own blank here.
The bottom line is that our thoughts, our perceptions create our reality and it’s prudent to check them now and again and tease out your #1’s, #2’s, and #3’s.
It seems crystal clear what goes into your suitcase so let’s now focus on the two remaining piles.
Now that we’ve emptied and looked at all the possibilities the question is: What in the #2 pile can easily be moved to the #3 pile and then do so. If all of it goes, good for you. What remains is what is to be tossed, clean and clear.
If you have leftovers from your #2 pile don’t beat yourself up. You can always put things back in your case and revisit them another time.
Please enjoy this process, it can be life changing and improve your mental and physical health, your professional and personal presence in the world.
And last but not least, please remember to breathe deeply while doing this.
I’d love to hear what you have packed and/or unpacked. And how this article, if it did, made a difference in how you approach the new year/the new you.
And now take a deep breath because you have more space in your suitcase now for possibility to show up.
Have a happy and safe 2023.