In life, everybody seems to deal with emotional baggage sometimes. The problem, is this baggage slows us down and hinders our growth. It’s heavy, but we struggle to let go of it.
It’s pretty much the same as going on a hike. If your backpack is very heavy it wears you out faster. You reach your destination slower and when you reach it, you are super exhausted.
Now imagine, you carry that emotional baggage with you every day. As an entrepreneur, you have to perform. Being your own boss often means you are completely reliant on yourself.
If you get sick, there might be nobody who can do the tasks for you. If you lead a team that is relying on you, you might have the feeling you can’t let them down.Life as an entrepreneur comes with a lot of responsibilities. If you can’t handle your emotional baggage well, then it will affect your performance. Click To Tweet
Finally, when the emotional baggage gets too big, you can’t keep up with everyday life anymore. Everything seems hard and there is no joy left in what you are doing. Even the smallest task becomes exhausting. All you want to do is escape from your responsibilities.
But, you aren’t alone in this. Most people have some emotional issues to resolve.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs who carry their emotional baggage well. Those are the people you want to learn from.
So, let’s have a look at what emotional baggage actually is. Where does it come from and how do successful entrepreneurs carry their emotional baggage?
What Exactly Is Emotional Baggage?
Emotional baggage comes from past experiences. Situations that gave us negative emotions and we still carry around with us.
Maybe someone severely mistreated you and you still hold a grudge. Or, you took a wrong decision in your career and you still have regrets.
Any negative emotions that come up because of actions in the past can be emotional baggage. You carry it around with you and it affects your life negatively.
Emotional baggage might eat away your self-confidence. It makes you insecure in certain situations.
Let me give you a perfect example from my own life. As a child, there was this incident where I saw my mum cry because we lost all our money. It was the worst thing I ever saw. The picture in my head of my mum crying became emotional baggage of some sort.
But for me, it also fueled my desire to financially support my mum. I swore to myself that I would never see her cry again.
Now, this turned out this way, because my emotions are very stable. For some less resilient people, such a situation can become emotional baggage.
Maybe they want to support their parent but don’t know how to. So, they feel very helpless and carry around the feeling that they can’t help anybody.
This is only one example, emotional baggage can have many forms. The most important thing is to notice what is holding you back and to act on it.
How Do You Notice That You Are Carrying Emotional Baggage?
Sometimes emotional baggage is obvious. You feel tense, lonely, angry, sad or any other emotion that is seen as ‘negative’. Your thoughts seem to circle about things that happened to you. Your decision making is ruled by fear, doubt, and avoidance.
Now, having these emotions is normal. Everyone is going through rough phases sometimes. The problems occur if you can’t deal with your emotions properly. If they keep coming up without you knowing why and you don’t know how to solve the issue.
The next problem occurs if you avoid your own feelings. Instead of solving the issue you start to push all your emotions away. Ignoring your emotions is very, very harmful.
The thing is, emotions can only be delayed – but you can’t ignore them until they go away. If you bottle up, they will release sooner or later.
When your emotions hinder your daily life it’s definitely time to act.
Other times, your emotional baggage might be less obvious. Maybe you keep dreaming about certain scenarios. Or you start to avoid certain things without fully knowing why. It might take longer until the actual cause comes to the surface.
Sometimes emotional baggage shows in behavior like being unable to commit or constantly comparing yourself to others. You can’t open up to others and your self-esteem is suffering.
As an entrepreneur, this causes severe damage. Your self-perception is off and you have no idea if you are doing well.
No matter if your emotional baggage is obvious or hidden – the moment you notice it is the moment you want to act on it. If you wait and procrastinate it will only get harder.
Where Can Emotional Baggage Come From?
Emotional baggage can result from various reasons. Sometimes it’s from how others treated you. Sometimes your own actions are the cause.
The way you grew up in your family has effects on you. If your family had problems in the past that can result in emotional baggage.
For example, if your family struggled financially when you were young, you might continue your life in a “poverty” mindset. You think there is never enough for anybody and it stresses you out. All your energy goes into securing your life. But, if you let go of that baggage you would see you are already living in abundance.
Do you know people who have been diagnosed with depression? Or maybe you got that diagnosis yourself?
People who get told that they suffer from depression, often have such a hard time recovering. The moment they get the diagnosis, it becomes a burden they have to carry.
Every profession has its challenges. Entrepreneurs are usually very driven, but they can become overly obsessive and lose balance.
Just thinking that your mental health might be a bit unstable can be heavy baggage to carry.
Abuse and Trauma
Abusive relationships are another possible cause of emotional baggage. Even if the relationship has long ended there might be parts of it you are still carrying around with you.
People who experienced abuse often have a hard time to trust others. They subconsciously are afraid that the same thing happens again if they let other people in.
They might try to do everything alone and avoid to rely on others. This is a very severe form of self-sabotage.
If you have the feeling that you took a wrong decision, that’s heavy mental baggage. Regrets are hard to make peace with as you can’t travel back in time to make another decision.
In my early days as an entrepreneur, I built up and failed in 13 businesses. I was severely in debt. I could have given up and let my regrets eat me up from the inside. But I didn’t.
The thing with regrets is: there is only a way forward. If you make mistakes you can only learn from it. Failure is feedback.
Now that you have an idea where emotional baggage comes from, what can you do to let go of it?
Take Ownership For Your Actions
Most people are so busy looking for someone to blame. A situation happened and now they try to find all the mistakes other people made. For them, everybody else is to blame but never themselves.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, take responsibility for their own actions. They don’t blame others – they see the results of their actions and analyze that.
They take the situation at face value and focus on the solutions.
The thing is, blaming others won’t help you to deal with your emotional baggage. If you blame others, you are giving all your power to them. You have no control over other people’s actions. Giving away your power will make your baggage even heavier.
So instead, focus on your actions. What can you take ownership of? To take ownership of your actions you need a bit of courage, but it frees you from a lot of unnecessary baggage.
If you are aware of the consequences of your actions and communicate it clearly, then nobody can use your mistakes against you. Others will respect you more and you become a better leader.
The next step to carrying your emotional baggage well is to forgive yourself. If your emotional baggage includes actions from other people, you might think you have to forgive them.
But actually, forgiving yourself is so much, much more important. Maybe the other people aren’t even around. Maybe there are reasons you can’t forgive them. Still, you can always make peace with yourself.It’s okay to have feelings. Sometimes you make the wrong choice. It’s okay if you weren’t able to stand up for yourself. What’s not okay is to live your life in chains. The chains of your emotional baggage. So, forgiving yourself is a way to move… Click To Tweet
Muster up your courage and say “yes, this happened. It sucks. But it will never happen again.” We are all human, we all make mistakes.
Forgive yourself, learn from it and take the next action. The thing that’s really hard to forgive yourself for? Letting your emotional baggage slow you down longer than needed.
Act More Mature
I have seen many entrepreneurs who are controlled by their ego.
Very often they carry a lot of emotional baggage because they are too proud. Something happened, a conflict occurred and now their pride is in the way of resolving it.
But pride is only hurting yourself. You are carrying this unnecessary baggage. If you act a little more mature you might find out that one step – one talk with a person – can resolve it all.
Don’t waste your time carrying heavy emotional baggage when it could be solved so easily. Let go of your ego.
The thing is many entrepreneurs, they see themselves as being better than others. Because they achieved all these things – mostly by themselves.
But really, ego kills any progress. The successful entrepreneurs, they leave their ego at the door. Instead, they have a mentality of constant learning. That’s how they stay successful.
Learn To Be Present
Another reason for your emotional baggage might be that you are living in the past. You are so consumed by what happened in your childhood, you aren’t living in the present.
This is especially the case if your emotional baggage comes from regrets. Instead of focusing on what’s important now, your thoughts keep coming back to the things that happened in the past.
But again, if you live in the past, you are giving away your power. You can only take the necessary action in the present.
That’s why successful entrepreneurs, they know that all their power is in the current moment. They focus their energy on things they can actually control. And that’s why they handle their emotional baggage well.
Write It Out
When you deal with emotional baggage, mostly other people are involved too. Maybe you feel let down by someone or you disappointed somebody. Maybe you feel mistreated. Or maybe, someone you trusted betrayed you.
Whatever it is, if other people are involved it’s harder to let go of the emotional baggage. Sometimes it isn’t possible to talk it out with all the people involved.
Especially if the involved people are your family or people you work with on a daily basis. They have long forgotten about the situation but you still carry those feelings with you.
That’s why entrepreneurs resolve such conflict with themselves. How? By writing and journaling.
The moment you write it all out, your brain can process your emotions. For example, you could write yourself a letter where you explain all your emotions.
I’m confident it will be a freeing exercise for you.
I never understood how important gratitude is until I experienced it myself. When you feel truly grateful you are fully present in the moment. The human brain is so interesting, we can’t feel fear and gratitude at the same time.
So the moment you are grateful for what you have, you can release the weight of your emotional baggage.
Gratitude diaries and other exercises to practice thankfulness are on the rise.
Successful entrepreneurs are grateful for what they have while also striving for more. It doesn’t mean to settle for the minimum.
I start out every day with a 15-minute gratitude meditation every morning. Others like to do it before bedtime. No matter when being grateful will greatly improve your emotional wellbeing.
Action Drives Out Thought
Another way successful entrepreneurs deal with emotional baggage is to act before you think.
When you think too much, you get in a stage of overthinking. Instead of doing what you supposed to do you are thinking about thousands of “what, if?`” scenarios.
Successful entrepreneurs know that action drives out thoughts. When they know it’s the right decision, they act, even if emotional baggage comes up.
Of course, I’m not saying to act mindlessly. I’m talking about acting on the right thing, even if unpleasant emotions do come up.
So many people wait until they are emotionally ready. Entrepreneurs act, despite their emotions. That’s why they reach their goals faster.
Learn To Master Yourself
Really, dealing with emotional baggage comes down to master your own emotions, to master yourself.
So many people are controlled by their emotions. When actually it should be the other way around.
As a successful entrepreneur, you have to perform at a high level and meet high standards. If you don’t master yourself, your life will be very hard.
Mastering yourself means to act. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even when you are afraid – you act anyway.
If you rely on your emotions and wait until you are motivated to do something – you won’t succeed in the long run.
Entrepreneurs handle their emotional baggage well because they handle themselves well. They don’t make excuses – they create results.
Act As Your Higher-Self
I believe we all have a Higher-Self and a Lower-Self.
Every time you stop your own progress and sabotage yourself, you are acting as your Lower-Self. It hates change and wants you to stay where you are.
Your Higher-Self is your true form. Who you really are when you remove all emotional baggage and all limiting beliefs.
Entrepreneurs develop strategies to deal with their Lower-Self and get into the state of their Higher-Self fast.
In my High-Ticket Closer Certification Program, I mentor students all over the world from all walks of life.
Not only do they learn the powerful skill of High-Ticket Closing, but they also grow their mindset and mentality.
The community is one of the most supportive I have ever seen. As an entrepreneur, you might be all alone with your emotional baggage. Nobody in your environment knows what it means to run your own business.
That’s why I’m so proud of my students who keep this encouraging community alive. We all learn and grow together.
Maybe a great community is exactly what you need to help carry your emotional baggage?