Packing to go on a Spring break trip with the teenager and husband and it dawned on me; I’ve got to get myself some new luggage. Sure I have a cute luggage tag that helps me know which bag is mine, but for me that’s just not enough. Ultimately, I refuse to go to the airport for another trip and have to play the whole “is that my bag game?” at the baggage claim.
This got me to thinking that everyone of us on this flight called life would be able to soar and the journey would be a lot less frustrating if we traveled with luggage that stands out. See, everyone else has the same old standard black/navy blue rectangular zip-up suitcase and this makes getting your luggage back at baggage claim a serious pain in the neck.
I began thinking about how many people are dealing with the same frustration in real life, completely unable to move beyond the next place because they have nothing about them and what they carry that makes them distinct. In a world where everyone is doing the same thing, wearing the same thing, saying the exact same thing, and seemingly traveling the same paths; isn’t it refreshing and inspiring when you finally see someone who’s not afraid to step out and be authentically who they’re supposed to be!
I want all my coachable friends to hear my heart when I say this, don’t be a carbon copy! Unless you’re completely at peace, a millionaire and already living your dream right now, change your mindset today and stop trying to fit in! This lack of individuality in business, branding, church, even your family and your personal style is getting you nowhere and it’s even a big part of the reason why there’s so much competition around you; because everyone is doing the same thing! No one has anything about them that sets them apart, and the environments and circles we’re in don’t inspire or encourage or even support us to be free to express ourselves either. Admit it, most of your family and friends will be the first ones to tell you that your ideas and plans are too outlandish. I think it’s time to get a new advisory board. The people who are coaching you and advising you are probably the reason you’re broke. They’re probably the reason you’re still the local best kept secret. Truth is, they won’t even tell people about your gift because they think you’re “too out there” and that’s why they keep you on the ground when they could be instrumental in helping you take off. While I know all of this can be a bit difficult to process, to actually think that it’s your support system that’s probably holding you down, and even worse it’s because they want you to be like someone who’s already out there and established. (Insert you should be more like so and so 👀).
Trust me I know being a person who’s used to going against the grain; being out the box and unique is not a popular thing to be. You are going to be criticized and ostracized for your uniqueness, and that’s probably the main reason why so many of you continue to ignore the voice inside of you that says don’t be like everyone else! See, I’m challenging you to go on and step out. Make today the day you say I’m no longer depending on the approval of any of the people who haven’t helped me soar at this point; including family and friends. You’ve got to make the bold move and say today is the last day I conform to the status quo of the community I supposedly belong to. You have got to be willing to be talked about and laughed at and you better get ready to experience being ignored and shunned. Get ready for people to send you social cues to let you know you’re not supposed to carry luggage that’s so bright and loud! Sadly, many of you are surrounded by people who have never embraced their true identity, so why would you expect them to be ok with finding yours? Why do you expect them to help you become secure in your authenticity?
You’re surrounded with people who have been telling you all your life; don’t say what you believe! You’ve been around people who lovingly devalue your contributions and opinions for whatever “good reasons” they have. You’ve become used to people you love and trust who tell you the things you have to say are not important or it might offend others, so just be quiet. You’ve been around people who are afraid to carry colorful bags themselves. And while they tell you what to carry and you listen; they’re the same ones stuck in the same spot playing it safe in their lives too. You’ve become too accustomed to hearing people tell you don’t write that! Trust me I’m a writer and can you imagine how I’ve been effected by hearing that I shouldn’t put my thoughts in writing!! And if I wrote my truth it could get me in trouble!?!! At this point, I don’t listen to that anymore and I write what’s in my heart and it is actually my transparency and authenticity that has been an inspiration to many people! Let’s be honest, most of us have been told by well intended people what we should say and what we should wear which basically translates; don’t be who you are, don’t express who you are. Lie about how you feel and what you believe; and this is a source of a lot of pinned up frustration!
When it boils down to it, we have got to break free from being so reliant on the approval of others that we would be willing to deny who we are to carry bland, uninspiring, unidentifiable luggage. I’ve even found myself at 46 years old; and sometimes I’ll think maybe I shouldn’t wear my “good clothes” today because someone might think I was being too much. And then I caught myself and made the bold decision that for as long as I live I’m going to put on whatever I want because I’m not afraid to stand out! That’s it; I’m not afraid to be authentic and I refuse to let other people dictate what I carry within on this journey called life!
The world or people around me can say whatever they want. Even if they say don’t carry red luggage; I am not looking for their approval! If you want to go places, carry what speaks to you and your individuality and uniqueness. Otherwise, prepare to be stuck at the baggage claim watching a zillion bags roll by that look exactly like yours. If you continue to let the standards of everyone else on this flight keep you from carrying whatever it is that makes you distinct and original; expect to have a lot of people confused about if their bags belong to them or you.
But if not, carry what makes you smile. Carry what makes you different and unique, and make no apologies about it. The best part of it all is you’ll be well on your way to your next destination while the rest of the ordinary bags are still circling around with the people who they belong to asking “is that my bag or yours?”
Copyright ©️ 2019 Sherry Grant
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