Don’t retire, Refire: What are you hanging onto that you should let go?

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By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

As we go through life, we carry memories and emotions that warm our hearts but also ones that block our creative flow and, sometimes, because of that blockage, we are stifled to the point where many of us don’t believe we’re worthy or deserving.  We lose our confidence, our Mojo.  This might seem like a grim way to start an article but, keep reading, I’m about to unveil how that mindset can be altered.

The following concepts may resonate with you and bring to the surface some underlying barriers that have been holding you back from greatness.  Yes, I said greatness.  We all have it in us, if we’d only realize it.  Consider the following and see where you fit in.  What questions are you prompted to ask yourself and are the answers close behind.   If the answers are not close behind, my goal is to offer some insight that may not have crossed your mind.

  1. Put the past in the past. Are some of the negative opinions you have about yourself based on something that happened when you were a child? Did you make up a story about it and was that story altered each time you told it, kind of like “whisper down the lane,” where the story changes and almost becomes unrecognizable?  In my experience, it’s either bigger than it really was, at the time it happened, or it truly is big and serious enough where you must address it and clear it up with yourself and whoever else is a part of that story.  If you think it might be difficult to let go of, look at it and realize that the story was created from the perspective of a child.  Your story may be more recent and not from childhood but, in my experience, our blockage usually is from something that happened in our childhood.  We’ve grown and matured and understand that to move forward we can’t focus on the view behind us.
  2. Know your worth. Others can’t give that to you. It’s something you believe in your heart and soul.  It starts with thinking about what your talents and special skills are.  You might think that your special skill isn’t so special, BUT, if you share it, you might be surprised at how much people go, “Wow!” Surround yourself with people who believe in you and steer away from those naysayers, because they are out there!  Zig Ziglar says, “If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value,” so don’t forget!
  3. Go BIG! I believe that we were all put on this earth for a reason, big or small. For now, I’m focusing on BIG! Napolean Hill says, “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” Consider this; it takes just as much time and energy to achieve big goals as it does little goals.  With that said, why not go big!  Write down one huge goal.  There are no limitations.  For now, you’re just putting pen to paper.  The first thing you will write is the outcome.  Visualize yourself there, in that moment, accomplishing what you set out to do.  Feel the elation.  Linger in all of that for a few moments.  Now, write out how you’re going to get there!  Don’t think of the road blocks. Only write down what it will take to get there.  As you can see, this is not an afternoon activity.  This may take months, even years, to accomplish, but if you have a road map, it will happen.  Have you ever looked back and thought that if you started something you wanted to do a year ago, you’d have it by now?  Don’t let the idea of months and years hold you back!

I will conclude by saying that letting go, realizing your worth and going BIG is for everyone at any age.  The younger you are, however, the more time you have to enjoy what you have created for yourself.  I am instilling this wisdom to my grandchildren every chance I get!  Remember, it’s never too late, you’re never too old and never give up!  A great philosophy spoken by John Glenn who recently passed away at the age of 95, “Old people should not let the calendar dictate their lives.”

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