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How to Lose the Emotional Weight You’re Carrying

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How to Lose the Emotional Weight You’re Carrying

I’ve spent a lot of my life living out other people’s dreams. I didn’t do it on purpose. Instead, it’s a habit I developed at an early age that got embedded very, very deeply.

Growing up, I was from the outside looking in, pretty much a perfect child.

I got straight A’s, I never got into trouble, I followed the rules and I could always be counted on to “do the right thing.”

Before you fire off a message criticizing the size of my ego, understand that I don’t hold this “perfect child” distinction in very high regard. It’s not a badge of honor, it’s a major character flaw.

Living as a “perfect child” included behaviors like:

  • Being very tolerant of others’ opinions, even when they directly opposed my own.
  • Submitting to the will of others and granting others the “right of way” without question.
  • Being diplomatic and careful in my choice of words so as not to offend anyone or make anyone feel intimidated.
  • Accepting fault as a way to avoid conflict.
  • Going to extreme lengths to please others.

The list could go on, but I’ll stop it there because I’ve made my point.

I learned very early on that being “perfect” produced accolades. It also was an effective way to avoid conflict and to gain approval.

What I didn’t realize at the time, however, was that being “perfect” built an almost impenetrable prison wall preventing me from ever being truly free.

And So the Weight Gain Began

So what happens to someone who consistently suppresses his own will in favor of submitting to someone else’s will?

That someone gains weight.

You don’t gain physical pounds, instead you gain the weight of choices, actions and commitments that are not your own.

Over time, this weight grows until the majority of your focus and effort each day is invested in pursuing the desires of others. You think they are your desires, but you are wrong. You just can’t see that you are wrong because it has become your habit to ignore reality.

You think you are living your life, but in reality, you are too scared to live your life. Instead, you live what others would have for your life.

This is how I lived for a very long time.

I chose what others wanted for my life instead of developing the skill to discern and choose what I wanted for my life.

As you might imagine, this can cause a lot of damage in the life of a human being. And it is perhaps the most insidious form of self-betrayal I know.

The worst symptom of the damage, by far, was that I developed the habit of…

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Jason Leister

Jason Leister is an internet entrepreneur, direct response copywriter and father of six children. His is an avid student of self-improvement and lives and works in the mountains of Arizona. You can find more of his writings, as well as many other free interviews with heart-centered teachers and experts at http://www.calltoawaken.com.

66 comments

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10:13AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

good reminders

10:59AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

You need to toughen up a bit and TELL THEM NO...you need to make yourself happy first..

10:56AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

yes I am 44 years old two kids..my oldest 21...after you reach that age you have enough experience to tell everybody NO No NO NO get lost all of you!

10:56AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

yes I am 44 years old two kids..my oldest 21...after you reach that age you have enough experience to tell everybody NO No NO NO get lost all of you!

8:06AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

This is very familiar to me in a lot of ways. I definitely recognize that I do this at least in some ways. I have been trying for some time to go back to my other current of doing things rather contrary, and being myself unabashedly. Thanks for the reminder.

9:06PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

There are limits to time and energy, but one also reflects, forgives, realizes earlier efforts did produce important results.

1:47PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

We all carry emotional baggage. There comes a time when one has to realize enough is enough. Weight gain at times can be the result of emotional issues- take it out on food. But this becomes a moot point when trying to face up to emotional baggage. No one can help you, the only person to deal and say goodbye to these basggage is YOU. First, believe in yourself and love yourself. Selflessness is defeating. Let go of hang-ups and move forward and find peace within yourself.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

1:47PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

We all carry emotional baggage. There comes a time when one has to realize enough is enough. Weight gain at times can be the result of emotional issues- take it out on food. But this becomes a moot point when trying to face up to emotional baggage. No one can help you, the only person to deal and say goodbye to these basggage is YOU. First, believe in yourself and love yourself. Selflessness is defeating. Let go of hang-ups and move forward and find peace within yourself.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

12:54PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

thank you very inspiring

12:45PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Thank you Jason. Growing up asian in America there was a lot of pressure to be quiet, perfect, and high-achieving; to assimilate, fade into the background, and not make waves. Part of this was for self protection, but I also feel that I was not living a complete life living up to my parent's expectations and other's perceptions of the "model Asian".

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