Baggage Check

This week’s trek is inspired by Susan David's book, Emotional Agility. In her book she discusses our tendency to "look at the world through the lens of our personal past," which can prevent us from seeing current situations clearly.

Are your current fights really yours or do they better relate to your past?

We all have behavior patterns that we repeat without giving them much thought. Sometimes, though, these patterns will sneak up on us and bring excess baggage to a current relationship that doesn't accurately reflect what's going on today.

Introducing Your Baggage Check Exercise

What It Is
A 15-minute gut check to make sure the beef you have in your current relationship reflects a real conflict and not just baggage from your past.

Why We Love It 
Sometimes the things that bother us most in our current relationships have nothing to do with our current partners. We take an issue from the past and assume the same thing is going on in the present without any evidence of it's pertinence. This exercise provides an opportunity to rethink our patterns to see if they're still relevant to the present day.

How It Works
1. Recall a recent tiff you had with a friend or partner. Take a minute to jot down what specifically bothered you, how you felt, and what you did as a result.

2. As you think through these details ask yourself if you are responding to something that is really present in your relationship today or if you are responding to the conditions of a previous relationship. For example, if you snapped at your partner about not listening to you, did it come from a place of you truly not feeling heard in your relationship or was it because you haven't felt heard in a past relationships?

3. If the issue does exist today, address it with your partner by speaking about the conflict from your perspective and give them a chance to also speak about it from theirs. As you approach the conversation, give
some of these tips a go.

4. If you suspect the issue is from your past, take time to notice your behaviors around it. What are you assuming is happening and how does that make you feel? What specifically is your partner doing that might be triggering you? What behaviors are you displaying as a result?

5. Then, consider whether your behaviors in #4 are still beneficial to you. If they aren't, how might you respond differently next time? 

Source: Emotional Agility
Want to dig deeper into this topic?
Shout. It. Out. To Annie Watson for inspiring this exercise!!
Shout. It. Back. To treks@lifetrekkers.me to let us know which treks you like best!
Here's what your fellow trekkers have to say about past treks:

"Inspiration Reservoir was one of my favorite treks. It helped me understand the many sources of inspiration (many of which are in my own backyard) that I can draw upon when needing to unlock the right side of my brain."
Liz Tverskoy, Account Manager @ Google
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Shankar Desai