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Checking Your Invisible Baggage

Are you aware of the invisible baggage you drag around? You know — the baggage that makes everything feel heavy; that makes it tough to just be; that makes it hard for you to enjoy the moment.

Would you like to check that baggage at the door, so that you can not only enjoy your day but also have a celebratory, appreciative, grateful outlook?

If so, read on. One moment please. There is a requirement you must meet if you want to be successful in this endeavor. Put away your credit card. This does not cost a penny. The only requirement is that you are open to modifying your mind-set. To clarify, a mind-set is what your mind firmly believes is the way to think about, speak about and respond to a situation. And you cling to that belief as though it is the one and only truth.

So, to give you a simple example:

You may believe that the only appropriate response to saying “Thank You” is to receive a “You’re Welcome.” If you receive, as you often will, a “No Problem,” you may wince and wonder where the manners of the younger generation have gone to, instead of chuckling about this small change in our culture.

To give you a more complex example:

You may believe that it’s fine for kids to enjoy playing but once you become an adult, you need to put all that aside. So, when your spouse wants to meet his pals to play golf or race cars, you may furrow your brows, wondering when he will ever grow up. But what you may never have thought about — for him or for yourself — is that play (not work) is at the heart of almost all creative and joyful activities.

Checking your invisible baggage means you don’t take it with you on a day’s journey. For when you do, you find it is heavy and cumbersome, making it harder for you to have an easy-going, enjoyable day.

A few examples:

It’s a special occasion. You are driving yourself crazy trying to find the perfect gift for this lovely person. If only you could check your compulsive quest for giving the best possible gift, you just might receive a wonderful gift in return. More momentous moments filled with love, laughter and lightness.

Or, perhaps you’re holding on to old resentments. A family member has behaved poorly, not measuring up to your expectations. See if you can shut out all the noise. Put it in a bubble wrap package. Drive it to a locker far away from home.Then, return home free from resentments and make a decision about what to do. Do you want to invite her to your home or not? Do you want to greet her warmly or coolly? Do you wish to show interest in what she’s doing now or just make small talk? There are no right answers. Just make decisions that will enhance your confidence and spark your satisfaction.

If you have checked your resentments, you will have gained the freedom to decide with a clear and open mind about what you want to do. With no invisible baggage dragging you down, you may become aware that you are now viewing her differently. Not because she changed but because you changed. Hurrah for that!

Now imagine that checking your invisible baggage becomes a habit. What will happen? Will you not care about anything? Nope, that’s not the way to go.

Let’s remember what happens when you check your physical baggage at the airport. Suddenly you feel lighter. You savor the ease of movement. You appreciate getting rid of a heavy burden. When you arrive at your destination, however, you will need to pick up your luggage. Yes, things may get heavy for a while again. But that doesn’t take away from the moments of freedom you had earlier.


Checking Your Invisible Baggage

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

Dr. Linda Sapadin, psychologist, success coach and author is proud to announce the publication of her new book, Overcoming Your Procrastination: College Student Edition – Advice for 6 Personality Styles available on Amazon. Now more than ever with remote learning, this book is a must-have. If you’re a perfectionist, dreamer, worrier, crisis-maker, defier or please, grab your copy. No longer a student? Get my book How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age – 6 Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Visit to subscribe to my free e-newsletter. Contact her at

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APA Reference
Sapadin, L. (2018). Checking Your Invisible Baggage. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 5 May 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.