Would you ever consume a year-old fruit? Or, a bread that somebody sold to you decades ago? No, right. And I am sure some of you are wondering why would anyone even ask these questions.
The reason is that – we are all consuming rotten stuff – not food but thoughts, behaviour patterns that happened decades ago. Let’s go through a few scenarios.
Let’s say you were let go from a job because of financial pressure. Now you are afraid of promotion because you are afraid you will be the first to let go.
You got terrible feedback on a presentation, and after that, you have learnt to be afraid of putting yourself out there.
You lost your money in the 2008 crisis, and now you are always afraid that you won’t have enough.
You were heartbroken when your first love did not work, and now you are afraid of letting anybody come close to you.
So on and so forth. Most of us are operating under mental models that we created when we were children – years ago. What do you call something that is so old? Decayed, rotten, expired – regardless of the words we use, I am sure we all agree they have to be thrown away. But most of us cling to them like lifeboats. Some of us even compare ourselves to our younger selves – I was so thin then, and now look at me. I could run a marathon ten years ago, and now I can hardly do a five-mile walk.
There is a reason why freshly harvested produce tastes better than food that has been on the shelves for a while. Same with everything in our life. Unless we throw away the expired items in our life’s pantry, how will there be room for anything fresh to be available. Some of us are so afraid of the new flavours of fresh food because we have gotten used to eating mouldy bread. But, we do not realize that unless we eat healthy food, we will be sick and spread our sickness around.
A person who is afraid to give a presentation because of critical feedback will provide the same advice to others. Whereas if you have managed to let go of the mouldy bread and tasted the new food – you will encourage others to do the same.
How do we let go of rotten beliefs, decayed thoughts and expired mental models? The first step is awareness – notice what you hang onto, which you should have let go of a long time ago. What is not working in your life anymore? What is keeping you from being yourself truly? And with awareness comes the understanding of the next step, which is not easy. But, you will realize that once you are aware of it, it becomes harder and harder to keep eating yeast ridden bread. And there will come a time when you will revolt against the expired food.
You have to let go of what you have been holding onto for years – you have to face your fears. The good news is – once you take the first step, you will never go back. Once you have tasted a fresh tomato, you will never go back to eating canned tomatoes (an analogy).
It is time we all let go of our baggage and welcome the new. The world literally needs a fresh start – we have operated in a rotten model for long enough. What rotten models are you still consuming, and what will you do about them?