On February 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared an end to slavery in the Confederate States. The 13th amendment outlawing slavery was later ratified on December 6, 1865, declaring an end to slavery in the nation. It marked the first national step towards freedom and equality, and on June 30, 1948, President Truman signed a bill declaring February 1 as National Freedom Day. It also welcomes Black History Month.
We don’t want to forget history, but we have to remember that breaking free also means being aware of the limiting beliefs, behaviors, and thinking of what holds us back. Despite our color, creed, or orientation, we all have a history that keeps us in bondage
Declare National Freedom Day as Your Day of to Break Free
February 1 marks the first day of Black History Month. It is also early enough to establish the right frame of mind for everyone to declare freedom from anything that keeps them from their goals.
Here are 6 things you need to know that come along with your pursuit of freedom.
#1 Practice Awareness of Your Subconscious Actions
The first step of claiming your freedom is paying attention. Pay attention to your automatic actions and reactions.
- Do you interpret instead of understanding what someone is saying?
- Are there things you do because people expect them from you?
- Do you assume people know your intentions?
- Do you take the typical way of doing something as law?
- Are you still acting as a slave to old behaviors?
- Do you leave conversations unfinished?
- Are you afraid of how people will react?
Outlawing slavery was the first step to freedom but not to true freedom itself. So remember, your decision to break free of limiting beliefs, behaviors, and thinking is only the first step to living a life of integrity.
#2 Nothing, Including Freedom, Is Easy
People who migrate to the United States from other countries are often surprised at the hardship they face. It’s the same thing with the ending of slavery. There was much more chaos, difficulty, and resentment for everyone than anyone expected, including the newly freed slaves.
With freedom came new responsibilities, perhaps new enemies, and a whole new world for many. Breaking free of limits in your life comes with consequences, and in the beginning, it can be challenging.
#3 Find the Opportunities
You don’t have to be a victim of circumstances. Find opportunities in all situations, including ones not meant for you. For instance, despite what many believe, the Civil War was not a human rights battle. Though President Lincoln signed the 13th amendment to free slaves, the war was about economic and political control.
Still, the 13th amendment to the constitution paved the way for the freedoms we have today and the national and local leaders that help us continue to fight for equality.
Don’t get caught up in the situation that made freedom an option; instead, find opportunity in your circumstances. Perhaps you are forced to make a change because you are the collateral damage from a job or relationship. Whether you’ve chosen to break free or your circumstances cause it, the change will not be easy. But, you can make it worthwhile.
#4 Expect to Have Amnesia of How Things Used to Be
As you move toward breaking free, the hardship can cause you to remember your “old” life as the good life. There are accounts where slaves felt they were treated well by their “masters,” despite the fact society deemed slaves as property, and there was rampant sexual abuse of slaves.
Breaking free of bondage propels you out of your comfort zone. At times things may seem better in how life used to be.
Remember why you are making changes and why the journey is worth it. You can change how your mind processes events. You are the leader of your mind (and not the other way around).
#5 Know That You Are Not Your Circumstances or Behaviors
There is you, your mind, and your body. Depending on your beliefs, you encompass your spirit, the God in you, or something along that line. Then there is our body and our mind. You may confuse what you think as being “you.” We are separate from what we do and think.
Empowerment is recognizing that you are separate from your body and mind and that you get to decide how you think and what you do.
As God leads you, so shall you guide your thoughts and decisions. Your mind stores your experiences and beliefs (beyond religion), and some of those thoughts do not serve you.
The good news is that you can free yourself from such bondage! You can change your mind.
#6 Some People Ain’t Gonna Like It!
People are used to you in the old role and will not embrace the change because it affects how you respond to their demands. Some of your beliefs (plenty of them, actually) come from your childhood, but now you have a choice.
As adults, we teach people how to treat us. Some people in your life may take new rules and boundaries as an attack so prepare to face resistance from people in your life.
Equip yourself with tools that help you navigate troubled waters. It will help you graciously communicate the changes. Remember, your new boundaries give you the freedom to unleash the real you—the one that was chained by rules that held you in bondage.
What Are You Declaring National Freedom Over?
Take time to reflect on what’s holding you back. What are you declaring freedom from—Self-sabotage? Low self-esteem? A bad relationship?
Whatever it may be, you will need support—perhaps a friend or a coach. At ROMP Coaching, we want to democratize empowerment. Sign up to get notifications of our upcoming 2021 events. Declare your freedom.