On today’s run, a song I haven’t heard in quite some time came on, It’s called “Starts with Goodbye” by Carrie Underwood. As I listened to the lyrics, I heard them in a whole new light, something that often happens when I’m running, because it all depends on where I’m at mentally at the time. Today, hearing these lyrics caused me to think about all the people I speak with who have big dreams of what their life would be like if they could just get their business up and running, but whose current reality is a far cry from that dream.
As a side note, I’ve been watching American Idol the past few weeks and have seen some great examples of what some people are willing to give up, to achieve their dream. Two that stand out in my mind are missing the birth of a first child, and living in a car so they can pursue the dream of singing for a living. I’m not saying you have to go to these extremes, however it does show a level of commitment and it’s surely no mistake these people were selected out of thousands and thousands of people to be on the show. Their commitment is HUGE and they’re clearly willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their dream.
Anyway, back to my original point…
Sometimes the people I’m speaking with have been struggling to get the business up and running for months, sometimes for years.
Yet very often in the end, they’re not willing to let go of what’s not working and step onto the path that will lead them to that dream. Maybe it’s too scary. Maybe all they see are obstacles and reasons they can’t do it right now. And for others, perhaps they realize the desire isn’t strong enough to warrant the risk. So instead they choose to stay on their current path and believe that somehow, at some point, things will change.
When in reality, nothing changes if you don’t first choose to make a change.
And yes, sometimes – most times – to create big change you have to take big steps. You have to step outside your comfort zone … you have to let go of things that are known and comfortable and step out into the unknown.
I know every big step I’ve taken in my business and my life hasn’t just happened. They’ve all been preceded by a leap of faith on my part. I’ve always had to let go of something FIRST. Sometimes I had to let go of fear. Sometimes I had to let go of security. Other times I had to let go of my pride and admit I couldn’t do it on my own. And still other times I had to let go of money.
Were these leaps risky? Was letting go difficult?
I guess it depends on how you look at it. Is it more risky or difficult to go after your dream full-out, or stay in the same existence that is not making you happy? For me, staying in a place where I’m not happy and I feel held back is a much bigger risk, and is much more difficult than going for my dream. After all, this life is IT, it’s not a dress rehearsal for my “real” life.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Robert F. Kennedy that’s been posted on my office wall for years:
“Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly.”
I have achieved a lot in my life BECAUSE I’ve been willing to go out on a limb, and many times step off the ledge in faith. And yes, sometimes I trip and fall, BUT, in the end it’s much less painful than not taking the leap and always wondering, “What if?” At least when you step out, you find out.
And the REAL key to success is to KEEP stepping out, over and over and over again.
The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets, just like anything else.
So I ask you to step back and really think about what it is you want to do with this one life you have.
Do you want to go for it and dare to achieve greatness? Or do you want to play it safe and stay where you are? I’m not here to judge your decision, nor should anyone else. It is after all your life and your decision. But what I am here to do is hold up a mirror for you to reflect into, and ask you to at least give it some good, hard thought, and answer the question honestly from your heart. Don’t kid yourself, because you’re the only one who is going to get hurt if you do.
And remember, it’s not about doing what you think you should be doing. It’s not about doing what you think OTHERS think you should be doing. It’s about doing what makes your heart sing. It’s about doing what’s going to enable you to live your purpose here on this earth … to make a difference with your life … to “achieve greatly” (by your own definition) so at the end of your life you can look back with NO regrets, knowing you went for it all.
And just know, if your dream is big and powerful enough, and your commitment is solid, it will carry you through the discomfort and over to the other side. But first you have to be willing to jump.
So I ask you to contemplate the following question:
What do you need to let go of or step into, in order to move on to the life and business you really want?
And think about today’s thought-provoking lyrics:
I know there’s a blue horizon,
Somewhere up ahead, just waiting for me,
Getting there means leaving things behind…
…Moving on with the rest of your life,
Starts with goodbye.
I’ve shared some things I had to let go of to get to my dreams. What about you, is there anything you need to say goodbye to, in order to get to the other side?