When I was in 8th grade I had to take a speech class. I hated this class. I would rather have stuck my head in the sand than stand up in front of people and talk.

Of course, when I was fourteen I saw no purpose in speech class. I was never, ever going to be a public speaker, so why bother practicing?

Well, my life took a course my younger self could never have imagined. Public speaking and teaching turned out to be two of the things I enjoy most in life. Go figure.

But I didn’t easily go from feeling terrified of public speaking to loving it. It was only through commitment and hard work that I was able to cross over to the other side.

Part of the commitment included embracing sacrifice. For starters, I had to sacrifice my desire to remain comfortable.  The first time I spoke in front of 200 people I nearly shook myself off the platform. I was that nervous. I was far from comfortable. But, I sacrificed my comfort level because speaking in front of the congregation was part of my initiation into ministry and being ordained was far more important to me than fear of public speaking.

The truth is, when I willingly make sacrifices I grow somewhere great. When I don’t, I feel stagnant and my work suffers as a result.

This is a universal experience. We must sacrifice the good for the better. It’s the only way to grow.

So I ask you, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to grow somewhere great?


Fear of failure?

The need to have it all figured out before you leap?

While you’re contemplating that, I’d like to share with you three observations that might help you explore the question “What are you willing to sacrifice in order to grow somewhere great?”

I found the observations in The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield. According to Canfield, after a person creates a goal s/he inevitably encounters three things:

  • Considerations occur when you consider everything that might go wrong (i.e., “People might not sign up for my new class. Maybe I shouldn’t have it.”)
  • Fear happens when you feel something based on past experience or a projection into the future (i.e. “I’m afraid of failing.”)
  • Roadblocks are external factors that get in your way (i.e. “I need a city permit in order to proceed, but I don’t have the money to get one.”)

And, Canfield continues, if you’re not occasionally experiencing one of these things you’re probably not stretching yourself.

I tend to agree.

So it seems inevitable that as you grow in your lifework you will undoubtedly experience considerations, fear and roadblocks. When you do, ask, “What am I willing to sacrifice in order to grow somewhere great?”

Am I willing to let go of considerations that prevent me from moving forward?

Am I willing to feel my fear and move forward anyway, sacrificing my need to feel safe?

What roadblocks am I willing to confront?

If I’m not willing to confront a specific roadblock, do I have to give up on my dreams or is there an alternative route I might take?

When you have a dream and something stops you from taking action, it’s helpful to get really clear about which of the three you are experiencing: considerations, fear or roadblocks. When you can name what’s holding you back you can more easily and consciously choose your course of action.

Because when it comes right down to it, you will either make your dreams come true or you will not.

And, you have far more influence on your success than you might think.

Moving forward consciously, by choosing how to navigate the road of considerations, fear and roadblocks can help you decide what to sacrifice in order to make your dreams come true.