I CHOSE AN UGLY WORD FOR 2017

 

I don’t do resolutions. I gave them up decades ago. I found the practice of choosing a guiding word or phrase to direct my year far more satisfying and effective. That way, whenever I felt unsure or overwhelmed, I would turn to my word and meditate on its impact to direct me toward my vision.

 

Typically, the phrases I chose year after year were POWER words. You know the kind – Go the Distance, Lead with Passion, Take Responsibility, Say YES (to opportunity), Step UP. These words would reflect the kind of passion and drive I wanted to infuse into everything I did. These words impacted my life.

 

But this year. This year it’s different.

 

This year, I have a word that seems less than satisfying. I struggled to adopt this word because it didn’t sound like success to me. This word seemed so counter-intuitive of everything that I stand for. This word is repulsive to me.

 

Yet, I couldn’t turn away from it. Hidden within this word is access to the next level of freedom that I work so hard to have. I had to get closer to it in order to understand why it was showing up. I needed to explore whether I was being deceived or tricked into another bout of self-sabotage. I needed to understand why this word was so significant and why now.

 

 

My word for 2017 is

‘SACRIFICE’

I’ll give you a moment. (I know I needed one.)

It’s far from an inspiring word.

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but the images this word conjures up for me are ones of reduction – giving things away, not asking for what I want, doing things the hard way. I think of struggle and hardship and poverty. It makes me feel like I’m not allowed to enjoy myself. It sounds like having to put my nose to the grindstone, not expecting much and being grateful for scraps if I get any at all.

 

Plus my religious upbringing adds an entirely different level to the meaning of this word, if you know what I mean, and it ain’t pretty.

 

This word was very discouraging. I sat down with it to determine what it was supposed to mean relevant to my greater aspirations.

 

What I came to realize is that,

  • I had already been sacrificing a lot to get to where I am
  • Sacrifice isn’t all negative; there’s a broader picture to consider
  • The ‘what’ of what ‘Sacrifice’ was requiring of me is what needed clarification in order to help me accelerate my goals for this year

 

Starting and growing a business is at best challenging. Having persistence and perseverance is a testament to any entrepreneurs journey. After mentoring hundreds of achievers, I recognize that they share common sacrifices in order to give them an edge over their competitors that lands them a seat at the table of success. It’s what makes them different.

 

 

 

There are 3 things every entrepreneur sacrifices to attain success. They are time, resources (namely money), and comfort.

 

These 3 elements vary in duration and depth by entrepreneur. There is no one size fits all in this equation. There are too many variables at play. But one thing is for sure, they are definitive elements in every successful entrepreneurs handbook.

 

 

So what was I to do with this word?

Well, for starters I had to take a close look at these elements at play for me.

 

I came to recognize that I had already sacrificed a tremendous amount of time – some 30 plus years studying, researching, exploring, participating in / experiencing and honing my skills in my area of expertise.

 

I had already sacrificed my valuable resources – particularly heavily in the past 7 years. I strategically used my resources to a) gain access to highly impactful leaders, b) receive the training and understanding of what I needed to do to become the Expert that I am today in the area of Success Achievement, and c) immerse myself in the industry to experience first hand the pulse of what makes it work and what doesn’t.

 

What is left for me now is to sacrifice my comfort.

 

Up until now, I was quite comfortable doing the legwork. I was quite comfortable accumulating knowledge, assimilating it into powerful wisdom. I became quite comfortable and skilled at coaching. I was very comfortable at encouraging and guiding clients to find their success path. I learned to get comfortable writing, sharing my thoughts and ideas, putting them ‘out there’ to be evaluated.

 

I am at a new crossroads now, recognizing that I will not be able to reach my aspirations and remain comfortable. I want both, but they cannot support each other. They are like magnets that repel each other, both coming from the same pole (desire), yet incompatible.

 

Which brings me back to my word for 2017 – ‘Sacrifice’.

 

 

 

If I am to make an even bigger impact, I must sacrifice my comfort. By sacrificing my comfort, I accept risk. The risk of failing. The risk of rejection. The risk of humiliating myself. The risk of humility. The risk of greater investments. The risk of being wrong.

 

 

 

There’s also another risk. It’s the risk of growing to the next level. The risk of succeeding. That’s the whole point. Do nothing more than I’m doing now, I’ll never know what that’s like.

 

I’ve been around long enough to know that in order to succeed, there is sacrifice at play. Sacrifice is not a dirty word. It’s a way to discern what you need to do in order to affect the results you want. That means there is a ‘giving up’ of certain things for the ‘gain’ of something else.

 

What you sacrifice at the beginning is much different than what needs to be sacrificed as your business takes off and much different when you become the Expert.

 

Here’s what I know I must do right now to make a bigger impact in 2017,

  • I must sacrifice and risk the comfort of my current level of achievement,
  • I must sacrifice and risk the comfort of working in seclusion,
  • I must sacrifice and risk the comfort of only serving people who already like me,
  • I must sacrifice and risk the comfort of doing (most) everything myself,
  • I must sacrifice and risk bruising my ego to keep up appearances.

 

It’s a tall order. It’s not comfortable. It is a ‘Sacrifice’. It is how (you and) I will make it to the next level.

 

‘Sacrifice’ insinuates greater effort with less focus on self-gratification. It makes me feel a little more vulnerable, even a little unsteady. But ‘Sacrifice’ from where I’m standing has the potential to unshackle me from the areas I’ve been holding onto tightly for security. In essence, at this stage, it is requiring something new, something more of me.

 

Growth comes with growing pains. It’s not comfortable. It’s a little scary because there is no guarantee of where you’ll end up. While growing, you’re moving into unknown territory with anticipation that it’s going to be better than where you started. But you don’t know for sure.

 

There’s nothing wrong with Power words. Use them when they support you. I have relied on them for years and I expect I will continue to use them. I just know that there is a time and use for everything. Believe me, even I was surprised with my word for 2017. It’s not the word I was hoping for, but it is the word I need.

 

If you don’t like the word sacrifice, insert the word release. It’s safer. But for me, for right now, the word ‘Sacrifice’ has a much bigger charge. It’s the perfect word to guide me toward my vision through 2017.

 

What’s your Word or Phrase for 2017? Post it in the comment box below.

 

 

 

 


 

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