Some say that your vote doesn’t count. Some say that you’ll never be heard.
Your voice matters more than you realize. It matters to your children, your employees, your congregation, and your friends.
Your voice can solve an issue that sometimes only you can see. Your voice can heal a heart that only you can reach. Your voice can shape a child who needs to know they are loved. Your voice can sell a product that solves a major problem.
Real change begins when people just like you share their voice. Your voice is unique. Your voice is powerful.
Are you playing small?
We all worry that when we speak we won’t be heard or that nobody will care.
The question is not if you’ll be heard but who will hear you. No, the real question is who needs to hear you.
Everything around us was built by someone: the roads we travel, the phones we use, the house that keeps us warm, and the technology that connects us.
Human creativity and innovation have shaped our world for the better.
First someone had an idea. Then they went to work.
They worked with tenacity towards creating that vision. They didn’t listen to the internal voice that told them it couldn’t be done. They didn’t listen to other voices telling them it wasn’t possible.
They figured out how to build it. They raised money to produce it. They worked when others weren’t working. They often worked without reward. They fought through obstacles big and small.
Ideas don’t get things done.
It’s the execution of the idea that makes things better. Ideas can inspire but tenacious action creates change.
The world needs your usefulness. The world needs you to follow through on your ideas.
Over a decade ago, the company I was working with was in trouble. The marketing funnel and large marketing budget that had driven successful leads to the sales team was struggling and bleeding money.
The sales team had just experienced massive turnover and in an effort to stop the death spiral, a new sales manager was hired. The new sales team that was hired by the new sales manager was inexperienced and very ineffective.
The feeling of losing ground and of collapse was in the air. You could feel the tension. It was a sickening feeling.
The ship sunk.
Sometimes things just don’t work. Sometimes our plans and dreams fall apart.
That doesn’t mean we should give up.
Failure is a part of life but it isn’t life. When you’re in the midst of failure (the pain, the hurt, the anguish, and the shame) it feels like it is all consuming, almost like your life is ending.
But it passes. Sometimes only with time.
Failure isn’t who you are, it’s an experience you have.
Failure won’t define you unless you let it define you.
Some people won’t ever get back up on the horse once they get knocked off. They simply say, “I’m done” or “I’ll never do that again”.
This errant thinking dams opportunity and potential.
You just have to try again. You may need to try a different horse but you have to get back on.
As you push forward to your next venture, it’s very possible that your brain will remind you of your previous failures. Part of your brain is built to protect you and keep you safe.
It’s natural to feel this way but greater happiness is on the other side of this FALSE safety alarm. You have to work through the noise and push through the false alarm.
If you listen to this part of your brain too often, you will become a shell of the person you once were. You’ll never achieve what you really want or who you are meant to be.
Take action. Be bold. Face the fear of failure.
The life you really want is waiting for you.
It was warm summer afternoon and my family and I were enjoying a wonderful day on a warm California beach just outside Oceanside. The waves were perfect for surfing and body boarding, and the locals were out in droves.
My two oldest teenage sons and I had grabbed a wet suit and a body board from a local rental shop and decided to join the party. I headed for the water with hesitancy, as my swimming abilities are severely lacking.
I’m convinced I was built to sink rather than to swim.
With hopeful thoughts of buoyancy, we headed out towards waves. I had watched the experienced locals go out with ease as they ducked down through the seemingly small waves and make it out just beyond where the waves were forming.
I saw how they rested effortlessly beyond where the waves were forming in the calm and peaceful water. I wanted that same result, to sit in that calm water and watch for the perfect wave.
A massive wave hit me in the face and pushed me back. My arms and legs were tired and throbbing. I was out of gas and my fears about not being a great swimmer were being realized.
The first few waves weren’t that difficult once I had learned how to duck just at the right time. As soon I came up on the other side of each wave I would take a deep breath and paddle hard. I did this over and over again.
Exhausted and tired I pushed on until suddenly I broke through and there were no more waves.
I joined the other surfers and body boarders in the calm water beyond the break. After resting, I caught my first wave and then repeated the process several times. We created some great memories that day.
YOUR GREATER LIFE IS BEYOND THE WAVES OF RESISTANCE
No matter what goal you set, you will experience waves. These waves will push you back, as if life is testing you to see if resolve and tenacity are part of your character.
It’s almost as if you’re being asked, “How bad do you really want this?”
Resistance comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but if you fail to recognize it you can easily get distracted, quit, or get angry.
Resistance can look like this:
- The voice in your head that says, you don’t really want this…
- The distraction that causes you to get lost in your social media when you hit discomfort
- The anger and frustration you feel when things don’t go according to plan
- The tendency to bottle up or hide when emotions get difficult
- The desire to blame others for your situation and not make plans to make it better
- The decision to throw in the towel instead of finish that last task
Here is the secret:
When you break free from the level at which you are playing, resistance will be a part of the game.
Dreams can be achieved, they are simply on the other side of resistance.
Where we lose the battle is often found in our minds. We make mistakes; we get stuck with guilt. We hit resistance; we stop. We want to lose weight and we lose focus and momentum.
At times we spent our lives stuck in thought, not doing. We don’t make decisions because both the options both have potential; thus we remain where we are because we don’t decide.
The key to getting unstuck is found in the ways we think, balanced by the actions we take.