Committed Decisions: "Burn Your Boats"
If you've never heard the story about the burning boats before, it goes a little something like this: A Spanish conquistador and his men were about to embark on seizing an empire with some of the world's greatest treasures. The armies were modest compared to those who had preceded them. They didn't have armor. Armies with more resources had not succeeded before them and this particular attempt was considered to be a death wish. The day that the army set out to conquer the empire, their leader said, "Burn the boats." Their only means of escape should they fail were then burned into the ocean.
Without any means of retreat, the conquistador and his men conquered the land of Mexico, the first to do so in 600 years. They simply had no other choice.
They had made a committed decision to conquer a land that was deemed unconquerable. They gave themselves no means of retreat; their vessels to take them back home were destroyed.
Because of this, they only had one choice: to be totally committed to success.
I've heard this story several times now, specifically at motivational seminars. In November I made a decision to start a coaching practice in the spring of 2017 for creative entrepreneurs. Then I started making moves toward it: I found a certification program that teaches subjects that really light me on fire. Then I signed up for it (I committed with my check book; money is a powerful energy that lets the universe know what you're investing in and what you're ready for). There were times I wanted to quit but they were times of weakness, and I've been moving forward and will be NLP, hypno and timeline therapy certified in a few weeks. I engaged a photographer, which brought up my own about being really visible and really showing myself to the world. But I showed up to the shoot, despite laying in bed that morning running through a slew of excuses to cancel on her. I started a mastermind and am literally witnessing magic happen for my fellow members. I started it so I could hold myself accountable and in the process, I found myself surrounded by ambitious, amazing people who's voices I could hear every time I was trying to get out of a commitment.
I felt the power of my decisions. I am feeling the power of my decisions. I felt the joy of moving forward into my purpose. But I had not yet decided to soak my boat in gas and light a match.
Here's the thing about making committed decisions: sometimes, after you've proven your commitment enough times, the universe is going to destroy any means of retreat you might have, either consciously or subconsciously. The whole time I've been preparing to launch my practice, I've been working a full time job. On paper, that full-time job looks perfect. Enviable, in fact. I would go to parties with my husband and I would tell Colonels what I do and my ego would get a little fist bump when their faces would light up with the impressed eye arch, lower lip sticking out and a knowing nod. Great title, great salary, dynamic colleagues and inspiring clients.
But there have been issues behind the scenes for a while that were pointing to trouble; forcing me to take a look at myself and ask what I'm really worth, if I'm willing to excuses my own excuses or anyone else's for that matter. Out of respect for the organization, I'm not going to go into details, but about two weeks ago, the answer revealed itself.
The boat had lit itself on fire.
Once I realized that, I was driving across Las Vegas and was struck with a clear vision of my world being like cubes, and blocks were falling away like boulders from cliffs. Every time a cub fell away, the central cube got bigger, it had more life and it was commanding all the space that it was eager to expand into.
It's scary to leave the familiar. It's scary to see your world morph seemingly of its own accord (it's not of its own accord, there are subconscious works at play), to see it literally crumble apart so that different things will grow in its place. In this case, my idea of security which was the job was no longer serving me. It simply had brought me from one piece of land to another across some kind of ocean of growth where I was ready to live the purpose that I've been too scared to live. (I've seriously been dreaming about opening a coaching practice for 12 years.)
Now I want to ask you: what in your life is serving as a ship? Or even more dangerous, what in your life is serving as a yacht - those are possibly even more difficult to get rid of, correct? They're shiny and gorgeous and everyone wants one, don't they? If you're willing to share, in the comments below, let us know what is serving as a ship and how it might be holding you back.
Mine was holding me back by taking my energy, my time and forcing me to constantly evaluate my value. I was also being forced to take a really good look at what I am and am not willing to tolerate from myself or others, whether or not I believe they are a good, wonderful person.
In order to powerfully serve as a performance coach for creative professionals, my clients need me to be fully energized, they need my time and everyone across the table needs to be certain of the value that I bring. They also need to be aware of the boundaries that I will set for myself and for the people that I surround myself with, because it is within these boundaries that relationships can thrive, dreams are realized and magic is created.
The ships are burned. The decision is made. So here we go.
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