Friday, July 08, 2011

How to Throw Yourself Under the Bus

Failure doesn’t come from poor planning.

It comes from the timidity to proceed.

THAT’S MY THEORY: If commitment isn’t the answer, rephrase the question.

The problem is, commitment is hard. Maybe the hardest.

What you need is a way to commit that makes it very hard to turn back.

IN SHORT: You have to throw yourself under the bus.

But this isn’t about self-sabotage. This isn’t about self-mutilation. And this isn’t about doing something stupid, reckless and expensive.

This is about courageously confronting your own dream.

Even if it makes your stomach flip.

Whether you’re starting a business, starting a family, running and organization or running a triathlon, here’s how to throw yourself under the bus:
1. Never break faith. If you’re ready to go all in, go full time and throw yourself under the bus, the first step is to believe you’re worthy of your own dream. To believe that a benign power is supporting you at all time.

This has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with your personal faith. In yourself, in your dream and in your ability to do something that matters. Because unless you begin by answering your call to adventure, you’ll never build the momentum needed to carry your dream forward.

Personally, I restock my reservoir of faith every morning. During my daily appointment with myself, I make a mental list of everything I have faith in. Everything. And a tremor of bliss never fails to take me over. Invest in yourself. Create a daily ritual to remind yourself that you believe in yourself. Will you go on your soul’s quest, or will you pursue the life that only gives you security?

2. Cut off all escape routes. Ancient warriors used to burn their boats before storming the beach. That way, when they looked back to see the flames, victory was their only option. That’s commitment.

If you want to practice the same in your own battles, you have to put yourself in a position where there’s no turning back. You have to execute quick enough so there’s no time to second-guess yourself. Otherwise procrastination and self-doubt will get the best of you.

For example, when I got a nametag tattooed on my chest, my whole world shifted. New opportunities started coming my way out of nowhere. That’s the best part: Once you throw yourself under the bus, doors that were never there open. The world doesn’t just pay attention – it pays dividends.

Don’t commit to thinking about committing. Take the plunge and get into it up to your eyeballs. What action could you take to paint yourself into a committed corner?

3. Stick your fingers in your ears. It takes a prodigious act of courage to make something the burning point of your life. The hard part is discerning which voices to listen to along the way.

My friend Mark once told me that you can’t benchmark normal in the past. Couldn’t agree more: History yields to instinct. And that’s something each of us has to remember: If you don’t maintain a healthy respect for your own opinions, you’re finished.

What’s more, it’s not enough to trust your instinct – you have to defend it, too. Otherwise you end up pursuing something that someone else convinced you that you should want. If you’re going to be besieged by a relentless voice, it may as well be your own.

May as well let your public actions speak your personal legend. Sure beats letting people bash your opinions out of you. Who have you elected not to listen to anymore?

4. Burn your return policy. Yes, it takes lot of guts to really say yes all the way. And yes, life often asks more of you than you’re willing to give. But maintaining anything less than total commitment is a recipe for disaster. And if you think it about, throwing yourself under the bus is actually more efficient, too.

Consider the alternatives: You could rationalize your way out of risk. That’s too much work. You could waste energy trying to find reasons not to take action. What a nightmare. Or you could procrastinate your way to mediocrity. That just plain sucks.

May as well purposely and publicly choose to play big. May as well show the world that your work isn’t just another expensive hobby. Because if your emotional commitment has the depth of a thimble, you’ll never get around to mattering. Are you letting yourself stay where you are?

REMEMBER: Not deciding is a decision, and it’s a terrible one.

Don’t act like you’re not tired of being one foot in.

Put the strength of heart behind you.

Throw yourself under the bus.

Why haven't you committed yet?

For a list called, "12 Ways to Keep Your Relationships Alive," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment."

--Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

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