Fall is a time for letting go. It is a time to let the limiting ideas and thoughts I’ve been living my life with fall away. Until recently, I was thinking these thoughts without questioning their validity.  These thoughts had become my beliefs.  I thought they were simply the truth.

The limiting belief I want to share today, is the notion that success requires sacrifice.

The thought is that “achieving” success requires you give up something else.  This deficit based line of thought or belief comes from a mentality of “scarcity”.  There’s not enough of something to go around in this world, so if you give yourself in service to your success, you sacrifice something in the giving.

Once you identify a thought or idea that has become a belief for you, how can you take a helicopter view of that belief in order to see whether or not it’s true and life giving vs. false and life draining? First, take a good, hard look at the tenants of your belief.

Old belief – Success Requires Sacrifice:

  • There is a price to pay for anything you really want.
  • You will be a servant to that which you want and you will have to sacrifice something to get it.
  • Sacrifice is the price you pay for success. It’s an investment of resources in something you think you want more than you value “whatever it costs”.

I somehow allowed sacrifice to get confused with trade-offs. I believed I had to pay a heavy price for everything that was good in my life.

Where did this belief come from?

Did someone teach me this way of thought?

Since realizing I’ve been operating under a version of “scarcity” thinking, I continue to inquire:

Have I…

Sacrificed my career?

Sacrificed my family?

Sacrificed my health?

Sacrificed my friendships?

If I think I have sacrificed in those areas, in service of what have I done so?

Why would I be willing to sacrifice if I believe it creates suffering?  What is the payoff? What core value of mine is sacrifice serving?

–             Recognition

–             Approval of others (family, friends, society, culture)

–             Worthiness

–             Status

–             Image

–             Independence

–             Conscious reality of what it looks like to raise “Good kids”

–             Thought: “There’s no other way to get what you want”

–             Society and cultural conditioning of the roles of men and women.

In my own inquiry, I realized I had other beliefs about sacrifice.  Sacrifice keeps you safe. You can’t step out of your comfort zone because you’re obligated to sacrifice yourself for the sake of someone/something? And, you have to sweat and sacrifice to earn your stripes, to deserve what you get.  Sacrifice is a way to learn what you need to and get what you want.

Now, let’s ask some new kinds of questions to bust these old myths about sacrifice and suffering:

  1. Is it really a sacrifice when you feel inspired and compelled to “be” your definition of successful?
  2. Does success have to be hard?
  3. Do you have to believe that sacrifice and success are synonyms?
  4. How are you collapsing the distinctions between sacrifice and discipline to equal suffering?
  5. Is this belief tied to your values or your “shoulds” based on what our culture concludes is cool? (Sacrifice is often accompanied by “should-ing all over yourself”. It happens when voices you’re hearing in your head are guilt, shame, the drill sergeant and the inner critic.)

Ultimately, I conclude that when sacrifice is synonymous with suffering it does not serve my highest and best in the world.

Here’s my plan for creating a new though pattern:

  1. Remember you can’t wholly serve success from a place of “lack” or resentment.
  2. Offer tenderness to the part of you that believes sacrifice is required in order to be of service.
  3. Recognize the distinction between sacrifice and trade-offs. A trade-off is what you’re willing to give up in order to spend more time doing what serves the end you have in mind.
  4. Think “And” rather than “Or”.
  5. Find ways to be creative with your time and resources so that you can fill your cup with what you love which is the true definition of success.

From A Course of Love, (www.acourseoflove.com) T2:6.6 Accomplishment is not an end point but a given. It is not an outcome but a certainty. It says I am rather than I will be.

#loveistheway #getintheway #ideasworthspreading