When I teach seminars or lecture about networking and elevator pitches one of my main points is that people have a subconscious instinct to naturally form a connection to a title. Whether that be a good connection or not depends on their personal experiences. For example if your house was foreclosed on then you probably do not have the warm fuzzies when you hear the title “Mortgage Broker”.
Words are so very powerful and often overlooked in their ability to impact or engage. I have always been a natural born communicator; however, in my line of work words take on greater importance – and receive greater scrutiny. It is because of this heightened sense that I realize that it is not just titles that we respond to – there is a whole array of words that generate an immediate and strong response.
One of those words is “sacrifice”.
Think about it, when you just read that last sentence – what was your natural reaction? I would hazard to guess it was probably one that leaned toward not so great because sacrifice is normally thought of as a negative thing.
Sacrifice is defined as surrendering or giving up for the sake of something else. One must sacrifice one thing in order to get to get another – whether that is a tangible, physical, emotional or mental “thing”. See – it just sounds so…negative.
But what if what you are giving up is something that is not of value or benefit to you? Then sacrifice is a good thing! What if you decide to give up the negative feelings, the fear, the apprehension, the frustration – this will allow you to replace those things that are holding you back with positive, acceptance, excitement or joy, which in turn will actually help you reach your goals. It will also help make it a much more pleasant journey.
Let me step back for a minute and say that first you need to identify what it is that you want – or at the very least what you do not want. From there you should look at what is holding you back. Is it your own fear, is it lack of knowledge, is it lack of time – what is it that is really getting in your way?
If it is an emotional thing going on in your head then you need to find a way to bring closure to the negative then sacrifice it for the sake of replacing it with a more positive. For example if there was a job that you really, really wanted and you did not get it. You may be feeling depressed or upset as a result and that is hindering your job search.
Yes, that sucks. However my best suggestion would be to sacrifice those negative feelings – come to terms with the fact that it just isn’t going to happen – accept it, embrace it then let it go. Once you can do that you will make room to start thinking about the next open position. What if this next one is a better opportunity?
What if you need additional training in order to progress within your industry? Then it may be necessary to sacrifice money to pay for the training. But it is not a negative sacrifice – it is an investment within yourself.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Pour your purse into your head.” Investing in yourself is the wisest investment you can make. Looked at in this prospective it isn’t a negative sacrifice; it is actually a very sound strategy which will result in an increased rate of return.
I had a business deal that started out extremely hot and promising then one day seemed to cool off to just above chilly. We continued to talk but the prospect of working together seemed to fizzle out. Not only am I communicator – I’m also a “take it personally” kinda girl. So for some time I would come back to it and think, “What am I missing?” which translates to “What did I do?”
About a month ago I sacrificed a couple of natural instincts of any business owner: wanting to know the whys on everything and thinking there is some measure of control that I have in every situation. What I replaced this with was a sense of “going with the flow” in combination with embracing risk. My best friend gave me some wonderful advice which was, “You can’t control others only how you respond to them” and “you can’t win if you don’t play.” She is so sage.
This sacrifice seemed to help release some of the strangle-hold this situation had on my brain. This past week I realized that as business owners we are at two different stages and have two different visions with this project. I have a positive outlook and envision the collaboration as a mutually beneficial venture. Not to be disrespectful, their outlook is more wishy-washy and do not want to take a risk.
Once this came to light I sacrificed again: I let go of the whole damn thing and replaced it with putting that energy into other aspects. This allowed me to release an incredible weight I did not realize I was carrying and replace it with excitement to entertain other ventures. Literally this weekend I was so jazzed at the possibilities that I literally thought very little of the old, and when I did it was more with an attitude of, “huh, well that was too bad’ and went on.
I sacrificed a career within the financial industry to start my own business. This meant sacrificing the security of not only income, but of knowledge and experience. But what I gained is immeasurable. I have never looked back. To be able to take any day of the week and absolutely love what I am doing could never have happened had I not sacrificed something.
Take a moment today and think about what negative you are willing to sacrifice – whether that is that you do not want to invest in yourself, a feeling or actual physical block. Then think about what positive you are willing to replace it with; now go one step further and think about what good can come of this sacrifice.
If using the word “sacrifice” still makes you all dark and twisty inside then think about it in terms of a sacrifice fly – you are giving up an out to score a run.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.