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Massage Today
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06

The Courage to Go for It

By Cary Bayer

"Success is not in never falling but in rising every time you fall."

- Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, who coached the Green Bay Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowls, was not just a taskmaster obsessed with winning; he was also a coach committed to having players give their all and not give up.

It's fundamental to the yang world of football as much as to the yin world of massage. Mary Pickford, the movie star who co-founded United Artists with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, wrote: "If you have made mistakes...there is always another chance for may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."

It's not the falling down, but the staying down. This is precisely where so many LMTs get confused. They have dreams of developing their massage businesses in a particular way, but their fears of doing what is necessary to realize their dreams stop them. They fear that if they go for what they really want - like creating a well-known and successful practice, for example - they might fail. They might like to do chair massage in corporations or incorporate more exotic massage modalities, like Thai or Lomi Lomi, but are afraid to approach corporate executives or worry that such techniques might cause more conservative clients to think less favorably of them. They think that failing in and of itself is something terrible. (In baseball, the best players - Willie Mays, for example - make it to the Hall of Fame even if they fail 70 percent of the time!) The truth is, you fail if you don't try.

Future hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky, who scored more goals than anyone else, said, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take." Imagine what would happen if you started to take some new "shots," like going after more affiliations with chiropractors, spas or physical therapists; studying new massage techniques; or going after more clients by marketing yourself in a big way.

I coach my massage therapist clients that success results from living life with gusto. Every time you go after what you really want, you win. That's because going after what you really want involves unfolding your inner being and requires overcoming fear and resistance - and that's a huge win. If your actions don't meet with the results you desire, you still win for the simple reason that you went after what your heart truly desired.There are also times you win twice because sometimes, when you go after what you really want, a wonderful thing happens - you get it!

I've privately coached some three dozen massage therapists in the past couple of years and have seen how frightened they can be of feeling discomfort; at the slightest tinge of fear, they pull back and never go after their hearts' desires. Others give up after one failed attempt. I coach my clients to persevere, commit, and show the universe that they mean business. When they do, the universe shows its commitment to them and responds in a positive way - with support. Synchronicities take place, and they find themselves in the right place at the right time, meeting the right person. It could happen anywhere: in a supermarket checkout line, at the dry cleaners, at a Starbucks. They might find their next client: a corporate human resource manager to hire them to do a big chair massage program, or a chiropractor looking for a massage therapist.

Imagine how many more decades of slavery the Hebrews might have had to endure had Moses given up each time the hard-hearted Pharaoh refused to let his people go. Thomas Edison, who failed some 10,000 times in experiments to find the proper material for the filament in his light bulb, wrote: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." You might be reading these words by candlelight had Edison been a quitter, and consider this: The genius inventor was actually grateful each time an experiment failed. His rationale was simple: He knew that he had one less road to go down to reach his goal. Imagine conducting your massage business with such certainty, faith, patience and fortitude.

Many massage therapists believe that if things don't come easily, it must not be what the universe wants for them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Liberation didn't come easily for the Hebrews, even with Moses working as a veritable channel for the highest power of the universe. Nirvana didn't come immediately to the Buddha either; he had his own challenges to deal with. Think of your favorite movie: doesn't the hero or heroine overcome some obstacle to realize a higher greatness? The universe often wants to see what you're made of and wants to see your commitment. Show your mettle and desire and you will receive support to handle the obstacles.

Do you stay in life's slow lane, content with the status quo, attached to your comfort zone? If you do, it might prevent you from getting into the real zone, where the universe blesses you with grace, success and greater income. "To the degree we're not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves," wrote Peter McWilliams. So, which zone do you want to live in - the seductive comfort zone where your life is really about just coasting - or the liberating zone, where your actions carry a gift of grace beyond what you normally could accomplish on your own?

Beverly Sills, the great opera singer, wrote, "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." When you pursue your desires with passion - whether they're desires for enriching your personal life or desires for expanding your massage business - life becomes infinitely richer even if you don't succeed. Who you become in the process is much greater than who you were in your comfort zone. To taste heaven on earth, you must reach beyond your limit. Imagine running your massage business and your life the way the hero of Man of La Mancha did in that show's classic song, The Impossible Dream:

To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far.

You can create a massage business that grows out of your deepest dreams. Now isn't that something worth getting up for each morning?

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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