Learning the German language has been one of the most rewarding and frustrating things I’ve ever done. In fact, I failed the first course I took.

It was during that time that I was preparing for a summer of service in South America when the program director asked me to change to the team going to Germany and Switzerland.

“Why me?” I asked.

“Well, your file says that you are taking German,” he replied.

“Failing German in fact.”

“Well, the team leader is fluent. So she can translate for you. Her name is Joy Miller” (Now Joy Marx).

As we arrived in Switzerland, I told myself to not even try to speak correctly. Since this was the only academic subject I ever failed, why bother to speak correctly. Whatever comes out of my mouth is what it is. Within two weeks I was putting full sentences together and even conjugating verbs. Eventually I changed my major to German Studies. Ultimately, we lived 23 of our adult years there.

Previous to just letting go, I had what I call limbic lock. I was afraid to make a mistake. And, truth be told, I was afraid of making a fool of myself. Sometimes to succeed you just have to put the petal to the metal and move forward. When you first learned to drive a car, you were afraid of the details. There were hundreds of things which could go wrong. However, you ignored the obstacles and embraced your forward progress. The same is true for caring for a new born baby or getting a new job. Just do it.

Living the Dream means taking chances. Not being so much concerned with the how, but the where. Of course manners, respect, and common sense must also be part of the mix. Nevertheless, fear does not need to dictate your destination.

If you’d like to watch my short video on this topic, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/blazingnewtrailscoaching/videos/1447466882001742/