We have all experienced that feeling of being overwhelmed when we see a huge task in front of us like an unexpected termination of employment, a deep break in a once trusting relationship, a financial shortfall that came on quickly, a sudden change in health, or probably the most challenging, when we sense that still small voice that says, “This is your purpose and passion, change direction and go for it.”
Psychologists and our own experience would remind us that at the initial point in time of feeling overwhelmed, we tend to take a quick turn toward the negative with thoughts like: “This is going to really hurt.” “Why does this always happen to me?” “I am too old for another change.” “I am not sure I can handle this.”
Many of us have had the thrill of watching a baby walk for the first time. It is a time of massive change for the child from crawling to now walking. There is excitement, cheering from a crowd of onlookers, and that sparkle of accomplishment in the eyes of a child when they stumble through those first few small steps. Very little fear, there is mostly wonder and excitement of the new-found mobility.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, an important area for our effort needs to be in how we deal with that seemingly overwhelming task we now face. When fear and self-doubt creep in, what do we do?
It would not be a gross overstatement to say there is never an immediate removal of self-doubt or worry from any difficult situation. However, it has been proven that starting small habits, baby steps if you will, are more powerful than any fear we have in dealing with change. Moving consistently, in some small way, toward our desired direction is an incredibly powerful tool to overcome.
Here are a few thoughts on baby steps that can move us in an effective direction:
1. If we have a struggling personal conflict that is building a wall between us and another person, start with a smile (or at least remove the frown) every day, little by little, and then bring forth the courage to break the silence.
2. If we are afraid of a career change to finally do something we are passionate about, start with quietly building a small plan, take baby steps to implement the plan, every day, little by little to build confidence that your dream can come true.
3. If we are afraid to take a stand on an important issue and speak up, start with writing a small “note to self,” and then speak up to someone you trust, little by little to then speak each and every time the opportunity arises.
Our baby steps are powerful enough to overcome any fear.
As we choose to take some baby steps in the right direction, we will build and strengthen our character and our Character Creates Opportunity to overcome our doubts and fears in order to reach our full potential.