Let’s say you had a baby.

Congratulations!  Your baby is the best human ever!

You love your baby. You celebrate as it starts to crawl. You and your partner delight in this baby’s every new adventure.

Then, one day, the baby stands up on her own. “Yaaaaay!” you cheer. You clap your hands. The baby smiles and laughs. You think, “Wow. She’s gonna learn how to walk. Isn’t that great?”

One evening, you and your partner are on the carpet playing with your baby. Suddenly, your perfect child stands up again. She braces herself on the coffee table. Your partner grabs the movie camera. You call your parents in Idaho so they can listen to the play-by-play.

Your child lurches forward. You all gasp and hold your collective breath.

Then, CLUNK. She falls onto her butt on the carpet.

“Awwwww,” you say.

“Dang,” your partner says.

“Well, I guess that’s it. This one just wasn’t cut out for walking,” your parents say from their home in Boise.

“Oh well,” you say. “It just wasn’t meant to be. Bummer.”

You hang up the phone. You turn off the camera. You take the baby up to bed. Tomorrow you’ll begin the search for a bigger stroller because your kid’s obviously gonna have to get through life on wheels.

Get the idea?

And yet, how many of us are already acting like this with our own new ideas or ventures?

Your project, your dream, or even your business is your baby. If we all gave up on our kids as much as we give up on ourselves, then we’d have a race of humans with big calluses on their knees!

The Best Way to Create Anything…

Every big project or goal can be broken down into baby steps. Little lurches forward. Sometimes they’re clumsy. Sometimes they don’t even seem to make an impact. But this is how anything gets done.

•   Years and years of built up clutter get sorted and thrown away one drawer at a time. (Plan for 30-minutes a day in one zone of the house – not “Get rid of clutter.”)

•   Years and years of reckless eating and unhealthy habits get shifted one work-out at a time. (Plan a 45-minute work-out 5 days a week, and a once a month visit to an acupuncturist for a year – not “Lose 50 pounds by June.”)

•   An entrepreneur builds her business one client at a time. (Schedule a daily system for authentic marketing. Not “Get 50 new clients by March.”)

That’s how it works.

Stinks, doesn’t it?

Actually, no.

This is the good news that no one ever tells you.

When you get this concept, you’ll never be afraid of failure again.  When you learn how to break a goal down into baby steps, and how to complete something fantastic using this method, then you have the key to doing anything.  When you understand that everyone falls down and gets back up again, then you need only to trust in your strength to get back up again.

The only block is your ego.

Your ego wants it to be done now. Your ego wants to move through life risk-free, foolish-free, discouragement-free, mistake-free, tired-free. And the best way to trick your ego (and yourself) into letting go a little bit is to take baby steps.

This comes up when I’m coaching my clients. These entrepreneurs are the most courageous clients I can imagine having. That’s because they are taking the biggest risk of all. They are taking Baby Steps!

Baby steps take courage.  Baby steps are a huge risk to your ego because they are so easy.  SO easy!  The ego wants big deals, major accomplishments, huge weight-loss, and fast results. In other words, the ego likes adjectives, not nouns. Those adjectives guarantee that you’ll stay stuck and never try anything new. Over time you’ll get that deals, accomplishments, weight-loss, and results feel pretty good — even without adjectives.

Now, try this as an exercise for the New Year:

Take a goal you want to accomplish by the end of 2016, and ask yourself, “What one baby step could I take every day to complete this goal?” And then (and this is the big challenge) get out your calendar and schedule it in there daily for the rest of 2016.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April, 2013  and has been given a slight makeover to keep it fresh and current.

24 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Anna Loncar

    Hey Christine,

    I loved what you said on how our ego always wants everything done right away but the truth is that we really have to go step by step.

    Keep up the good work!

    Anna

  • mimi

    thank you for this note. a wake up call for me. esp now that i feel like my world stops since i resigned from work. as if im not moving. im trying but still im stuck. and waiting seems endless now. thanks for this. i want to grow but i just dont know how to start… 🙁

  • Andy Bowker

    So true is this, the ego wants to be ‘there’ now and it’s easy to get frustrated .. the question is ‘What can I do right now to take steps towards my goal’ – thanks, this post echoes what I’ve been feeling.

  • Penny Hammond

    Hi Christine! Whoo Hooo I am looking forward to seeing you and many friends next week in Asheville. This is a great time to recharge with a big dose of Gold mastermind energy, love and support.
    The baby analogy is so timely with a granddaughter born on 3-13! Of course every step she takes, every little thing she does will amaze us all as it did with her brothers. I found myself taking a cleansing breathe and recognizing that all of my baby steps are just what they need to be. I’m going to name my ego so when it is evident “she” is present I can ask her to move along and let me enjoy, recognize and appreciate my path, pace and journey.

  • Maria

    Fabulous post, you did it again, Christine! 🙂 I just LUUUUURV your images, they’re so insightful and FUN!

    FOR SALE: second hand adult-size stroller – worn but cozy…

    Cheers from France,

    : ) Maria

  • Velina Brown

    This was the perfect post for me today. Thank you.

  • Carol Cox

    This one was particularly good for me right now, Christine. See you at Gold next week! Woo-hoo!

  • Wendy Collier

    Correction (typo in my post): “…we would never ‘not’ show up for our baby, nor would we ever give up!” 🙂

  • Wendy Collier

    I LOVE this Christine! Sometimes, if something feels too overwhelming, I take it hour by hour. I am currently launching a new coaching business, and it is daunting to be sure. The moment I pause and gaze at the mountain I need to climb I freeze but when I look down, and simply take the next step in the direction I wish to go, I gain momentum :). Of course, I periodically look up to ensure I stay on course. Thank you for the reminder! What has really struck me lately is how our excuses are really a reflection of a lack of self love, or a lack of showing up for ourselves. When we make excuses when we don’t show up for others, we know there is a lack of commitment in that relationship. It’s the same when we do it to ourselves. Thinking of our business as our baby (which my friends have been calling mine lately :)), is so useful because we would never show up for our baby, nor would we ever give up!

  • Christine Springer

    I needed to hear this today. My ego judges baby steps as “too small” and “not important”. But my ego makes up a to-do list for one day that would be difficult to complete in a week. I’m going to tell my ego to shut up work on making my to-do list actually DOABLE. Thank you!

    • Christine Kane

      Christine – I call it the “72 Item To Do List.” Every time I find those old to-do lists tucked in old journals of mine, I crack up. NO ONE can get that much stuff done! Celebrate your smallest victories. That is key!

  • Rachel

    Today my baby step was simply to WRITE DOWN all the detritus floating around in my head and on various to-do lists. Once I SEE what needs to be done, I can do ONE THING each day. (Yay!!)

    • Christine Kane

      Ah, Rachel – that’s what we just did as a team here at Uplevel Headquarters. Feels so good, doesn’t it?

  • Wendy

    Christine, are you living inside my heart? I beat myself up about this almost daily. Thank you! Getting the calendar out NOW!

  • Stacey Broder

    Hi! I took Uplevel Your Business last year and I’m now in Gold. It wasn’t until I trained myself to make my ego “settle down and be quiet” when needed that I was able to see progress. And for someone who was perpetually overwhelmed, I have to say, the baby steps are so key. When I focus on taking small steps and breaking things down, I pretty much eliminate overwhelm. That is when I started to make – and see – progress. Right now, all my hard work and “baby steps” have started to pay off and my business has started to increase so I feel I’m on the cusp of reaching a new level (which is at times, very overwhelming!). So this is very timely information and a great reminder for me to just break it down into doable steps. I love your mindset teachings – Thanks Christine!

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Stacey! I love how you describe your process here. And this whole baby step idea is still true for me even today! Will I see you next week???

      • Stacey Broder

        Unfortunately, I can’t come this time, Christine. There are a few reasons for that including a last minute event from a repeat (!) client. I’ll miss the energy of everyone there (and sadly the bonus day) but I am happy to have the additional client, I have to say!

  • Araceli

    The baby metaphor is perfect! Such a reminder that falling flat on your butt is not the end but barely the beginning of bigger and bolder milestones to come. Thanks for always offering content so clear and easy to understand 🙂

    • Christine Kane

      You’re welcome Araceli!

    • Sharon

      I TOTALLY agree with Araceli … This baby analogy is GREAT!! … and the way Araceli puts it, is so perfect too >> by no means is the “falling down” an end… but instead, it is the start of BIG things to come!! I love that! ~ Thank you so much, Christine and Araceli!

    • Crystal

      You’ve hit the nail on the head!! Excellent advice!! I will take your advice and look forward to the year ahead with baby steps!! 🙂