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?
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.