The life-changing potential of one single small step

footsteps

Do you have a big dream you feel inspired to pursue, but somehow you just never quite get started on it?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how often we let our goals and dreams languish on the shelf, waiting for the time to be right to pursue them (or maybe even feeling deep down like we probably never will).

There are a bazillion reasons we do this. One of the biggies is feeling overwhelmed at the size and perceived do-ability of the vision.

With that in mind, may I present to you…<drumroll,please!>…the superhuman power of one single small step!

Many of us have a tendency to over-complexify things. Looking at the big picture is helpful when it helps you get context for where you’re going and what you need to do to get there. But if you find yourself shouldering the full weight of that big goal right here in the present moment, it’s time to get small!

Why is a single-step focus so powerful? :

Taking that single small step creates momentum

Sometimes the worst enemy of what we want to achieve is the simple inertia of inaction. Taking a step puts you in motion. And when you’re in motion, more movement is easier.

It’s like the difference between trying to start riding a bicycle in a high gear from a standstill and shifting into a high gear while you’re already zooming down the bike path. It takes a lot less effort and feels a lot easier on your legs if you’re already in motion.

Taking that single small step creates success

Taking a single small step can start creating small successes you can build on. Even just the fact that you’re in motion can be celebrated as a success. Feeling that sense of success can cultivate a greater sense that the action you take can lead to more success.

Taking that single small step creates insight

When you take steps, you get results. Something happens as a result of the action you take. That might not always be the result you’re looking for, but regardless of the outcome, there is a potential for learning.

Most of us want the path to success to look like this:

Step…Success…Step…Success….Step…Wheeeeeee! Big success!

A more accurate (if abbreviated) picture is this:

Step…Hmmmm…that didn’t quite work. Why not? What could I do differently?…Step…Oh yeah, that’s better…Step…Crap! I thought I had this figured out. What went wrong?…Step…Ohhhh yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby!

Taking that single small step creates opportunity

Finally, taking that first step puts things in motion that can open doors to opportunity you would never have seen if you just stood at the starting line and scanned the possibilities you could clearly see from there.

Maybe the door opens because taking a step created a connection you didn’t have before. Maybe that step planted an idea in your head. Maybe it gave you a better picture of the reality of what you’re trying to do, so you can adjust and refocus.

The opportunities you can see when you’re standing still is just a fraction of the opportunities that will show up when you start taking action.

At the end of the day, standing still and thinking about what you do will never take you down the path to your goal. The only way to get there is step by step by step.

Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

The good enough secret to success

Is your vision for what you want to create in your world being repressed by the inner tyranny of perfection? Does the need to “get it right” drag down your efforts to reach your goals?

If the answer to that is yes, this video is for you. In it, I take a look at the good enough secret to success (while taking another step in my path of perfect imperfection).

As Brene Brown said in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “Perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life-paralysis.”

I’m committed to moving towards my vision for the impact I feel called to make in the world with positive, productive, perfect imperfection. I’m not sure my ego will ever actually buy the story that imperfection is OK, but I’m gallumphing forward whether my ego approves or not.

I learned a couple things doing this video. First, I need to reposition the lighting in front of me so you don’t keep seeing the reflection in my glasses (or just get some dad-gummed contacts!). And second, I need to figure out how to eliminate the shadows from my wild gesticulations.

I cringe a bit when I watch this video (cringing seems to be a standard reaction as I take steps here), but I love that I’m in the game and taking action.

How about you? Is there anything you need to do to move towards your goals that would benefit from a little perfect imperfection? What would taking a good enough approach look like? What one thing can you identify that you can do “good enough” and start creating some momentum?

good enough screen shot

Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide

The power of perfect imperfection

I want to invite you to join me in something I am convinced will both open the door to possibilities and facilitate momentum towards your goal.

What is it? Perfect imperfection!

In my last post on wearing my Vulnerability Hat, I mentioned how I have dragged my heels on starting to share my ideas via videos, in large part because of a desire to get it perfect before I put it out there.

Over the weekend I realized I could – and probably would – keep planning for perfection until I retire if I didn’t just do something. I needed to get away from my computer, away from creating any kind of setup that would make it look professional and slick, and away from the temptation to keep doing take after take until I got it “right.”

So I did the only logical thing – I climbed a tree.

Yep, the maiden voyage of my Wild About Work videos was done 20 or 30 feet up. No way to obsess about perfection when I’m hanging on to a tree branch as I talk.

Here’s the video. Keep reading below for my thoughts on perfect imperfection.

As you can see, the video was high on imperfection. Oh-too-shaky? Check. (It gets marginally better around the 1:20 mark as I realized I needed to hold it with two hands.) Looking at the screen instead of the camera? Roger that. And let’s face it – it’s basically a video selfie.

But here’s the thing – I did it! Allowing it to be perfectly imperfect allowed me to take action. I blasted through the stuck inertia of the last umpteen months and made a video. I embraced the perfection of imperfection and did something. And that gave me a video to post here, results to learn from, and momentum to build on.

I have to be honest, posting this video in all its imperfection isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. But I’m not going to make any progress toward my vision of helping live energized, impactful, heart-based lives by sitting and making things perfect. I’m going to make progress by taking imperfect action.

The idea I talk about in the video of making everything an experiment made it somewhat easier. My commitment in doing this was to give perfection the heave-ho and make it an experiment, learning from the results and building on that.

And guess what? I got results! I learned! I moved! Mission accomplished.

How about you? Where in your life do you need to embrace perfect imperfection and take an experimental approach? What are you not moving on that you could blast free with a little experimentation?

Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM

Time for a career change? Start with
The Occupational Adventure Guide