I read somewhere, recently, that often we fail in our endeavours because we (including myself) follow the oft touted maxim : ‘take one small step to start your journey’!
I had to do a double take. It was against all I believed – up till now.
What this article was telling me was, because we start small we often stay small, we don’t invest enough into ourselves, and jump in wholeheartedly. Small steps make it easy to procrastinate, stop, or even backtrack.
I have to say I was a bit taken aback at first. I mean slow and steady wins the race – right? But it did make me think, and so of course I have a few analogies to share.
To ride your bike, you can’t do a small peddle, half a peddle. If you go too slow, the bike will topple and you’ll fall off. Journey over. Sure once you’ve got going, got momentum, you can take your feet off the pedals and coast. But you have to start. Hard.
If you jump into a pool and only use your arms, you’ll get to the other side – slowly. Might even sink. Use your legs to help and voila, you’re there in a flash.
To start a car, you turn the key and boom, the whole engine kicks over. Imagine if some of that engine went “hang on, just me is going to start – then you over there, you can start…” (Okay, I know engines don’t talk, well maybe except Benny from Who Framed Roger Rabbi,t or all the vehicles in Pixar’s Cars or…, well you get my drift). Anyway, hopefully you’ll understand the picture I’m trying to paint – the whole engine starts up at once.
So don’t procrastinate – just jump in and start. When you put your whole heart, and head, into getting something done or achieved, often, you have so much more success.
Hang on, I hear you say. If I jump in and start full bore, there’s every likelihood I’m going to trip up, and maybe even fall over. I haven’t done my research, plan, etc. – whatever it is you usually do to procrastinate actually starting.
You are afraid of failing – so you don’t start.
Get support!! Both in person or people, and your surroundings.
Find a support group whether it is a cycling group to ride with you, a swimming coach to help you fix your stroke, or a mechanic to make sure the engine works – and stops talking. (See what I did there? Continuity with my analogies!) Get support, find a coach to help you with your goal.
Make sure your surroundings are supportive. Make sure there is room for you to get on your bike, and pathways to ride on. Make sure the pool is heated if that’s what you need to swim. Make sure the car is housed safe and sound, full of petrol and serviced regularly.
And most of all- love yourself. If you miss a day – riding, swimming, driving- don’t beat yourself up. Tell yourself it’s okay. It won’t happen again (well it might, but don’t let it happen again soon, or regularly). And move on. Catch up if you need to, but move on. Love yourself, move on, get on that bike again, into that pool again, kick over that engine.
So. Have you understood all my analogies and what I’m trying to get you to think about?
When you set yourself a goal/task/event (whatever you want to call it) – don’t pussy foot. JUMP IN. Boots and all. Give it your all. Pull on those Seven League Boots* and get going where you want to – fast!
To make sure you don’t fail, to make it an easier ride, get support and surround yourself with encouragement, both mentally and physically. Surround yourself with inspiring people/person and supportive environments.
Love yourself. You will trip. But don’t be hard on yourself. Let it go. Move on. Keep going.
Start Kicking Up Your Heels and Stride!!
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*Just in case you’ve forgotten your fairy tales the Seven League boots allows the person wearing them to take strides of seven leagues per step, resulting in great speed. The boots are often presented by a magical character to the protagonist to aid in the completion of a significant task.