Often, a client comes to me wanting immediate change in some aspect of her life. Maybe it’s a new job, or a way to have more balance between work and play. Maybe it is about making new friends and being more socially connected.
Change takes time.
Change happens one step at a time. Sometimes it is a small step. Sometimes it is a huge leap. But the path from here to there is never one single step.
If you can think of achieving your goal not as one big action but as a series of steps, it becomes more manageable, more possible, more do-able.
I like to think of the process in terms of the alphabet, taking each step one letter at a time.
Imagine the alphabet as a series of stepping stones on a long, winding path.
Imagine you are standing on stepping stone A. Your vision of your dream is far off on stepping stone Z.
There is no possible way that you can jump from where you are to where you want to be in a single step. There are 24 letters in between.
So the only thing you can do is take one step at a time.
When you are standing on stepping stone A, you can only think about how to get to stepping stone B.
Then, when you are on B, you will know how to get to C. And so on.
By the time you are on stepping stone X, Z will be so much clearer and reachable. You will know how to get there.
So ask yourself,
What is your ultimate goal? Your stepping stone Z?
Where are you right now? What is your stepping stone A?
And what is your next step from where you are right now to take you in the direction of Z?
Maybe your dream vision, Z, is that you are a successful author and you travel around the country meeting people, giving workshops and readings and book signings.
Standing at A, you have an idea of what the book is about. You can envision yourself at Z, sitting at a table in a large bookstore, signing books and talking with your readers.
You know that somewhere around letter M you will need to publish the book but you have no idea how to do this or how much it’s going to cost. You know that between M and Z you’ll have to market your book so that people will invite you for the lectures and signing but you don’t know the first thing about marketing.
But that is not your focus right now. Because you are standing at A and your book is still just an idea.
Instead of panicking about all that you don’t know, come back to where you are right now and ask yourself,
What is your next immediate step?
If standing on Step A is wanting to write a book, then your Step B is to write.
Maybe it’s not even to write your book, but to just write. To get into the practice of writing every day, opening to your creative energies, creating the space for your ideas to meet the white page. Maybe your step B is to simply reconnect with the art and passion of writing.
Sometimes we may stand on a step for a while until the next step becomes clear. Other times one step leads to a hop and a skip to the next.
It all comes back to being in the present moment, standing where you are, and paying attention to everything right here, right now.
And asking yourself, again and again, what is my next immediate step?