“The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.”
— Brian Tracy, Motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and business
Why is it that taking the first step is often the hardest part of accomplishing our goals, fulfilling our dreams and accomplishing our aspirations?
What holds us back? Is it fear of failure? Is it the inability to see the finish line? Are we letting everyday responsibilities get in the way of what we want to accomplish? Maybe we are simply not taking the first step.
Some of us jump right into the deep end. Sometimes that works, but often we get so caught up in the details and focusing on what needs to come next that we feel like we are drowning. We end up with big starts but no follow through.
Others have desire, ambition, and the ability to clear the field of conflicting responsibilities, yet they forget to create their vision and map out their goals.
For many the details and actions required to reach their goals are so overwhelming that they become paralyzed. They have an idea, see the vision, but fail to take action.
For most, however the largest deterrent to taking action is good old fashion fear. We are afraid that if we step out of our comfort zones we may not follow through or worst yet fail!
I challenge you to break past your fears, create your vision, set your goals, order your priorities, define required action steps and jump into the deep end! If that is too uncomfortable at least start somewhere.
I like to start by asking questions:
Who has walked this path before?
It has been my experience that people love to help. They are open with advice, guidance and are transparent about possible pitfalls. This is a great time to find a mentor, sponsor or start to build your personal board of directors.
What is my ultimate goal? What do I need to do first? What will I need to learn and what skills will I need to acquire? What resources will I need?
I like to make a list and start at the top. I set a target to tackle at least one major task toward my goal a week.
I am, and suggest you become, a life learner. I always keep a book on deck and an audiobook in queue. My book choices are a combination of titles that will educate me and titles that will motivate me to ace my new endeavor.
This is a great time to enroll in a local course to upgrade and next level your skills. Classes are a great place to build your network and find mentors and sponsors. Many are offered on line if time is an issue. Some are online forums where you can make contacts without even leaving your house.
Consider your resources. You may get the promotion you always wanted but will you get resources you need such as the personnel required to succeed or support of your new team? If you make a bold choice like going back to school or making a career or life change, will you get the support of your family, friends, colleagues and network? Speak up! No one will know what you need if you do not ask them.
When do you want or need to accomplish your goals?
This will vary according to the circumstances. Some of you may be getting started on your career or on a new life path. Perhaps you are looking for something different because you are unhappy or entering the next phase in life. Unfortunately for others the change or actions required are thrust upon them, like losing a job or loved one. Whatever the reason, the time for action is now. For me, once I take the first step, the actions, goals and time frame fall into place. It is important to be methodical and practical. Take the first step, no need to take on the whole project all at once.
Why is this important to you?
I like to start at the end. I envision myself having already reached my goal. I live it, I breathe it, I face obstacles head on and manage through any emotions that arise.