Big Dreams, Small Steps

Have you ever felt yourself standing on the edge of the neat and organized world where everything appears to make sense from the outside but it feels small, like you know there is something more out there that just won’t stop calling? The line between the big, strong minded world, and the small thinking, scared world looms large for me these days.  These worlds are both right at our fingertips.  I see them distinctly in almost every decision I make…sink back into comfort or charge forward into the kind of unknown that is both exciting and makes my heart pound and my brain hurt most days. Perhaps that has something to do with growing my own vision and knowing that for my heart to be content, I need to keep striving to push it forward.  There are a few rules I have realized that have helped me in these tougher moments of self doubt when the big world is calling but the fear is real.  

Rule #1 - THE BIG WORLD WILL NEVER BE PERFECT

One of my dearest friends put it best -

“If I can’t start with everything in place, I can’t start yet.”

I don’t think I’m blowing a big secret here, but in case you haven’t noticed, EVERYTHING IS NEVER IN PLACE! Not since I was 20, rented one room, and did only my own laundry, could I fall into bed with that wonderful feeling that everything was finished, and done the way I liked it. Don’t let your quest for the ideal keep you from the daily grind that will get you where you want to go (eventually!).  Perfectionism actually makes us think small, because it is so hard to have anything in this world be perfect, we are doomed before we start… so we convince ourselves, why start? Then, with our lack of action, that sense of overwhelm comes along, self doubt kicks in, and we have no energy to take the small consistent steps that can lead to our greatest accomplishments, not to mention we miss the beautiful journey along the way. This journey may or may not include some roughly folded towels and undone dishes…but that’s up to you to decide.

Rule #2 - CONSISTENCY IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

Consistency has always been, and will remain, the key to growth & success.  We live in the time of instant gratification.  We can order almost anything and have it on the doorstep in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes.  We can have our questions answered in seconds.  So what does that do to our attention span and ability…to wait?  Anything worth keeping takes time to foster and grow.  Small steps can be tedious, even trying at times, but if we let ourselves see slow growth as lack of progress, we don’t sustain the energy to see our goals to completion. 

Judgment and jealousy will not lead you into the bigger world. Don’t spend your time thinking about what other people are thinking, or allow their day to day to become your concern.  Goals are accomplished when we use our inner strength to make things happen, and then back it up with our consistent efforts.  Sure we can have cheerleaders or a connection or two, but that will never be what gets us where we want to go. I have had people in my life that if I concern myself with “what would they think” would stop me in my tracks. Over time, I’ve learned to take back that power. 

My vision, my decision. 

Big visions look small to the outside world when they are only being seen out of one persons eyes. But you won’t get the sustaining energy to accomplish your dreams from anyone but yourself.

Rule #3 - JUDGEMENT MAY BE NATURAL BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT IT

This could also be called the 1% rule…and I’m not talking about the highest earners in America.  What I have learned is that other people understand about 1% of what is going on in our lives, and we know the same about them.  Only a small inner circle really gets to know our heart and mind.  If we let the perception of the other 99% affect our reality, our world feels small and closed off. It takes confidence and courage to bring our dreams to fruition…and that can be a lonely road at times, but I have felt the rush of energy, even flow, when I am being brave and living my own dream, no matter what anyone else thinks. Once you’ve felt that a few times, the bigger world looms much larger on the horizon.  

It seems that we will never know which small step was the game changer, but slow and steady, the path to success becomes apparent. Have faith that each small thing plays a role in the the big picture…and don’t wait another day to take that first step.