Small step are a good idea at the beginning of something new. You’re likely to be a bit vague about your idea of the ultimate outcome. A wrong turn down a false path at the start can take a long time to recognize and you might find yourself needing to double back and start all over. The faster you go now, the longer it takes. Yikes! Time is a resource either spent or invested, so invest your time wisely and take time to learn.
However, not too far down the road, the path to your ultimate outcome becomes unmistakable: wide and clearly marked; you’ll know that this path is the only path. Now you’re an experienced traveler with your sights set straight ahead; the false paths that once confused you become much less inviting. Surety helps you pick up the pace and, with the added speed, those detours become even more of a blur.
Warning! The Bridge is Out
But wait! There is something ahead in the distance. Straight ahead you’ll see what looks like a chasm of immense proportions. Instinctually you’ll fear it because it appears to bar your way. Fear slows your pace, but this time going slow will undermine your ability to focus, giving the detours time to become more obvious and seductive again. Afraid and confused, you’ll start to consider settling for only the paths that seem to avoid facing the chasm.
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step, if needed.
You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” –Anonymous
The slower you go, bigger the chasm appears and the more willing you become to compromise as you listen to little whispers telling you the chasm is unbeatable, impassable, and a sure ticket to embarrassment and failure. When you reach this point–and it’s a surety that you will if your plan is worthwhile–take the big step over. Jump! Do not hesitate and entertain the whispers and detours to safety–they are liars.
A Zoning Problem
The chasm in this story is the edge of your comfort zone. When you’re operating inside your comfort zone, everything runs smoothly. You have command and can easily predict the outcome of your actions. Inside your comfort zone you are able to operate with little or no resistance. Life is smooth. The comfort zone sounds like a great place, right? Why would you want to leave this place of peace? Because in this zone there can be no growth. The zone has nothing new to offer; there is nothing more for you to learn … or to do … or to contribute.
The confines of your comfort zone won’t allow you much room to roam and, over time it starts to shrink in size. Travel just a little in any direction and you’ll find the edge. Waiting at the edge are all those detours ready to lead you in a big circle back to the middle of the zone.
Out of Gas
Up against the edge of your comfort zone, will-power starts to dwindle. It took all you had to make it this far. So where will you find the energy to keep the acceleration? How will you make the jump if you run out of gas? As you pick up speed be mindful to also pick up energy. Deliberately and consciously put people, places, and things into your world that will give you the energy for the jump.
- People who believe in you will give you some of their energy.
- Physical spaces that make you happy will give you some of their energy.
- Books and movies that inspire you will give you some of their energy.
Start collecting early to avoid the need to slow down or detour at the edge. Oh, and while you’re at it, deliberately off-load any person, place, or thing that tries to steer you toward a false path. Those energy wasters are too heavy to lug over the chasm.
You made it. You’re on the other side of that huge chasm. Congratulations! Evil Knievel would have been proud. Turning around to marvel at your feat once more, you’ll be stunned—the huge chasm doesn’t look so big after all, and actually, from this side the gap looks quite small. Yep, the hardest part of the whole thing was the approach.
Small step are a good idea at first while you learn and gain experience. Once you’re accelerating, start deliberately collecting all the energy givers you’ll need at the edge of your comfort zone and drop anything that tries to steer you wrong. Stomp on the gas – put the pedal to the medal and stop for nothing.
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