There's a great staircase analogy in the coaching world (I've heard it from a number of counselors, teachers and therapists over the years--definitely can't take credit for this one) that pertains to making moves towards achieving our goals. Essentially, if we think of our desires--career, personal, health, relationship, etc--in terms of this staircase, our final stage of "victory" or "success" lies at the very top. This is a pretty all around applicable image, I think. Get such-and-such degree. Achieve this-and-that professionally. Accomplish a-and-b physically. Get the f over so-and-so already. It's particularly applicable because, as we peer up from the bottom of the stairs, the climb can seem so daunting that we falter in mustering the courage to begin our journeys. Sadly, we sometimes feel so discouraged by this staircase that we never even begin at all. We sit at the bottom, chin in our hands, bah-humbug, boo-hiss and coulda-shoulda-woulda-if-only'ing.
The second part of the analogy...the part that aims to give us hope and encouragement...tells us to stop staring at the top. Stop counting the steps. Stop measuring your perceived strength against the amount of energy it may or may not take to finish the climb. The second part of the analogy tells us to simply look at the very first step. This is far more manageable. This, my dear friends, is a most excellent step to take.
I have 2 small additions to this analogy:
1. Utilize the railing. There is never any shame in reaching out for assistance when it comes to finishing, completing, arriving at a point that is deeply important to us. Asking for help can be humbling (I am still learning how to gracefully do this daily), but it can also be just the ticket to boosting us up one step closer to success. Be willing to give up a bit of control, Miss/Mr. Independent. The railing is there for a reason. Let it help you!
2. Consider the Harry Potter Grand Staircase. These stairs, located within the ever so magical walls of Hogwarts, had a knack for moving around the chamber. They usually began to shift when a student was walking up one of them and I love this imagery in relation to this topic. How often in our lives have dreams, priorities or goals changed once we've started down a path? The truth is we don't know how our staircase may shift during the process and how, in response, it may also shift our perspectives. The best we can do is simply trust and be open to change; the best we can do is not let our doubts cause us to miss out on the adventure altogether. Because really, the adventure is what it's all about.
Yesterday I scheduled a call for next week with a member of the admissions team for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I officially took the first step towards getting certified in Health and Wellness Coaching. Phew.
The funny thing? Even this teeny step felt a bit daunting to me. So much so, in fact, that I actually declined the "contact me now" option and scheduled the call for Monday, thinking to myself OK OK...I'll be mentally ready by then...I just need a few more days...
Welp, the Universe apparently had other plans. About 2 minutes after hitting "submit" I received a call from someone on the admissions team. The young lady had missed the note requesting a call next week and instead carpe diem'ed the crap outta my submission and totally put into motion the course of my what's next. Another phone call a few hours later with a current student (who ever so kindly told me "I can feel your positive energy through the phone! I am SO excited for you!") and I am finalizing my plans as we speak.
Stop staring all the way to the top, shaking your head, sighing with pre-grets (side note: pre-grets are the things we regret before we even do them). Stop giving yourself a timeline based on how long others feel you should take to arrive at the top. This is your climb. This is your pace. Be eternally patient with yourself. Be in awe of it, yes. Let it make your pulse race with excitement to think and dream about. But don't let the unknowns of the climb completely discourage you; never, as I like to say, let the dream die in the details. There is much about my future career that still remains a mystery to me and that is truly OK because I can officially look down and say I took the first step.
A most excellent step to take.
love and light,