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Where To Start

U.S. Route 89
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wolfgang Staudt

You know that you want to get somewhere, or at least you know that you need to start walking.  But, where to start?

Well, the easiest place to start is by putting one foot in front of the other.  Simple.

But what if that foot doesn’t seem to want to move?  How do you get started when you feel more like a block of ice than a meandering stream?

Take The Absolute Smallest Step You Can Take

This still moves you forward (you only want to go backwards if that also takes you forward) and is very manageable when you are looking at a long road ahead.

Also, when you are taking the smallest step forwards you don’t need a “lion-amount” of courage, you may just need a “housecat-amount” of courage. (Then, as you continue to take more steps you can develop your lion-amount courage.)

What’s really important is to move forward, even if it’s only a centimeter (or a milimeter!).

But, what if you are really unsure of even the smallest step ahead?

Consider That You Already Know What The First Step Is

Maybe you just don’t want to do it, or feel that you don’t have quite enough courage yet.  Or maybe you anticipate that it will be uncomfortable.

Use your intuition to confirm what that first step needs to be and trust that you will be able to handle what comes after that first step.

Getting started is not really about knowing what to do first, but knowing that you have the ability to do what needs to come first.

So take that first (tiny) step.

What tips do you have for “getting started”?  How do you decide where to start?  Please share in the comments!

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  1. Christine Laubenstein Christine Laubenstein

    When I don’t know what the first step is, or am not quite ready to take it, I make sure to get a good night’s sleep. When I wake up the next morning things are usually much clearer.

  2. Really needed this.
    Still at a loss to figure this one out. Just don’t know how to take the first step.

  3. Love the imagery, Amanda. A house-cat amount of courage and a lion-amount of courage – wonderful! Yeah, I can do that. Very wise words. And sometimes, when I’m really procrastinating and having trouble starting, it helps me tidy up, make the bed, take a shower. Seems like a clean slate, and I’m more ready to go.

  4. Hi Amanda,

    You deliver to us a strong, wise and beautifully simple message. The forward momentum from the tiniest step builds confidence to take ever larger steps.

    How do I get started?

    Mostly by making sure I have thought through why it’s essential for me to do the task, project etc. If I procrastinate or stall in any way, it’s not usually out of fear, but rather not having enough compelling reasons to follow-through and step up.

    Thanks, again.

    Best to you, Robin 🙂

  5. Sometimes, in order to take the first step, I literally have to go for a walk. Just the act of forward momentum is enough to finish the walk with “the first step”, just energy flowing from one movement into the next.

  6. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Christine – I absolutely agree! Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Nahl – Good luck. 😉

    Hi Patty – I know exactly what you mean. A tidy environment = a tidy mind. 😉

    Hi Robin – Interesting point. I agree. Being very clear about the “why,” is certainly as important as the “how.”

    Hi Melissa – That will certainly put you in the right frame of mind. I always feel better after going for a walk.

  7. Hi Amanda — I definitely know what you mean about people having more knowledge of what they want than they may actually realize themselves — I know I’ve worked with a number of people who claimed that they had no direction in their career, until they finally realized I wasn’t going to shame them for telling me what they really wanted and they spontaneously realized what it was.

  8. Everything starts deep within ourselves. We choose what we want in life. If we let fear, discouragement and criticisms hinder us, then we will end up with nothing. By doing despite the feeling of uncertainty is in itself a huge step. 🙂

  9. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Chris – Yeah, I think shame plays a major part in people “not knowing” what they want. I find that I usually know more about myself than I am willing to admit sometimes! 😉

    Hi Walter – I agree very much. That feeling of uncertainty is often pointing us in exactly the direction we need to go.

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