Growth steps do not have to be big in order to count. In fact, my most prized achievements resulted from taking those “baby steps.” I borrowed the concept from the hilarious movie “What about Bob,” starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. This movie is a must for learning how to laugh at your eccentric tendencies as you watch the neurotic behavior of the main character, Bob Wiley.
Taking “baby steps” enabled me to finish a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree, a Professional Clear Multiple Subject Credential, and a Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. Although at times, the climb seemed more like scaling a vertical rock face than taking baby steps.
I vividly remember working as a hairdresser while completing my bachelors degree. Every time I entered the beauty salon, I would look at a poster my boss, Job, had hanging in the cubicle where I worked. The photo was of a climber scaling a rock and underneath the words said, “God give me mountains to climb and the strength for climbing.” I already had the mountain as a poor, single mother, I just needed the “strength for climbing.”
Even though I know I accomplish goals one baby step at a time, my tendency is to push myself into taking big steps and then getting depressed when I feel paralyzed.
So when I felt that all-to-familiar funk begin to smolder inside around 3:00 pm, I decided to recount the baby steps I have made recently: tiny acts of forward motion that will propel my purposes forward in time.
One of my recent baby steps was finishing the last piece to my first manuscript. My sister and I have been ruthlessly slashing the book even after I paid a professional editor. The content still seemed too large and the editor had suggested a radical reduction. Ironically, I had just pushed the save icon on my computer when my sister sent me a text:
“Can you send me the manuscript so I can look over it one last time?”
“Sweet!” I chuckled while sending the document to her.
Another baby step was discovering that WordPress now has an eCommerce store plugin. This really excited me because I want to eventually sell my books and other creative pieces. I have been shopping around for an ecommerce website I could link to and there it was listed as one of the newer plugins (for you non-bloggers, these are wonderful features that enhance your blog).
Not that I have anything to link yet, but the discovery fascinated me just the same. I have always liked “playing store,” as a child and as a grown up too.
Other baby steps include reading how to write a nonfiction book proposal by Michael Larsen. Once again, I’m having that scary “How on earth can I scale that?” feeling resurface. It’s not just about writing the proposal, the true challenge lies in evaluating your entire life experience in order to determine your platform. This is a post all in itself, which I will explore in the future.
So when I get scared at the next part of the writing challenge, I just have to remember that the quest is accomplished one baby step at a time!