First steps come before next steps. First steps remind me of my kids.
Over the last year I have watched, my one and half year old, Graham, learn to crawl, then stand, and then balance. Then there comes that moment where he struggles with all his might not to fall. He wobbles. He lets out an almost nervous cry because he doesn’t want to fall. We wait anxiously as he lifts that foot and takes his first step. He gets one, maybe two, and then falls flat on his face. Only for us to frantically try and catch him while simaltaneously cheering and clapping. As Mom and Dad we are beaming from ear to ear! His first steps!
What a moment. It is the first of many “first steps”. He will take more “first steps” when he begins school. He will take more “first steps” as he makes new friends. He will take more “first steps” on an athletic field or court. He will take more “first steps” as he gets a job or loses one. There are lots of “first steps” that he will have to take in his life.
We all have lots of “first steps” to take in our lives. “First steps” for all of us, no matter what the first step is, follow a similar pattern.
1. We watch others.
This is how so many of us learn or become inspired to chase our dreams. We watch others take their first steps and we want to emulate those who are successful. This is where the dream is birthed in our heart. We look on and set the course of our heart.
Who are you watching? Do you like the way they are walking?
2. We learn to crawl.
No one begins by taking steps. We all have a beginning phase to strengthen the necessary muscles to stand. You can’t skip this phase. If you do you will shortchange your preparation time and effect your performance later.
The President of the University of Valley Forge would remind the students every semester, “No time taken to sharpen your saw is ever wasted.”
And I know there is someone reading this that will say, “I never crawled as a baby I rolled.” I know that because it was me. Lol.
How are you preparing to stand?
3. We stand.
Standing is sometimes the most bold thing we can do. It changes our perspective. It gives us a new height to see our life from. And you can’t walk until you stand.
The Bible even says, “Having done all to stand. Stand.” There is something inherently powerful about standing. It positions you to take a step.
What are you standing for? What has changed about your perspective because you stood?
4. We wobble.
First steps make everyone wobble. You are not the only person to ever wobble. You are not the only person to ever be afraid of falling. You will wobble. My encouragement is: Walk Anyway!!! So many people quit here. Don’t quit because you wobble. Don’t quit because you fell before.
I have heard it said, “Courage is doing it afraid.” So go ahead and be brave and take those first steps anyway.
What are you afraid of that is keeping you from moving?
5. We move.
If standing is bold this is the most thrilling part of first steps. We do something we have never done before. We take a step. It is empowering. It is brave. It changes us forever. We will never move in quite the same way again.
With my kids once they realized they could move they were off to the races. They were so excited and impossible to keep up with.
What adventure are you on now? Where are you moving too?
6. We fall.
The truth is falling is part of first steps. My son fell dozens of times. He wasn’t a failure.
If you have fallen it doesn’t mean you failed. It means you have moved.
One of my all time favorite quotes is by Teddy Roosevelt and he says, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
When is the last time you fell? What were you feeling? Thinking?
7. Parents cheer.
The people who love you the most cheer you on. They surround you with love and praise whether you fail or succeed. The people around you matter.
People are like elevators. They can take you to the top or drag you to the bottom.
Make sure you have people cheering you on when you go to make your first steps.
Who is fighting with you and cheering you on right now?
My encouragement to you is go out today and take some “first steps”! Start that relationship you have been putting off. Start that company or interview for your dream job. Or try to have a baby. Or start going to church.
My most recent “first steps” was starting this blog and continuing to write my book. Comment below and tell me what “first steps” you are taking. I’d love to hear about it and add you to my prayer list.