Life is filled with beginnings and ends. And maybe because my life is filled with beginnings, I am understanding that beginnings are the hardest part of life. My oldest will be beginning junior high, my sixth child will be born in weeks; I am beginning a new chapter in my career with a head coaching position, and also a new tech integration position at a new school.
There are two aspects of beginnings that challenge us: Fear and the Right Step.
The fear stems from the unknown. Robert Frost wrote about taking the path less traveled, but he never addressed the challenge of not knowing what that path held. We don’t know the terrain, the turns, hills or valleys on our new path. That fear can hinder us; even keep us from making the first couple of steps.
I say a couple of steps because I have seen people, and even me, stop on paths before. We start down a path determined to reach our goal, fear (and doubt) get the best of us, and we stop. To traverse the path, we have to continue walking despite the fear. I’ve come to realize it is not taking the next step that allows us to continue walking; it is the Right Step.
We all will stumble, or take a misstep in life. We regroup and continue along our path. But success comes from taking the right step, especially at the beginning. That first step sets your tempo, sets us in the direction we want to go, and gives us confidence to take the next Right Step.
And the next Right Step. And the next Right Step.
Even on a new path it is easy to fall into automatic mode. If you have ever tweaked your ankle on a rock or a hole in the ground you know there is a danger involved in not paying attention to where you step. Making sure you take the Right Step minimizes those dangers. You set your foot confidently, and no matter what the next step may have in store, your steps are on solid ground.
Beginnings are scary, filled with uncertainty, but the Right Step will allow you to explore paths not just walk them. Or worse, to stop and never know what heights you can reach.