A couple years ago the hub and I were in the Canary Islands. One late morning he was excited to announce that he’d scouted out a remote bay for us, because god forbid we lie on the nice sandy beach like normal humans. He’d rather hang out in this rocky cove where it was virtually guaranteed there’d be no one else. Ok fine—I know him and his little quirks. So we get ready to go and he says, ‘Oh but we kinda have to climb down a bit, so bring your sneakers.’ Of course, there’s always a catch with these ventures.
So we hike up and over this volcanic hill, down and around to the bay. Sure enough, we have to climb down to get to it—like ten feet! (3.5 meters) And there wasn’t a soft sandy landing in case one were to fall—it was tons of hard rocks. He assured me it would be easy. He knows this, he says, because he already tried it. Uh huh. So he goes down first and shows me where to place my feet. Within 2 minutes I was sweaty, shaky, anxious—and loudly cursing him out. ‘This is so typical of you! Why can we never just go where normal people go?’
You know that saying, ‘watch out, that first step is a doozy?’ I don’t know where it comes from but yeah, that first step was…challenging. It jutted out like a 9-month-pregnant woman. So you had to find a place to hold onto at the top while carefully positioning each foot farther down, all the while twisting your body like a wild animal. It didn’t feel safe at all. But even with all my complaining and yelling I was determined to get down. It took me like half an hour, but I did it. I was definitely not graceful going down, and I even cut my leg, but I was successful.
Once I got to the bottom, I realized it wasn’t so bad. I could probably even do it again. I was a little nervous to climb down the next day, but I did it in about two minutes. It was really just a matter of overcoming the fear the first time. The next few were a cake walk. And if I hadn’t have overcome my fear by just doing it, I would’ve missed out on sitting in a beautiful, protected cove where I could swim safely and Alex could be his recluse self with no people around.
You probably know where I’m going with this: first steps always seem daunting. It looks too challenging, too risky, you don’t feel ready; lots of different fears and/ or excuses come up. So you put it off, you scream, you blame, anything but take that initial action. I know I’ve done that with a million different things, and once I finally take it, I wonder what all the fuss was about. And I wish I had taken it way earlier. Every. Damn. Time.
You want to reach your goals, right? You want to fulfill your dreams. So…what first step can you take right now? What fears aren’t actually as bad as you’re making them out to be? I think as humans we always think we have to do some major action, but ANY action can be a first step. And then tomorrow you make one more small step. And another and another, and soon you’re walking out that door. Don’t worry about the whole map being laid out for you just yet; the steps will appear along the way, as long as you trust the process. Let go, trust, and just do it!