Taking that Next Step

Taking that next step in every area of our lives is very important in order to continue developing and advancing ourselves. This should be something we are challenging ourselves to do physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally but it can be a hard thing to do at times because we get too comfortable and often lackadaisical in our current situations.

Often we know what we should be doing or what we in fact need to be doing but we continue to put it off and thereby limit ourselves tremendously. It is comfortable for most of us when we more or less believe that we have control of our life circumstances. The prospect of not being in control can be a frightening thought.

One of the biggest reasons for not taking that next step is fear of the unknown. Succumbing to the fear of the unknown can be devastating and paralyzing. There is a little voice within us that can fill us with doubt and negative assumptions if we allow it to and prevent us from progressing one inch. It is this fear of the unknown that plagues and traps so many people in the mundane ruts that they have allowed their lives to follow. We need to break free of these ruts!

On Everest, taking the next step was a continual challenge because of the many hardships and terrible situations that were tempting us to turn back. One of the major reasons why only about 29% of climbers make it to the summit is that it is easier and much more comfortable to turn back instead of taking the next step and taking on each of the challenges one by one. At times, I remember having to focus almost exclusively on putting one foot in front of the other. There was one particular period climbing to Camp 2 when I was by myself and stuck in a blizzard with almost zero visibility. I would focus on trying to reach a point ahead of me and then I would allow myself to collapse temporarily to regain my strength before focusing on another point. One small step at a time I gradually decreased the distance between where I was and where I needed to get to.

It is usually less stressful to stay in our comfort zones and allow procrastination run our lives but this is a sure way of poisoning our success. The world is full of procrastinators that simply live their lives reactively like a pinball bouncing off whatever steers them instead of charting their own paths. Comparing ourselves to others is therefore not a great idea because the social bar is not set very high.

The hardest part in approaching any task is admittedly usually the first small step. It is deciding to actually act and beginning the task in spite of any memories of past failures or mistakes or the fear or criticism from others. Once we are able to take the next step towards a goal, we have generated a little bit of momentum which is often all is need to snowball into an unstoppable action.

So take that next step! You will be glad that you did.