The Power of the Second Step

“Just take the first step.  The rest will fall into place.”

“A journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.”

“The first step in solving a problem is admitting the problem exists.”

“The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.”

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Many of us, no doubt, have heard these conventional sayings at least once.  New Years, birthdays and anniversaries usually present us with a fresh start, an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and banish all previous mistakes into oblivion.  How many of us have set lofty New Years’ resolutions only to fall off right after the holidays?  How many people do you know who swear up and down they are going to lose weight, join the gym, pay for it even, and then do nothing else fitness related for like the next 6 months? 

Ping-ponging between self-improvement and self-sabotage is an age-old tale for many of us. 

I do not disagree with the thought process behind these wise sayings.  The first step definitely combats inertia.  It gets our juices flowing.  Whether you are deciding to pursue a new career, write a book or start a business, the first step often gets us excited.  Still basking in the high of visualizing our dreams realized, we immediately spring to action and check the first thing off the list.  We join a gym, research career coaches, buy a new computer, even register a domain name.   Exciting stuff, right?

The real test, I find, comes right after.  Many people never actually take the second step! They never visit the gym or get on that $1,000 exercise bike that’s gathering dust in the garage.  A staggering 67% of gym memberships, priced at a $39 average, never get used.   They never call the career coach or launch their business. 

Why?

It is so much easier to complain about a bad situation than to actually do the work to address.  

Taking the first step gives us an early, but faux sense of accomplishment, making us feel good about ourselves.  This applies whether we are looking for weight loss or a career boost. Once we finally realize the magnitude of efforts required to accomplish our goals or the sacrifices required, many fall by the wayside, coming up with a myriad of excuses and justifications. 

So here’s my challenge for you.

Do you know your career goals for the next 1-5 years?

Do you have a real understanding what is required to make them happen?

Be honest with yourself.  Are you prepared to put in the work? Are you ready to seek help where needed? To make the necessary financial and time investments?

Are you open and receptive to advice from a coach or mentor?

If the answers are Yes, then you are ready.  I commend you for taking the first step.  I encourage you to take the second.  


Are you are a Millennial woman of color in a Corporate role who has clear goals but is feeling stagnant, overwhelmed or dealing with "challenging" work environments?  Go ahead and schedule some time with a certified, like-minded, results-oriented coach.  Together, we can clear a path to the third step.