Dare To Live Without Limits

Bryan Golden

Getting started important but it’s only the beginning

Making any change takes determination as well as effort. Just getting started often feels like the most difficult step. It's easy to keep putting off beginning. Starting tomorrow is always appealing since it means you don't have to deal with the stress of changing today. The trap is that the tomorrows add up until you wind up never starting at all.
Maintaining a pattern of behavior is much easier than beginning one. That's how habits become engrained. Getting started with new behavior usually means leaving a familiar comfort zone. The path of least resistance is always appealing.
Fear of failure is a powerful paralyzing force that makes it hard to get started. If you never attempt making a change, there is no chance of failure.
Taking the first step is the only way to enter that path of change. But to continue on track each step has to be followed by another until your desired results are realized. Unfortunately, a lot of people give up after taking only one or two steps.
This is due to impatience and the desire for instant feedback that our efforts are paying off. We are too quick to declare something a failure. Another limiting factor is our own self-doubt that we will be able to be successful.
If you question your ability to succeed, you will be waiting for the first indication that your concerns were correct. You will then give up concluding that success was impossible. This scenario will rob you of life's opportunities.
It takes time, combined with continuous effort, before changes will materialize. You can take the first step immediately. But then you have to keep going. Each step you take will get you closer to your destination. There is no shortcut.
Mike is 42 years old, 20 pounds overweight and out of shape. He really wants to trim down. Mike meets with a nutritionist to put together a healthy diet. He also joins a health club. Mike has taken the all-important first step.
Since he was 32, Mike has wanted to make this change in his life. Mike kept putting it off because he was very busy and felt there was no emergency. So day after day went by. Now, in what seemed to Mike to be the blink of an eye, 10 years have passed. He laments that if he had only started years before, he would be in great shape today.
So Mike changes his diet and exercises every day after work, for two hours. He then weighs himself. There's no change. Would Mike be justified in concluding that he should give up because there are no results? Of course not.
It will take several months of exercise and improved diet before Mike will see significant changes. Once he accomplishes his goal, Mike will have to maintain his regimen to keep in shape. If he goes back to his old habits, he will revert to his previous condition.
Irene desperately wants to change jobs. She takes the first step by preparing her resume. Irene then takes the second step by responding to five help wanted ads. She gets no response. Not even one interview.
Should Irene conclude that she can't get another job? Should Irene resign herself to being stuck in her current position until she retires? Of course not. It's common to have to send out dozens of resumes to secure a new job. A job search can take many months. Irene has to keep sending out resumes until she gets a new job.
Getting started is only the beginning. To make progress, take one step after another until you reach your goal.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper. 20Bryan Golden.


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