Stepping Forward

Stepping forward can be a fearful thing. Moving into a new direction has its share of ups, downs, and unknowns. Navigating this terrain can be daunting, but it is so worth it when you make it to the other side.

When you set out to reach a new dream or goal, there are always moments where you second guess yourself and whether or not it’s worth it. You are stretching out of your comfort zone and into an unknown world with unknown expectations. Initially, you will be very conservative in your steps, requests, and efforts. Learning the lay of the land and finding out what is OK and what is not. 

As you begin to get your footing and learn where the stepping stones are, you will begin to walk with more confidence. Eventually you will be walking around like you own the place, because it will be your home base and you know all there is to know.

But the journey to that confidence will be filled with insecurity, fear, and careful movement forward.

Stepping Forward With Insecurity

When one is insecure, stepping forward is a slow process. This is the time for some research and reconnaissance. Getting to know the lay of the land (expectations, pricing, possible outcomes, etc.) helps one to navigate the terrain and notice possible obstacles. You gain a bit of familiarity with the people involved and the language spoken. 

Sure, you are a little slower than everyone else, but you’re learning. You are gaining knowledge. It takes time to venture into a new world. Babies take years to take in what they are seeing and hearing before they start running around like they own the place! 😉

It is prudent to be cautious when starting a new adventure…but don’t let it stall you in perpetual learning. At some point in time, you will need to become that happy 2 to 3-year-old running frantically through the house, laughing at the top of your lungs, exploring all the things.

Fear of Stepping Forward

Fear is what will keep you in perpetual learning. Fear of stepping on the wrong path, saying the wrong thing, or charging too much. We are social creatures and the approval of those we want around us is a powerful thing. If we think they are going to look at us as overstepping, we will keep ourselves small.

The thing is, each step forward is a learning experience. If you “overstep”, you will learn one of two things:

  1. You weren’t quite ready for that step.
  2. You are ready for the step, but those around you aren’t ready for you to take the step.

If you aren’t ready for the step, you can take the stumble as a learning opportunity. What caused the stumble? What lessons do you still need to learn? Take the opportunity to investigate more, learn more, and practice more. Soon you will be able to take the step with confidence.

If you are ready for the step, but those around you aren’t, they may tell you that you have “overstepped”. But in reality, you have grown and are ready to move to the next level of opportunity and learning.

Some folks may try to put you back into a box that they are comfortable with, but there are others who will look at you and encourage you to move on and take bigger steps.

You will know when you are ready, as it will feel right. There will not be a sense of bravado or overbearing importance. It will be a calm surety that comes from within. A sense of comfort and confidence in your ability.

Moving Forward

As you move forward, there may be some trepidation surrounding people’s acceptance of your ability. There may be tests and people watching from the sidelines, just waiting for proof that you’ve got this. 

There are always those who will try to pull you down, saying you’re not ready. This happens at each stage of the game. But there are others who are just waiting for you to step up and shine so they can help you to the next level and beyond.

Chances are you are ready to step forward now but the voices in your head (or surrounding you) keep saying “not yet”, “it won’t happen”, “stop trying”. But you’ll never know until you take the chance and try. The worst that could happen is that you learn something. The best that could happen is you make it and can inspire and teach someone else along the way.

As you stand at the crossroads of change, it’s natural to feel a myriad of emotions – from exhilaration and hope to anxiety and uncertainty.

Understanding oneself is the cornerstone of navigating these shifts with grace, confidence, and purpose. That’s where our Self-Awareness Assessment steps in. Click HERE to download the assessment.

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