Of Baby Steps and Big Steps
Sometimes you just gotta take that step. Maybe it's just a baby step. Maybe it's a big step. Maybe it's a baby step that is also a big step. More often than not, that's how it is.
I watched John get on the bus this morning for his last day of high school. You see, he actually graduated last year but, since he gets autistic support services, his next step needed to be identified a little differently than most high school graduates.
He's going to a new "transition" program where he will learn many independent living skills. Many skills that we take for granted. Many skills that may seem inconsequential. Baby steps in most of our lives. A big step for John.
I can't recall the last time I've seen him this excited. He knows he is moving onward and upward. He knows he should've moved on last year and patiently waited for this step to come. He knows to appreciate this step.
And, yet again, John teaches me. That baby steps are sometimes also big steps. And we should appreciate them all.
Like those times at work when you decided to try something new. Suggesting a small change to a time-tested process. Speaking up in a meeting for the first time. Striking up a conversation with a leader that you didn't previously know.
I'm sure you've done one or all of those in your career. Looking back, they may have seemed like such simple, baby steps. But they were big! You made a positive change. You got seen in a different light than you had in the past. You started a relationship with someone that could mentor you, and advocate for you, which is essential as you grow your career.
Like thinking about what to do, and say, on the second date.
That's right. The second date.
On the first date you balance caution with boldness. Sometimes tilting more one way or the other. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's all good either way. It's part of the process.
But the second date is different. How cautious should you be? How bold should you be? Your actions, and the response to those actions, will lead to date number three or you will be thrust back to swiping left and right.
So you think about the steps you will take. Not that easy this time!
Maybe, for the first time, you will try to hold her hand. That didn't happen as you were juggling caution and bold but it seems simple and innocent enough. A good baby step.
Just know it could be a big step.