Taking Those First Steps

by on December 11, 2013

Erste SchritteOne of the great things about the profession of which I am a part is its ability to connect people on an international basis.  I was recently speaking with a colleague of mine who resides in Milan, Italy that I have gotten to know over the past year through the International Coach Federation (ICF).  Recently, his chapter held a Coaching Expo in Rome, and I was fortunate enough to attend the last few hours of the session.  The closing presentation featured a dancer who was born with no arms at birth.  First the audience got to see her dance with her partners.  Later they were privileged to hear her interviewed by my colleague.  As the interview progressed it was obvious the dancer was a very special individual.

In addition to dancing, a video showed she was an accomplished painter.  She in turn lived a full life with family and friends.  The absence of arms had never held her back.  She had trained herself to use her legs and feet to do the day to day life activities that all of us do with our arms and hands.  Even when being interviewed, as the conversation went on she became more expressive as those of Italian heritage tend to be.  After awhile I became conscious of the fact that she was actually using her legs and feet to express her emotions so effortlessly, that I had forgotten that the expressions were not coming from her using arms or hands.

I had the chance a couple of weeks after the expo to have a Skype session with my friend, the coach from Italy.  I expressed how moving I found that last segment of the Expo.  He indicated to me when speaking to the dancer that she had indicated her parents were very conscious of never putting obstacles in their daughter’s way.  If there was something she wanted to do or try, they did not say no to her.  They let her take “those first steps” to see if it was an activity that she would enjoy.

As coaches, we are always very conscious of working with and encouraging our clients to reach their goals.  In fact, focus in many sessions is on the goals and not always on the steps being taken by the client in the moment.  My coaching colleague and I both agreed that a lesson for both of us to learn was the importance of guiding our clients toward taking those initial steps, no matter how insignificant they are, because one never knows where they may lead.

There is nothing wrong with goal setting.  However, often a plan will be put together to get one to the goal.  And, then execution of the plan starts.  Sometimes things go as planned.  Other times they do not.  For some, the fact that things did not go as planned can lead to either changing the plan or worse yet, giving up on the goal.  However, for others, there is the realization that execution of the plan toward a goal does not always go in a straight line.  We may like it to go step by step as we have designed.  However, sometimes life has a different idea.  Maybe now is not the ideal time.  Perhaps additional aspects of life need to be experienced on the way to the goal.  Think about some of your most recent accomplishments.  Which ones went step by step exactly as you planned?   How many on the other hand occurred on a path you would have never designed from the start?

What goals do you have for yourself as we come close to approaching a new year?  Do you have a plan in place to achieve them?  Whether you have a detailed plan together or not, do you at least know some of “those first steps” you want to take to begin the journey to where you want to get.  Or are you of a mindset that the plan must be completed before you get started.  As I experience more and more working with clients in all aspects of their life, while I see planning as being important, I see getting started being even that much more important.  Therefore, I encourage you to determine, what are some of “those first steps” you are going to take to begin experiencing those accomplishments that you want to achieve in 2014?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Posterous
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: