This post was originally published April 2016 and was updated in 2019 and republished.
Mompreneurs have a unique vantage point that few others have.
It’s the opportunity to witness the power of small steps.
The growth of my business has kept pace with my daughter’s. I was still in the early stages of my business when she was born, and at that time I wasn’t completely confident in everything I was trying to achieve.
However, our babies master skills little by little and hit developmental milestones. If we follow that example in our business life--taking small steps that scare us—we nurture our confidence and growth from a place of ease and joy instead of fear.
I know you are thinking, can I really reduce my fear by taking small, scary steps? While it may sound counterintuitive, that is exactly what I am saying!
I often encounter clients who set big, challenging career goals, and while they are full of excitement at the beginning, they stop dead in their tracks the moment fear rears its ugly head.
Why are we paralyzed by fear?
There are a few reasons for this, but it’s largely to do with perspective. How we perceive long-term goals makes an impact on achieving them.
At some point it was decided that for something to be considered a long-term goal, it must be huge. Some goals are even referred to as BHAGs: “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals”. This term describes a long-term goal so large that it changes the very nature of a business' existence. At the same time, we adopted the belief that the outcome of the goal is the only measure of success of failure.
Why have we set such constraints on career goals?
Change your perspective.
I have continued to take small, scary steps throughout my career, committing to reasonably pushing my boundaries a little further each month. Too often only big career goals are set, and the motivation to achieve them wanes too easily.
If we can change our perspective around what is considered a goal, we are much more likely to set, and even enjoy trying to reach them.
Here’s an example. If you set yourself a long-term goal of tripling your sales in a year, it might seem unachievable. After breaking it down into much smaller goals—such as the short-term goal to attend three new networking events this month—it doesn’t seem quite as foreboding. As you complete each of the smaller goals, your motivation stays high and you inch closer and closer toward that larger long-term goal.
It makes sense that when goals are out of proportion to where you are now, you may commit to a huge goal but not be able to follow through.
Think back to watching your child go from rolling over to sitting up. There were lots of small developments in between. Learning to sit helped develop the core muscles needed to walk, just as building your skills and resources to hit your big goal takes time and development.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone a little further every month.
By consistently doing things that you are afraid of, you build confidence at a pace that allows you to catch up to your striving. When I first started doing free discovery calls, I was a little terrified of pitching my coaching services. With practice it got easier and easier, until the fear vanished.
Shifting your perspective on goal setting, and using small powerful steps, will make your professional and personal growth feel easier. I have certainly noticed it changes the nature of how I do things and how much joy and confidence I feel when I do.
Approaching ourselves with the same nurturing touch we give our kids makes room for celebrating our growth too.
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