Take the First Step


As I stood on the line in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia ready to compete for the United States Skeleton Team, I knew I had a choice to make. It all came down to this single moment. After years and years of tedious and grueling training, the commotion set in. I could choose to listen to the yelling, booing, words of discouragement and naysayers from various countries as I stood on the top of that hill...or I could focus on my purpose. I could focus on what was in front of me. I could focus on staying in the present moment, simplifying the process and leave the fear of failure (or even the hope of the podium) to the future.

Noelle loading on her sled at the Sochi Olympics

I had to push the rush of anxiety, hope, fear, excitement and panic far away from my mind so that my mind had space to take me where I really wanted to go. I set my sled down on the ice, took my first step toward the finish line and the noise of my emotions vanished. American philosopher William Durant once stated:

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."

The most important step to reaching any goal, whether it be competing in the Olympics, starting your own small business, increasing sales, losing weight or learning to play a musical instrument, is determining to actually take the first step towards that goal. It doesn't have to be huge, perfect or even "social media worthy". Your first step just has to be forward. Those small simple steps have the ability to lead to big results. What are you waiting for?

Imagine yourself a year from now and life is so good. Everything in your life is exactly how you want it to be. Your finances are where you would like them to be, you are healthy and strong, your relationships are better than ever before, and your emotional and spiritual well-being are in a really good place. In this lens, what has changed in your life from where you are now? In what area of your life would see the greatest improvement? Now come back to today. What is one small step that you can take today that will lead you just a little bit closer to that outcome? Can you commit to a small step each day this week?

Every ending has a beginning. If you can see yourself in a better place one year from now, then you are capable of guiding yourself there. Don't wait until tomorrow. Just take that step today.

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