Steps to Mastery

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Positive Psychology | 0 comments

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu

Taken literally, Lao Tzu, a Taoist spiritual leader, encourages individuals to start with a single step to begin a journey.  Where would you be now, if you only stood still?  Chances are you would be the same place you were yesterday or last year or decades ago.

Each time you take a step forward, you are one step closer to your goal.  I know at times I feel as though I take a few steps forwards and a leap backward, but I keep going until eventually I succeed.  This is particularly true when I am learning a new skill.  I just started taking Tai Chi lessons and, at first, I thought why am I even bothering.  These movements seem counterintuitive to me.  Messages I have from my childhood played over and over in my head, “I am a klutz, I can’t do anything right when it comes to sports, athletics, or physical movement”.  But, the wonderful instructor and a fellow classmate, encouraged me to keep trying.  I practiced each movement by itself–first the hand movements, then foot movements, then body movements and then I put each piece of the entire movement together.  I did and now I can do a short Tai Chi routine with half of the 24 movements.  Good for me.

The same thing can be applied to your life challenges.  If you take one step at a time and add each together, that equals a big leap toward mastering your challenges.  If you tell yourself you can and take step, you are moving closer to accomplishing what it is you are setting out to do.  If you tell yourself you can’t, you stay where you are or fall backward.

Here’s something to try to get one step closer to mastering your challenge or getting one step closer to your goal.

  • Visualize your goal–get a very clear picture of it in your head
  • Practice it in your head–see yourself reaching your goal, mastering your challenges
  • Get rid of words like “can’t, impossible, coulda, shoulda, woulda”
  • Tell yourself “I can do this one step at a time.”

Remember that you deal with challenges every day and meet with success often.  You already have mastered many challenges and this one is no different.  This one may take more effort, more stepping stones.  But, you will get there.

Think about the other challenges that you mastered.  Who/what were your building blocks? Who/what were your stepping stones?  What kept you going?

When you answer these questions, heed the message.  Take one step at a time using your own building blocks, your own stepping stones.  Keep in mind what kept you going, and proceed toward mastering the challenge.

When you master this challenge, don’t forget to congratulate yourself and thank anyone who helped you along the way.

You will find deeper powers within yourself by mastering this challenge.

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