Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Power of the Baby Step

I want to make an afghan. You know, one of those cool granny square afghans you've seen on so many design blogs. Cozy and colorful, a bright spot in a room.

But you know what? It seems kind of impossible.

How do you get from a bagful of yarn to a cozy afghan that could turn out to be an heirloom?

How I ask you? How?
Well, it just so happens I have my own answer.

One knot at a time. One slip of the loop, one quirk of the crocheting hook. One go round. One square.

Look at that! Look at all those squares!

No, it's not an afghan yet, but you can see the afghan coming. And all those squares happened with the first knot. And the next. And the next.

That's my cheer for the power of the baby step. Baby steps never seem to get you anywhere when you're in the midst of taking them. The end goal seems so far away and your small movement seems so little... but when you look back at how far those baby steps have taken you, you find you have come a long way and the end is actually in sight, and, look at that.... ACHIEVABLE.
Here's another sneak peak of a project I am working on. One that has stressed me out for a while, being the first in a planned larger project, and being rather elaborate in itself.

I can't tell you how nervous I was to start this. And once sketched out, how nervous I was to actually add paint. I haven't actually painted much for months. Months and months. And it was so hard to get myself going.

But to get where I want to go, I have to take the first step. I also like to document those steps here. You know why? EVIDENCE. Evidence on how far I've come. Proof of those baby steps. And sometimes, because you people are watching and that makes me feel like I am accountable to someone, and keeps me taking more baby steps forward.

And here's the other thing. These baby steps don't just go for artistic projects. They go for your big dreams, too. They ESPECIALLY go for those big dreams, the seemingly impossible ones that you want so, so much.

But if you focus on how far you have to go to reach those big dreams, how will you ever get there? All you will be able to see is the impossibility of it all, and then that impossibility will become tangible and boy is that a block to get through.

Instead, just look at the baby step. The little thing you can do to get you to your dream. That's what I'm doing.

What baby step can you take today to get you a tiny bit closer to your big dreams?


Sugar said...

So right on. I sometimes look at the whole "afghan" before me and think, "There is just no way." I give up before I start. But then I look back at the months or weeks prior and see all the other things that have come along by just doing a little bit every day.

It takes me a while, but eventually, I stop being afraid of completing the big ol' afghan.

Rowena said...

That is exactly what I mean, Sugar. And the baby steps take away the fear of taking action. Like a miracle!

Kat said...

I love this blog post! Baby steps is the way to get something big done. Thanks for sharing.

Jackie said...

Yes!! Bird by bird:)
I want to make an afghan too. I love knitting but I am a beginner at that too . I love your post:)

Cori Lynn Berg said...

Yup.. this is one of my favorite themes... I picked up crocheting again to this year... course all i can do are lines!

EVA said...

Very very true Rowena!

Baby steps. Small actions. Keep on taking them. Cumulative effects. And don't give up!

Great post!

Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

I owe my recently achieved dream (leaving Corporate America to be a full-time entrepreneur) to baby steps. They were the foundation to setting myself up for success. I heart baby steps super much.

Also, I love your idea of documenting your progress. I recently worked with a client who said she always felt stuck mid-painting & wanted to walk away, but if she forced herself through it (to the next step!) she always wound up with a great finished product. I asked her to document her next painting with a photo at the beginning, the middle, & the end. Now, when she's stuck & fears her painting will turn out to be super ugly, she's able to flip through the progress of her other projects & see that the other paintings might've been "ugly" at the halfway point but turned out beautiful! Such a great motivation tool.

Can't wait to see the afghan & the big project, Rowena!

septembermom said...

I think baby steps really get the creativity going. Nice to visit you again!

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