by Kathie England

Better Than Before – Day 25

First steps…

Begin now – take that first step! But what if your perspective is about your future self, the person who uses the “tomorrow logic” that Rubin says allows us to put off taking that first step?

Do you agree with Rubin that “tomorrow logic wastes time?” Or that “it may allow us to deny that our current actions clash with our intentions?” This perspective is the same one that often results in over-commitment to responsibilities that will take place in a future that seems comfortably distant.

Coming back now to taking the first steps…

Do you prefer to take small steps or big steps? If you watched my video that I suggested yesterday, you heard me share what Robert Maurer describes is the value of small steps. He says that there are two ways we make change: innovation and small steps. Innovation is the crash diet or the dramatic lay-off. Maurer explains that the really big steps involved into radical change tend not to last because they trigger our brain’s fear response.

The amygdala, that small, almond-sized structure deep in our mid-brain, is activated when we attempt to make changes, even positive ones. When that happens, we go into a fight, flight, or freeze response. This neurological explanation may hit at the root of procrastination. 

By contrast, when we take small steps, we are able to bypass the amygdala and keep access to our cortex. That access permits us to begin to lay down new neural pathways that result in new routines and habits. 

Small steps are extremely valuable when something seems overwhelming. I encourage clients to ask, “What is the smallest step I can take now that will help me move forward?” Taking that first small step is a huge leap in avoiding procrastination.

Maurer’s definition of a small step is that “it needs to be so small you are as sure you can take the step as you are that the sun will rise tomorrow.”

When you think about your small step, it’s small enough if you can say to yourself, “I can do that.”

What’s your small step for today?

Tomorrow I’ll share occasions when Rubin thinks a Blast Start has merit.