With the exception of Netflix binge-watching, I’ve been all about baby steps these days. But I’ve realized that there’s so much more to them than just the act of inching forward—there’s a whole process that lies within.
Below is an example of how I’ve applied that process to something I’m currently going through. As you read my story, I hope you’ll see ways you can harness these ideas to improve a current struggle in your own life.
When babies are learning to walk, they don’t resist it; they just know this is the next step (pun intended) they need to take.
I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious, long-lasting fatigue. While it’s finally getting better, it’s majorly affected all aspects of my life.
The first step to healing came when I finally stopped fighting the exhaustion and accepted it instead. Once I did, my “why” changed. It used to be “Why the HELL am I STILL exhausted??” I was resisting what was happening, and all that did was make me more frustrated.
Now my “why” comes from a place of calm curiosity; it’s a chance to check in with myself and figure out what I need. Like a baby looks around for something to pull up on, I look around for what will best help me get to where I want to be.
Throughout the process, babies get help and support from wherever they can—from their grownups to furniture to toys.
A big part of my process has been reaching out to others for help. Of course, I’ve worked with various medical professionals, from my general practitioner to a functional medicine doctor to my current naturopath, who’s finally got me on the right track. Occasional sessions with my holistic healthcare practitioner are also an integral part of my healing.
On a personal level, I’ve got a great support system including my parents and other relatives, friends, and my tribe of fellow life coaches, who’ve generously shared their stories, resources, and help.
Whenever my brain’s up for taking in new info, I read books and do online research. I’ve learned about mind-body healing and other alternative techniques, which I’ve found completely fascinating.
Lastly I have my wise inner self, which serves as an internal GPS, guiding me throughout this whole process.
When babies inevitably fall, they don’t think “I suck at this! I should just give up.” They just keep trying, taking breaks to play and rest. They trust their intuition. They listen to their bodies.
Not once have I thought I’d be tired forever. Along the way, there have been setbacks, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s all going to be okay.
Every time I start anything new, I’m unabashedly optimistic that it’ll help. Sometimes I have an internal temper tantrum if it doesn’t, but that’s short-lived. I always return to my process: checking in with myself (and my support system as needed), figuring out my next move, and then, of course, taking baby steps.
This experience has been a great opportunity to tune into my intuition and my body on a much deeper level. Because of the freedom that comes with being self-employed, I’m able to do what I need when I need it.
I have general plans for my days, but I stay flexible and let my intuition lead the way. I meditate, journal, read, or work as it feels right to me. I exercise when I can. I limit my time outside the house because that exhausts me more than anything.
Most importantly, I rest whenever I need to. I quickly learned that if I try to push through the tiredness, my recoup time becomes days rather than hours. Pacing myself and resting enable me to take more baby steps in the long run.
There’s no compare and despair with babies. It never occurs to them that maybe they’re taking longer than others to acquire this new skill. They just trust that, eventually, they’ll get it.
To be fair, children this young aren’t capable of comparing themselves to others. But there’s still something freeing in realizing everyone’s path is unique to them, and labeling your own as wrong or too slow really makes no sense—everyone’s path is exactly as long it needs to be.
While I’ve definitely made progress, I do still get frustrated that I’m not completely better yet and that I still haven’t achieved my goals. It kicks in strongest when I see others accomplishing similar ones; I’m only human, after all.
But I can let go of those feelings pretty easily because I trust that this is where I need to be at the moment. I can already see all the positive things that have come from this experience—connecting more deeply with myself and my intuition, getting to know new people, and learning about things that I wouldn’t have had the time for if I were busy and thriving.
My baby steps are getting stronger and steadier, bringing me closer and closer to my goals. I know without a doubt that one day soon I’ll be up and running around, getting into all kinds of fun trouble, and using everything I’ve learned to help myself and others all along the way.
Helping Yourself Through Baby Steps
1. Think about a problem you’re struggling with. Without trying to change anything, notice how you feel about the situation. Are you frustrated? Do you just want to give up? However you feel, it’s totally okay.
2. Now keep that situation in mind as you imagine a baby trying and failing to walk. Picture the whole scene—what the room looks like, what it smells like, what sounds you hear, who else is there.
3. As you see the baby trying and failing, you feel compassion, love, and instinctively want to help. Let your imagination guide you on how to help. If you get stuck, here are some things to consider:
4. Once you feel you’ve been through the whole scenario, come back to the present. Write down how the ways you helped the baby relate to how you can help yourself in your current situation. Keep in mind that some of these may be direct correlations (e.g., online research) and some may be more metaphorical.
5. Determine which approach makes you feel most free, then go for it! Keep in mind the lessons from the blog post above as you take your baby steps. Along the way, give yourself the same compassion you gave the baby in your imagined scenario. And remember to be patient and trust—there will come a time when everything finally clicks.
I wholeheartedly believe that help and support are a key part of fully moving forward. That’s why I’m now offering a new coaching option: 30-minute mini-sessions.
Just because they’re mini doesn’t mean you won’t get big results. I’ve personally been coached in shorter sessions and still had them be major game-changers!
Through March, mini-sessions are just $45. (As always, your first 30-minute session is free.) So if you’re ready to start making positive changes in your life, schedule an appointment now!
Katie Baron: life coach, freelance writer, animal and nature lover, musician, relentless optimist