Step by step

As someone who’s battling with the disease to please coupled with too much of obedience and the tendency to withdraw when not succeeding in the first two, learning to neglect the need to please others at the cost of my own wellbeing has absolutely been the toughest lessons for me to learn.

And being an entrepreneur has provided marvelous opportunities to practice. Gladly, in a good way!

There’s of course been a clear strategy on how to forward with my ongoing lesson. First, I’ve had to divide it into smaller pieces. There’s no way to be over and done with this pleasing matter at once. So I’ve taken one step at a time, making sure I’m not trying to get too big of a bite at once.

Because, let’s imagine you have your favorite cake in front of you (if you don’t like cakes, just play along for the fun of it). Now, how will you eat it? By stuffing the whole cake into your mouth at once?

Or perhaps by cutting a piece of it? I assume this is the most popular way of eating a cake. But how will you eat that piece of a cake then? Again, by stuffing the whole piece into your mouth at once?

Usually not, at least not when accompanied by others.

If I may suggest, we take a spoon, a teaspoon more specifically, and eat that piece of a cake one spoonful at a time. Over time, if we continue, spoonful by spoonful and piece by piece the whole cake is eaten. Just like that.

Now, which project of yours can you turn into a piece of cake so that you can enjoy it one spoonful at a time? Let me know and I’ll cheer for you on the way!

When going forward step by step, the (humongous) length of the journey has not overwhelmed me. As overwhelm usually only triggers the need to withdraw. And withdrawal causes isolation, while isolation breeds doubt (a vicious cycle, I can tell you).

I wouldn’t be here writing these weekly notes to you, hadn’t I divided this process into smaller pieces, too! And then concentrated on going forward with one step at a time.

Few weeks back I told you a (silly) example of how I made sure I’d develop a new and wanted habit of going out daily. The same strategy I used for that, I’ve used to divide all my goals and action items into doable tasks in order for me to go forward (even when I’d like to keep on hiding behind my excuses for not going forward).

And I’ve used it with all my clients as well, in some format.

For example, last week we updated one of my clients’ company’s product strategy by dividing it into steps according to the principle of minimum, medium and optimum. This is such a wonderful way to make sure that you actually do take action on your steps.

Here’s a short recap on what minimum, medium and optimum mean. It’s a way to divide your next steps into actionable portions, making sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself on the way. Here

  • minimum is a ridiculously small step forward, something you can do easily in just one or two minutes. This usually makes you feel a bit embarrassed, cause it’s so easy.
  • medium is minimum plus something more. Still actionable within 5-10 minutes, yet takes you clearly further than minimum. This usually is the one that you’d first like to have as your minimum (but it’s not ridiculously small enough).
  • optimum is minimum plus medium plus something more. This is the place to be ambitious and get it done all at once.

When using these principles to help you divide your goal or project into actionable items, this works a bit differently than when developing a new habit. Instead of keeping your mins, meds and optimums the same and repeating them over and over again, this time you need to update your mins, meds and optimums on the way.

When you choose what step (min, med or opt) you’re going to take forward (on daily or weekly basis), you then need to update those options after every time you’ve taken that chosen step. 

You can’t be doing the same minimum day after day (or week after week), but you can do the minimum day after day when you update it to match the progress.

One thing stays the same still. You need to reward yourself already when you’ve done the minimum. That’s nonnegotiable, mandatory and required.

So, to summarize, whatever it is that you’re doing, or are about to do, make sure

  1. it doesn’t feel like fantasy
  2. you’re clear on your next step
  3. you take action.

If you’d like support in any, or all of these stages, do not hesitate to get in contact! I’m here for you!

Much love,

Ps. If you missed the earlier notes from the past few weeks, do go back and check them out – the ‘too good to be true‘ block and the feeling of being stuck both relate to this weeks topic, and together these three make such a terrific combo to ensure you keep on track with your path!