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Friday, March 25, 2011

Face to Face with the Second Step? Three Tips to Get You Unstuck

Face to Face with the Second Step

I was first introduced to Richard Stine's simple black and white line drawings at a Westwood art fair while I was at UCLA attending graduate school. His series, 'Smile In A Mad Dog's i' , brought a smile to my own eye and made me laugh. While I lingered at his booth, lusting after his drawings,  I was a poor graduate student and I just couldn't pay $30 for a simple line drawing.  I walked away without buying anything.

Over the next year, every time I found myself stalled and frustrated after starting a school or work project one of his images, 'Dog face to face with the second step',  kept popping into my head.

I could clearly see that silly, flat-faced, wire-haired black dog with his eyes glued to, and staring at, the second step of the stairs. I was that dog. And that was exactly how it felt---I was face to face, not with the first step, but the second.  And when I looked closely,  I could clearly see the second step was in fact larger than the first.

I began to see how my work life was going to progress. Just as I was congratulating myself for finally getting the latest project off to a good start, I had to look out for that big second step stopping me in my tracks.

But over time, the light dawned and I began to see the second step in a positive light. Rather than the second step being a time for getting stuck and giving up, I came to see it as an opportunity to pause and assess where I was in the process, re-commit to my vision,  and regain the energy and motivation to move on. Instead of being pushed off-track by the unexpected obstacles, I learned to expect the unexpected and turn that potential ending into a fresh start.

WOOF!  Be the Dog ~  Paws and Assess

What have YOU been working on that you suddenly find yourself face to face with the second step? What dream or vision have you been working on that suddenly feels stalled? How long have you felt that churning and simmering in your head, pulling you towards taking the next step? What's stopping YOU? If you were to turn that ending into a new beginning, what would you do next?

What's Got You Stalled?
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of public failure
  • Too busy at work
  • Don't know where to start.
  • No money.
  • Work exhausts me and uses up my creative energy.
  • I focus on helping other people, then am too tired to help myself.
  • I don't believe I deserve to achieve my dream.

In the last year, I've been on a quest to move my face-to-face business on-line. My ultimate goal is to create e-books, and have coaching, facilitation and writing services easily available through my own website.

My first step was to start this blog. I was proud of myself when I overcame the inertia of the first step--establishing Lightarted Living, posting weekly musings and including affirmation hearts and other art on the site. I'd been congratulating myself for moving with such grace and ease past the imaginary barriers to getting started.

But then I came face to face with the second step, and stalled, before I moved on to writing for ezine articles. Once again I basked in my quiet success of stepping in to learn how it works.

But here I am this morning, face to face ~once again~ with the second step. I've felt it coming on for sometime. I know what that second step is--I need to decide what step to take next---learn to set up a website or publish an e-book, then take action.

So today's the day--I'm going in! Why not join me and make today the day you choose to move  past YOUR second step?

Three Tips to Get You Unstuck

  1. Make Yourself  #1. Give yourself the first part of the day. Get up 1 hour earlier to devote yourself to your dream. Don't let yourself be distracted.
  2. Choose.  Choose the one thing to focus on NOW.
  3. Act today. Put your thoughts on paper, and convert those thoughts to do-able actions.  Choose to act on one step today.  

Richard Stine

The following year I made a beeline for Richard Stine's booth at the Art Fair and bought the store out, including Face to Face with the Second Step. His images have been influencing my psyche ever since. If you'd like to see Stine's 'Face to Face with the Second Step' (newer colored version) click on link below.

Managers Listen Up!

Ten Minute Treat for your Soul: The Surprising Truth About What Really Motivates You

If you could choose anything to do with your life, what would you do? Click this link to find out the role challenge, purpose, mission, self-direction. self-mastery and autonomy play in your motivation.

Dan Pink--RSA Animate
This guy is amazing!


Molly said...

HI Sue--love your blog for today, and the dog and the second step, and then to see R. Stine's artwork--geeesh--double wonderful!

(my word verification below is tardsly :))

LightartedSue said...

Oh, Miss Molly, I am so glad you enjoyed today's blog and stopped to leave a comment!

barb said...

Hi Susan!

I am at full steam ahead! Thank you for sharing this blog and art! Love it all:)


Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Hi Barb!

So glad you are full steam ahead...we are all moving it forward...slowly but surely getting past those second steps!

It's always good to have company in the journey!