Welcome to Do you dare to take the step! You have probably read my previous posts, where I read the study “The Role of Deliberate Practice and the Acquisition of Expert Performance” by the Swedish psychologist K Anders Ericsson and his colleagues Ralf Th. Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer. In their study they were looking at what it takes to reach expert level in your field and how talent isn’t something we are born with, despite what many believe.
Many of us creatives want to keep developing and learn new skillsets, without the aspiration of becoming the top expert. We want to learn more about writing, photography, film making, build websites or perhaps do something else with our lives? We dream about doing that trip, change our career, write that book, start our own café or whatever it is you dream about.
But what many of us do, were myself is guilty as charge, is that when we dream we only see the finished product, so to speak. The result of our dream. We don’t see the hard and often long, winding road that leads to it. It’s first when we start to think a bit more on realizing our dream, when we start googling or constructing our business plan, that this winding and uphill road appears. For many the dream also ends there. They see their dream, far away up in the clouds and think that they will never defeat the mountain.
For those who manage to get past that step, and takes a look at the mountain and thinks “I can do this, I’m not afraid, I can fly”, now stands in front of the next, and perhaps the toughest obstacle to overcome. You read stuff online, write in Facebook groups, talking to your friends and watch Youtube videos. You get so fired up and inspired that you could walk up that mountain standing on your hands. But, for many the dream ends here. Because you can be as inspired and fired up as you want, but without transformation, that will say – action –, nothing will happen. You will stay in the intoxicating fumes of inspiration. That step, from inspiration to action, is probably the hardest and biggest one to take!
A small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! So, what can you do to dare to take that step? Is there any smart trick or some smart way to go that some Youtuber has said in a video? The short answer is no and the long answer is well, maybe, sort of, perhaps…
De-dramatize and step by step
There is no one else than you that can take the step for you. You must convince yourself that you can and is strong enough to do it. As long as you haven’t done that, the short answer is still no. What you can do, to find the courage to take the step, is to de-dramatize it. To make it not so scary and unobtainable. Think of the movie Gremlings and play it backwards. Then you first have the scary monster with sharp teeth’s and fangs, who then transforms into the cute and fluffy, Gizmo!
Do the same thing with the mountain you are facing, de-dramatize it. Kilometers/miles above your head you get a glimpse of top and your dream. But, do you really need to climb all the way up in one take? Of course not! If mountain climbers stop at several different base camps along the way, why shouldn’t you do the same? This is why it’s so important to have a plan! A plan with your dream in the top, with different milestones and side goals, that leads up to your dream from where you stand today.
Break it down
If your dream is to own a big, spacious photography studio, with big industrial windows facing north, with lots of space for your gear, Apple computers, cameras and flashes. You dream of your own studio where you can welcome clients, freely create and play Vivaldi and Taylor Swift on max volume. Do you really need or think it’s smart to sign a lease for a 200 sqm studio on the same day you decide to take the step? Before you even have clients, just because that’s your dream on the top of the mountain.
The answer is of course, no! You also don’t need to buy the most expensive camera or lenses for that matter either. You will be surprised of how much gear you can actually rent when you really need it. The same thing goes for studio time, office space or a desk, meeting rooms – yes, basically everything!
So, what you need to do now is to thoroughly write down what your dream is, what it contains beside the studio and the Hasselblad camera. What clients to you want, what image shall your brand have and so on. When you have this on paper its time to look where you are today. This means what you are doing right now and what do you have now. When you have done this, you simply have point A and point B, where A is today and B is the goal/dream:
Now you need to visualize what the steps and milestones between point A and point B could look like. This can for example be somewhere between 5–10 steps and milestones, where the first step can be getting 3 paying clients and step 4 can be renting a part of a studio, for example. These steps can of course change a bit as time goes on.
Now when you have these milestones and steps that will take you towards your dream and goal, it’s time to break them down in to smaller steps and goals.
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You can keep doing this in how many steps and goals you want. It can be as detailed as you want it to be. The smaller each step is, the easier it will be for your mind to conquer it.
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Now, when you look at your (before) unachievable dream, kilometers/miles up, you don’t see one gigantic leap, but several reachable goals along the way. Suddenly it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and scary any more…
Now it’s time to get started – step by step!