One of the sayings that I believe in and constantly remind myself of is that “everybody has their own demons.” And it’s true: we are humans with human emotions and human lives that we live. Each of us creates our own life and builds our own path, yet we must constantly recognize that living life, building paths, and feeling emotions isn’t always perfect. In fact, it’s never perfect. We are, after all, “only human,” as the saying goes. We are built to be inherently imperfect, and are constantly challenged by demons that we face.
These demons may take any form– they vary from person to person. Just as there is no fingerprint exactly the same, or no identical snowflake, the things that challenge each of us are unique and one of a kind.
So we are left facing what challenges us, to overcome our adversities. But how can you try to tackle a challenge that feels so much your own? That is so much part of your personality and who you are? A challenge that only you can fully understand?
Take small steps, climb big mountains.
There’s that saying, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
When I look at the demons I face, or when you look at your own, think of that. Since every one of our personal experiences in life is so different, what could be defined as a “success” for one person may look insignificant to another, or vice versa. Often, we punish ourselves, feeling that the magnitude of a success defines whether or not we have conquered our battles, rather than allowing ourselves to be proud of the steps we make.
Yet, that couldn’t be farther than the truth, because the silent successes, the small, barely perceptible steps inching forwards, are the true moments in which we succeed. Those are the times that we face our demons head-on on our own, and win. They may be material, or physical, or even as minute as a mere thought. But they happened and they moved you forwards because of it.
What every person wants is recognition of success, and often those small steps are downplayed or even taken advantage of when the recognition, especially from others, isn’t there. They seem so little that we fail to pause and congratulate ourselves on what we have done right. We focus on the small step, and fail to see the mountain we are climbing. We may even compare our success to that of others, wistfully wondering why something that may be so difficult for you is second –nature for them.
That mountain, it sits all around us. It is full of rocky terrain, uneven surfaces, subzero temperatures, and wild animals. It’s cold and wet and intimidating. Close up, it looks like a wall of rock and snow staring you in the face, blocking you from what you want on the other side, taunting you. Everything about such a mountain seems impossibly broad—so large you cannot even fathom where to start.
There’s two ways to climb that mountain: you can take a helicopter to the top, or you can throw on boots, grab and ice pick and a heavy jacket, and bunker up for a tough trek. Sure, option #1 sounds pretty nice—you could even find a first-class helicopter with padded seats and a free beverage service. But when you look outside in the world surrounding that mountain, the helicopter seems simply futile. That cup of warm tea will only last so long, and first class seats are a luxury. Eventually, the helicopter will land, and the snowy tundra will still be there to slap you in the face as you emerge from its safe cockpit. So what do you do? You choose path #2. First you choose it. Then, my friends, you start.
Where? Right here.
How? Simply go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, “simply go.” If only it were that simple right? Okay, it’s not. But I’ll ask you a question right now, and I want you to answer it to yourself. Think it, or better yet, say it out loud. Sing it. Scream it. Write it out. Tattoo it on your forehead (okay, don’t do that, but you get my point).
Here’s the thing: even if at this moment in time you rolled your eyes, crossed your arms, and said “I’ll try” with an attitude and sass, you did what you told me two paragraphs ago “wasn’t that simple.” I told you to simply go. You just went. You took a small step, you just didn’t see it. And in that small step, you are climbing that big mountain.
Climbing a mountain is never easy. You will inherently find yourself out of breath, tired, and at times, you’ll want to just throw in the towel and turn around, or stop. In those moments, do two things: look behind you, and look in front of you. Look behind you to see your footprints—the sum total of all of your baby steps forward—and then turn your head and look towards the top. Even if you can’t see the summit of your mountain, I can assure you that it’s there. It may be simply obscured by the clouds close-by, and when you take small steps forward, you are that much closer to your goals.
Take small steps, climb big mountains.
Look inside yourself today, and know your demons. Know they are unique your own, and that even if others cannot see them all the time, know they’re there, and that you deserve to beat them. Then, Let loose enough to congratulate yourself for what you have done well.
Don’t undermine the mountains ahead of you. You are unique and special, and each person’s mountain is different to the next. The one thing, however, that they have in common, is that the only way to get over them is to go up. And the best way to go up?
You covered step one already, so step two, here you come. Then three. Four. Five.
Each step is a success. Take it. Breathe, Give yourself a pat on the back. Look backwards, look forwards. Take another step.
Now, look behind you again. There’s that mountain. Behind you.
In taking those small steps, you climbed that big mountain. Look at you go, Everest explorer!
Have a fantastic afternoon, peeps! I hope this slightly different blog today gave you a little mid-week inspiration.