Recently, I’ve been really into everything Jen Hatmaker has to say. I’m into her Facebook, I’m into her books and I am super into her podcast, For the Love with Jen Hatmaker. She is insightful, encouraging and freaking hilarious.
Earlier this year, she ran a series titled “For the Love of Women Who Built This.” On March 6th, she hosted her friend Jo Saxton (transcript found here!). I learned a lot from this little hour, but there is one thing I wanted to share with you and to gather my own thoughts around. Jo is a coach, speaker and mentor to people who are leaders and/or entrepreneurs. One of the most insightful things she shared is the fear that women have around their own success and how, for some reason, we always feel that what we produce has to be simply perfection.
She mentions that we tend to see success as finishing a marathon. We try to define success in the long run. We think that success will only be true when we’ve achieved the thing that seems far off, the ultimate end goal, the prize at mile 26. Except that the marathon goal doesn’t always motivate us…it actually turns us off to a place where we feel like we can’t actually accomplish that or much of anything at all. We are intimidated by the marathon. We freeze in the face of challenge and in the vastness of our dreams.
To this Jo says:
“I think the thing I prefer to see us as is when my kid took her first two steps, I remember she was frustrated at me. I think she was trying to get a bottle or something, and she took two steps towards me and then fell down. When a baby learns how to walk, celebrate the two steps, you don’t sit there thinking “Oh my gosh, you’ll never run a marathon,” you celebrate the two steps.”
You celebrate the two steps.
Small wins, friends. Just because you cannot see the finish line, or because the finish line seems impossible to reach, does not mean that you should not begin. We’ve got to learn to celebrate along our journeys and to define success in more palatable measures. Maybe success today means you told a friend about your dream, maybe it means you wrote one page that once felt daunting. It could be that you said yes to a date, that you reached out to mend a friendship or that you stopped scrolling long enough to recenter. Maybe success looks like a basic google search or a step of courage into something you know is meant for you but that brings you fear. Each of those deserves as much recognition as a final acceptance letter, a job offer, or whatever it is you are seeking in this season. Celebrating each step you take is an act of love, of giving yourself the grace to take the next. And truly, depending on what you’re walking through, these steps can feel miniscule. I’ve been there. Each tiny step gets you closer to your goal, closer to the surface, closer to feeling better…and teaches you something along the way.
Celebrate the two steps…yours and those you recognize in others.
Two steps today, miles soon.