The First Step...can be the hardest

‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ 
 Lao-tzu – Chinese Philosopher

That initial step, that initial call, that initial movement towards making a change, can feel like the most difficult part of any journey.

It can feel risky to reach out; especially to someone we do not know. It can feel risky to let others know we are not coping and that we are struggling with who we are and how we are experiencing life. 

Let’s think back to when we are little and how we learn from a very early age, to move forward for survival. We learn to crawl and then move on to take that first amazing physical step. We begin to walk and move away from the safety and security of our parents’ arms. 

The infant forges ahead, crawling, then walking, running and jumping. The amazing freedom of movement into a wonderful world full of possibilities.

The secure parent allows the child to discover and learn by moving away from them, offering up a safe return when it is needed. These important first steps, allow the child to build up confidence and develop a true sense of their Self.

What happens if the parent is too anxious or nervous to allow the child to move away? Keeping the child close by and near to them, stunting their movement. What happens if the parent pushes the child away before it is ready to move? The parent disappears and is not there, when the child needs to return for safety?

The child can develop an anxious relationship with this natural process of movement, of taking a step away and forward into the world. Anxiety can be attached to reaching out either physically or emotionally and this can remain into adulthood. 

Just as we need to learn to take that amazing first step as children; as adults, we need to learn to trust again and reach out. Whether it is to a family member, a friend, a colleague or a therapist, to take that chance of movement can seem huge. 

Once you have begun your journey, the world again, can be full of possibilities, where you can gain a true sense of your self. 

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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