When I stepped outside to sip my coffee this morning, a plump fluffy baby bird was there quivering on the deck. Its little body was soft with baby feathers, but its wings were strong and smooth like adult wings.
Baby bird must’ve attempted its maiden voyage out of the nest from one of the tall trees above, and careened down onto the deck.
Niece Emilia joined and we watched it chirp loudly at random intervals, but not really seem to know what to do with itself. It didn’t know how to use those wings yet.
The girls went off to camp and I was out there doing my work, editing on my laptop for the Tune Up Fitness blog, but regularly peeking over to see what junior would do next.
After about 45 minutes of shivering and crying, mom showed up. She perched on a branch above and chirped encouragingly as if to say, c’mon! You can do it! You have full grown wings now you know!
But baby bird just didn’t believe in itself. It wouldn’t try.
The chirps got stronger (I don’t want to judge but the word “panicky” does come to mind). Mom flew away, and then came back a minute later, stood next to the chick, and gave it some snacks – twigs she fed straight into its beak. Then she flew off again.
A few minutes later the chick made its first attempt and hopped/flew down to a bit of roofing below the deck. Not long after that it attempted flight again and landed on the hood of the car parked further below.
Then I went inside to make breakfast, and when I came out baby bird was gone. I walked down to the street, and heard the same little voice chirping… up above now.
Baby bird must’ve finally figured out it had grown-up wings because it was high on a branch a good 20 feet up, well above the hood of the car where I’d last seen it. Its fluffy little breast tremoring in the late morning breeze.
This is a perfect illustration of something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately: the importance of taking action. Taking action even though you don’t know if your wings work (yet). Taking action to find out.
You know you have grown-up wings, right?
You’ve been afraid of making the next move because you’re measuring what you are capable of according to the past.
But you’re looking in the wrong direction.
Don’t look to the past for evidence of what’s possible. You won’t find it there.
Just set the goal, and take the first step toward it.
I know, I know, you want to hang out and analyze your thoughts. You want to dip into your stories of past trauma. You want to explain over and over why you can’t. Can’ts are much more comfortable. But they aren’t true.
The truth is, you can.
Stop chirping about why you can’t. You got this. It’s time to go.
What’s the worst that can happen? Your fluffly little body lands on another surface. Then you try again.
You just need to take the next action, and the next.
A series of new actions strung together will lead to a new result. Always. That new result will disprove the beliefs that’ve thwarted your progress.
Once you start, a momentum begins. You string one action into the next, into the next and you’re moving, you’re rising, holy cow you’re on a much higher new branch!
The comfort of immobility turns into the thrill of momentum when you take one action, then the next, then the next.
You gotta start though. Then you gotta start again, and again.
What is the action that you are avoiding, my friend? Where is nature calling you next?
I’m just here chirping at you encouragingly, baby. Because I am certain you can. You are ready. You were born for this.
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