Let’s say you’ve been led to move your body daily, hoping to drop some weight in the process. After reading positive research about the benefits of walking you decide that along with making healthier food choices, you’ll start logging in those 10,000 steps quoted in a study you’ve read deemed to be a reasonable amount for a healthy adult. You tell a friend. Turns out they’ve read a different study that found walking won’t help you lose weight. Refusing to waste another second of your valuable time on something that “won’t work anyway” you plop yourself down in your recliner, berating yourself for even considering that you’re capable of making positive changes in your body in the first place. That is the downside of research: when it makes you doubt the voice within that’s urging you to take action. I rely on accurate research in numerous areas of my life, especially health. But because it’s ever changing, open to interpretation, and rarely capable of realizing the ENTIRE PICTURE, it has its place, and that place is second to your own voice. You know- your other voice. The voice clamoring to be heard amidst the noise of the world. That’s the voice telling you what you need. Since this voice is individual to you, you are the only one who can hear it. Therefore, it stands to reason that when you begin to listen to this voice, what you hear may not align with the voices of the rest of the world, and it will take every ounce of internal fortitude you have to silence the outside noise in order to receive guidance intended solely for you. In the above scenario, Person X has been led by the urging of their voice within to re-examine their lifestyle habits and make changes. But upon finding “proof” that walking won’t have the desired effects on their body, they’re discouraged into doing nothing. Perhaps it’d be useful if I did a study that showed what percentage of the world felt powerless and depressed due to the subsequent inactivity brought on by reading studies about the scientific reasons why “this won’t work for you either.” But I digress… If Person X had instead listened to their own voice instead of becoming discouraged by the research, they’d have found that eventually the research may not have represented them anyway. Why? Because taking 10,000 steps a day wasn’t their whole story, but merely the first page of the first chapter. Unfortunately, the story never begins because Person X is still in the recliner. Had they begun with 10,000 steps, the part they felt confident they could do, they’d have been led gradually to the next thing, then the next, and so on. Chapter 2 may have seen them confident enough to add in weight training, and by Chapter 3, perhaps they were feeling so strengthened by the results of new behaviors that they were ready to address some relationship issues they’d been too fearful to tackle in the past. By Chapter 6, feeling lighter in both the figurative and literal sense of the word, perhaps their newfound vigor encourages someone else to get up out of their recliner also. And the journey continues. Not because they took 10,000 steps or 100,000 steps, but because they took the first step.
When you’re encouraged to take that first step in any manner you’re encouraged to take it, don’t let outside forces convince you it’ll be a waste of your time. Do the part you’re led to do without concern for what’s to come in the remaining chapters. They’ll unfold in their own time. And you’ll be the one writing them.