We’ve all gone through difficulties over the last year…ha! “Difficulties.” Isn’t that the understatement of the century! My point, however, is that we’ve all had mountains to climb. A lot of our mountains are similar — we’re dealing with a pandemic. But everyone’s individual mountain is different. Maybe you lost a job — or perhaps you kept your job but lost your motivation. Or maybe you’re working from home now with three kids. Maybe you’re dreaming of starting a company, but now feels like the worst possible time to do that. Maybe you’ve been sick — or maybe it’s someone you love. Maybe your family grew, and quarantine made that painful, rather than celebratory. Or maybe your family ties have been strained.

We all have different mountains to climb, even though we’ve all been facing a similar mountain. 

And it struck me as I considered this that no matter what our mountain looks like, to each of us, it’s a mountain. It’s huge. It’s intimidating. And getting over it can feel impossible. We see just how much work needs to be done, and we can feel paralyzed. Or, even if we are making progress, we treat that progress as inconsequential. Why should we acknowledge or even celebrate one measly step, when we have a whole mountain to climb?

A better question to ask would be, why wouldn’t you? 

When you’re facing an enormous challenge or stressor, moving through it is painful. Which is why every single step that gets us further along in that process is incredible! Give yourself permission to celebrate it, if you can, or at the very least — acknowledge and take pride in the work you’re doing.

As leaders, we tend to see the big picture. That can be good. But if we get lost in that big picture and dismiss the steps toward progress, we’re not helping ourselves — and we’re certainly not helping our team.

Here’s another way to look at it. Science has shown us that nothing is solid. There’s space between molecules and therefore, everything is permeable if you were small enough to fit through the spaces.  Sometimes the smallest little thing can end up making the greatest progress in the end.

Celebrate each step no matter how small. It’s all permeable — we can get through anything.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash