In Austin yesterday I met Jodi, who was attending the panel I co-presented with Jonathan Fields. Jodi talked about recently taking her first trip abroad, to Europe.
Some active travelers might say a trip like that is “no big deal”—but I understood exactly why she was excited. When you’ve never left home, your first destination is most definitely a big deal.
Someone else wrote in to say they had been to “only” 20 countries. What? 20 countries is great. Plenty of people never go anywhere.
Someone else said their business was just getting started and made “only” $500 the first month. What? $500 is a lot of money. If you can make $500, you can probably make $5,000—but even if you never do, making any amount of money on your own for the first time is a highly notable event.
When we falsely compare ourselves to others, we needlessly belittle our accomplishments. We also give weight to the wrong idea that venturing out of our comfort zone is “no big deal” or that small successes are “overrated.”
But actually, doing what other people expect you to is what’s overrated. The external rewards for pursuing a dream may or may not arrive, but regardless, you should feel proud of doing so. The first steps are more important than the later ones, because they’ll provide inspiration and security for everything that comes later. Just keep walking!
Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.