By Nur Afiqah Bte Mohd Azman
The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance – and then even the small steps and small victories along your path will take on greater meaning. – Oprah Winfrey
To tart small is a magical action in our journey towards self-recovery.
For my self-recovery, I need to find ways to deviate from my negative thoughts.
I have a keen interest in Art. I feel happy that Club HEAL has art classes including pottery. When I first came to the rehab centre for my recovery, I had struggles with anxiety that had a voice of its own in my head.
I started to do a pottery by making a ladybird with barks of woods using moist clay. The first pottery is an achievement during my initial struggles. This small step of following with the pottery lesson in the first week is the most important step of my recovery journey. My latest pottery making is a teapot. I mixed terracotta and white clay on top of one another and as I was figured out that I could actually trim the sides with a tool and made it look like Jupiter from the outside.
Two of my core identities that I want to achieve is to be a writer and be a mental health advocate. I chanced upon an opportunity to write for the Club HEAL’s Mentallyblessed.blog. I decided to contribute up to two articles per month as a small step.
To be a mental health advocate, I decided to volunteer at the Institute of Mental Health two days per week. This involves taking part in the tea break session with a certified Peer support Specialist and a group therapy session with other peers.
We cannot conquer a dream with a big leap. We need to take small steps with love and patience to appreciate the long journey of our dreams.
For instance, when each of us is just a little baby, we have no knowledge of the world. We need time to roll on the ground, to learn how to stand up and fall and finally to take small steps to walk from point A to point B.
Have you thought of how you can small steps to achieve your own recovery journey and dreams?
What are your strengths and capabilities?
Let me give you some guidance to start with.
List up to 5 core identities that you want to be.
It will start with “I want to ……. “
The core identities are based on your strengths that you have an interest in. This does not mean we have to be super talented in it. We need time and effort for the skills to mature and develop. Patience is the key because we cannot expect to be good in a skill within a week. For instance, it took me 2 years to figure out the basics and to actually know how to use a DSLR camera. For writing, I started writing when I was really young. I used to love the write poems about random topics. It takes time to nurture the love of writing and to be actually be good at it.
For fitness, I have always loved doing yoga since about 6 years ago to relieve stress by following the steps in Youtube videos.
It is normal to make mistakes because we learnt through making mistakes. Try not to beat yourself too much just because you take a longer to master a skill than others because everyone is different and all of us learnt differently. Just be kind to yourself when you face mistakes and learn a thing or two from it. Gradually, you will be good at it.
Let me you an overview of my core identities that have shaped my life.
My core identities are
- I want to be a fitness junkie.
- I want to be photographer.
- I want to be a writer.
- I want to be a mental health advocate.
- I want to be a believer.
List down all the possible small steps to reach each core identity.
Small steps for core identity number 2.
- I will take up to 5 nice photos of the scenery with my phone each day.
- I will pick the best photo.
- Post it in Instagram and create a good caption.
Small steps for core identity number 3.
- I will think of one title to write for the article.
- I find a safe space in my room.
- Get ready a hot milo drink.
- Open the laptop and Microsoft word document.
- Start to write the first paragraph.
I find that intention to write is very important because it will get into the flow of writing and it will be hard to stop writing.
And remember to reward yourself after completing the small steps to achieve a task. For example, a reward could be to listen to your favourite music.
As you progress on, you will find that this small step becomes part of your routine habit and shapes you as an individual. Each individual is unique and none of our journey is the same. It becomes part of your identity that you will be proud of. Start today. Start now. Who knows you will be someone different in your future self than the present and the past.