Small Steps

Every journey begins with the first step.

Often we find that the hardest thing to do is to start, but then once we get going it’s not as bad or difficult as we thought it would be. Our minds can play that trick on us sometimes.

This mission is about how you take action by finding first, small steps for something you’ve been trying to do. It could be anything – a big new project or something you’ve been wanting to do for a while but just haven’t felt able to start.

Let’s get the fear thing out of the way first

You may have heard classic motivation phrases like:

“The only failure is failing to try”


“Failure is success if we learn from it”

But it’s true! It’s one of THE most important lessons in life. In fact, here’s another one, “If you aren’t failing you’re probably not innovating”

However, in truth, failure can hurt. It’s hard not to take it to heart, take it personally, and be discouraged from trying again.

Learning from failure

“forget the past but remember the lesson”

In Taqaddam, we believe that a learning mindset is crucial, and something that can be practised.

And if you’ve got something you want to do, say or create; if you have something that will be positive for you, for others, your communities or the world; if you have an idea worth following – then follow it wherever it takes you and to the best of your abilities.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Paulo Coelho

(Also, see Resilience in the Moving Forward module)

Taking the first steps

Let’s begin by getting some practice by helping these people take their first step.

You can get some paper and a pen if it helps, or just take a moment to really think about it. Think about things that they can do immediately, that they don’t need permission for, and don’t need loads of resources for either.

– Salma wants to run a popular vlog… What’s her smallest step? (For example, she could record a short video and send it to friends for feedback)

– Kareem likes running but he really wants to challenge himself to run a marathon… What’s his smallest step?

– Ahmed loves riding and fixing bikes and wants to make a bit of extra money… What’s his smallest step?

– Nadia wants to set up a mental health organisation… What’s her smallest step?

Step 1: Now think of something that you would like to do and write it in the centre of a piece of paper

Step 2: Mindmap all of the things that you need to do in order to achieve that goal. Write all the things you can think of no matter how big or small.

Step 3: Now using a different colour, write down all the things that you need to make this happen, like more confidence in yourself, the courage to share, or support from a technical friend.

If you’ve written those things already, just circle them with the new colour.

STEP 4: You should now have lots of different things that you need to do in order to achieve this goal.

Now answer these 4 questions about how you could apply your life skills.

– How could you use your confidence?
– What might build your confidence to undertake it?
– What creative approaches could you use?
– How can you collaborate with someone?

STEP 5: Choose the first step. What one thing from this page of ideas will you commit to, now? Once you’ve decided, write it down… or go and do it straight away!

Keep going!

No need to stop there. You’ve chosen a first step, but if you can imagine the next steps too then record those too

Write down possible next steps, however small they may be.

Now take a picture of your mindmap and click below…