Last week I visited a friend whose child is making the big leap from crawling to walking. It was hilarious to watch the little guy fly across the room in his aggressive and confident crawl, and then witness him teeter like a drunken old man while taking his first steps.

I was amazed that this baby even wanted to try to walk when he could crawl SO well– so quickly and efficiently. But he had woken up to the fact that he could not truly do all that he was meant to in life as a crawler! He had drive — an innate desire to walk! A messy journey perhaps, but inevitable.

Of course, I would not be me unless I immediately saw that baby’s journey as a metaphor for the moments when all of us, as individuals, are struck with an irrepressible desire to do something new in our lives.

Recently, I worked with a client who was taking baby steps away from a long-time career-from a world where her success was determined by title, salary and external approval. For so long, she had listened to a voice that told her to work long hours in a role that was disconnected from her natural gifts because it looked credible to the outside world.

This story allowed her to achieve a great deal of success — an MBA and a high-level position with a consulting firm. But it had taken its toll, and she often felt resentful and burned out. A decision had welled up from deep down to open up to something new. She was taking strides towards a new story of success; one based around helping people and solving problems for companies that truly connected to her interests. She was making the leap from crawling to walking.

Sounds exciting, right? Wrong! In reality, the process of waking up and taking those first steps in a new direction was confusing, painful and overwhelming.

She now had awareness that her old, fearful voice was not the only sheriff in town. She was compelled to honor her truth, which meant risking her old success strategies. It would certainly have been easier to stay asleep and unconscious, and at times she wished she could go back to the old world of crawling again so she wouldn’t have to feel the tug of this new direction.

But once she was AWAKE, there was no turning back! She knew that with commitment, practice and belief, her wobbly new way of being would soon morph into a stable, confident stride.

Where in your life are you waking up to something new? Are there times when you wish it would go away, so you could sleep comfortably again? What will unfold if you respond to that inner call, and begin practicing a new way of being in the world?

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