The first step to your breakthrough

Do you need some kind of breakthrough in your life?

At this moment in time, I have a feeling a lot of us are saying “yes” to that question. Maybe you’re looking for a breakthrough related to your work, or relationships, or health, or parenting, or finances.

No matter the area of life, I invite you to ask yourself this question:

Is there something I’m not doing, that I could do, to participate in my own rescue?

In other words, is there a baby step you could you take, today, that would give you a better chance of experiencing your breakthrough?

Maybe you’re already doing all you can, and if so, great. This is not about putting another burden on you. If you’re already stretched to the max, then the thing you need to do–that you’re not doing–may be to just breathe, and rest.

Do your best and rest is one of my go-to mantras.

Most of us, though, are not doing all we can. We are tired, and afraid, and [insert limiting belief here]… so we wait, and hope, and pray… for “someday” when everything will work out. When all of this will be behind us.

Hope is good. Prayer is good. Waiting (patiently) is good. Unless…. it is used to justify inactivity, or disengagement, or complacency… because that is not the life experience you were created for.

I was reminded of a story in the Bible recently that speaks to this. (And, by the way, if the Bible isn’t “your thing,” pretend this is just a fable and you’ll get the point just the same.)

This story is in a book called Joshua.

In the third chapter of Joshua, a group of people need to cross over into the promised land. A river stands between them and this land, though. God tells them, through a man named Joshua, that he has their back:

The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.

Joshua 3:13 (New Living Translation)

Whew, because this was not looking so good for us!

But, did you catch that one “little” detail where they were told to step into the water–before it parted? You know it would have been so much easier and less stressful if God had parted the water first and then said, “Okay, you can cross now.”

If God was already planning to do this amazing thing, then why make the people step into the water in the first place?!

Exactly why the story happened this way, I don’t know, but I wonder… Is it possible that God simply wanted them to participate in their own rescue? Is it possible that your and my current circumstances are asking us to do the same?

I know I’ve done this with my son many times:

“Yes, I can help you, but you’re going to have to participate. You can’t just sit there doing nothing (when you are very capable of doing something).”

But there’s something else, too. Taking a step into the water–into the unknown, into the uncertainty, into the “danger”–requires faith. It stretches you. There’s no growth that happens when you walk into a space where the outcome is certain. See: comfort zone.

Also, if everything always “magically” worked out with no effort on your part, it could easily create a sense of entitlement, where you go through life saying, “you do it for me.” In contrast, when you step into the water and then you see the water part, you’ll walk out with a sense of expectation–the confidence that “if I do my part, I know I’ll be supported.”

Now let’s get out of this old story and back to your life.

Have you experienced something in your life, where you took some initiative, and then something positive happened, that may not have even been directly related to your action… yet it brought a desired (or better than desired) outcome?

I’ve seen this several times in my life and business. For example, where I needed a financial boost, so I made a plan and engaged in some new marketing or sales effort–like sending out an email broadcast. Then, in short order, revenue came in, but with no direct connection to that email.

In other words, I can’t say “I made that happen,” but I can certainly say that I was participating. I can’t prove anything because we’re dealing in the realm of the unseen, yet it’s happened so many times that I know there is a correlation.

I look at these moments, now, as the evidence that I am supported, rather than just exceptions where I got lucky.


Where can you find the evidence in your past to give you the confidence you need to face today’s challenges?

Dwell on that for a few moments. Remember the details. Remember how it felt to realize you were supported. To experience that breakthrough. Were you amazed? Excited? Joyful? Grateful?

Go there and feel that feeling now. And then, coming back to today, you can ask:

Is there something I’m not doing, that I could do, to participate in my own rescue?

Remember, you don’t have to go in over your head. Just… one… step. Which reminds me of something a friend offered me as a word of encouragement during a difficult season of life: one foot in front of the other.

The next step is all that’s ever required. That just might be the one that creates your breakthrough. It’s certainly the one to bring you closer to it.

You don’t have to do it all on your own. But, you do have to participate. 😉

If this inspires you, please share with someone else who needs the encouragement. And, click here to get your free copy of Shawn’s ebook, Unstoppable, and receive a new inspirational message in your inbox every week.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

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