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Sometimes when we are dealing with an issue or problem in our lives, it can seem overwhelming. The change we need to make might be so big, it can seem impossible. We might not even know where to start.

In situations like these, it can be helpful to think about making a small course correction. When you are navigating a boat, a tiny shift in the direction you are heading can change your destination by hundreds of miles. In the same way, if you make even a tiny change in your life (but stay consistent with it), you can experience major changes down the road.

I remember counseling a client who was dealing with debilitating social anxiety. He didn’t have any friends, felt awkward in pretty much all social situations, felt very lonely, and was considering dropping out of school. After working on his anxiety for a while, I encouraged him to make a small course correction. Could he pick out one student group that was doing something he was interested in, and attend one meeting? He didn’t have to talk to anyone, but could he just attend one meeting?

This seems like a small step, and it was. But it was a course correction. Eventually, the client did go to the meeting, met some like-minded people, and made a few friends. These social connections were the start of his healing and growth process.

I remember when I wanted to get healthier and back in shape, I started with small course corrections. Could I stop eating junk food every day, and instead eat it only on the weekend? Could I switch from regular soda to diet soda? Could I just eat one helping of food at dinner? Could I go outside and jog for ten minutes? These were small course corrections, but over time they resulted in big changes.

Action Step: Think about the problem or issue that you are dealing with right now. What is one small course correction you could make today that might guide you in a different direction down the road?

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