Inclusion is a journey, for a lifetime, not just a moment in time.
I was out for the winter walk with my husband the other day, we had a heavy snowfall followed by a cold snap. We went out West, where the snow at times can be 4-feet deep where no one has walked across it for a very long time, and if you are careful, you can walk across the top without breaking through and finding yourself waist-deep in snow.
I thought that we often help people take first steps, trust a little more to risk, and prepare for what to do when that one step breaks through the fragile top layer.
Doing something new can often feel like that first step where we need something to steady ourselves and support us in taking those first steps but knowing someone will be there if we fall through.
In my work, we rebuild people’s confidence to risk new connections and risk a little of themselves to find more of themselves in the process.
We openly acknowledge what it feels like to fall through the snow and how hard it is to get up without help. We also teach people to get up on their own and turn around to help others.
Building an inclusive culture means that we have to reassess our relationship with the first steps and being prepared for both the breakthrough moments and the rewarding path forward.
It’s ok to take the first step if you know how to lift yourself and others back up onto the path.