Beginning A New Chapter

standing on the edge

When we’re faced with the opportunity to embrace a new phase of life, the fear of moving forward often manifests itself in a sequence of well-rehearsed excuses.

Fill in the blanks: ‘I am not ready, strong, capable, experienced, talented enough…’ Even when reminded that we can’t start the next chapter of our life if we keep rereading the last one, all too often the powerful voice of hesitation convincingly steps in and holds us back.

So many times the response to change is convoluted by design. Its purpose is to freeze action and say, ‘I can’t move on to Chapter 2 because I didn’t really understand what Chapter 1 was all about.’ Or, ‘Chapter 1 was kind of hard and I’m scared.’  With this attitude, it’s very difficult to move forward because we seem to be forever going back to take another look at what could have been done differently.

The fundamental flaw in this approach to life is that the fear of moving forward negates all action – in any direction. The obsessive need to repeatedly dissect the past, put emotions under a microscope, analyze and endlessly remix the music, is futile and inhibiting. The habit of constant reflection on the past stops us from moving ahead to exciting new opportunities.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to help you handle those obstacles and turn endings into beginnings.

Show a Little Gratitude for the Small Things

However much or little was learned from the lessons of the past, there is always some form of transformation that enriches the journey forward. Every ending points to the fact that something has reached a conclusion and that a seed of knowledge and wisdom needs to be carried forward, to be applied in a new setting.

Be grateful for the awareness that there is more to learn. The situation may not seem finished, but the new – even slightly improved – ‘you’ that is in the process of being shaped is priceless.

Keep Reading and Writing – Be a Lifelong Learner

Complexity offers a deeper understanding of a situation, so don’t push fear away. Push through it. Look upon confusion and hesitation as gifts, important elements in the process of learning. It’s much better to focus on the opportunity ahead, not the failure or disappointment that now lies behind.

Think of something you feared and then accomplished, and know that whatever you did yesterday – win or lose – has deepened your understanding and increased your data bank of experience and wisdom. Even though you may not see how much you’ve grown, the only way to prove it to yourself is to test your wings by moving ahead!

Use Your Fear and Take that Little Risk

Sometimes you’ll be called upon to make tough decisions. At such times, it’s important not to second-guess yourself or the people who intersect with you. Take that jump, that small leap of faith. Reach out and go for new challenges with no regrets. Open your heart to confidence, intimacy and joy.

Let fear itself be a stimulus to ignite your creativity and wonder and have courage to leave things behind, to walk out without a visible safety net. Fear is the mortal enemy of creativity, innovation and happiness. Do not be afraid of your own life.

Every Chapter is Important

You’ve heard it said that each of us is the author of our own life; that ‘we live our life as a tale that is told’. If our story is to be coherent and meaningful, there comes a time when we need to close a chapter and begin the next. Recognizing when it’s time to do this is part of the art of living.

Perhaps now is the time to pick up a new pen and start writing the story of the new you – a brand new chapter focused on living in the now, with your words and your actions in harmony; your head pointed towards a fresher, brighter future.

That wily old philosopher, Socrates, knew what he was talking about when he said: ‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new’.

You were not made to stand still for too long. Isn’t now the time to move on, move forward, and take that jump into a brighter, fresher future? Turn the page now and start writing. This really is your story – make it a good one.

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