A new day, a new year, a new job, a new life, a new relationship, a new start—they all come to us without permission, in the best and worst way. They barge in our front doors with the beautiful promise of second chances and new potential and unexpected opportunity. And they also come with heartbreak, because new beginnings nearly always follow endings.
One thing that makes it so difficult to start something new is that we don’t really know where to start. Yes, of course the possibilities are endless. They are infinite, in fact. But that is part of what makes it so difficult to know exactly where to begin. Because where should you begin when you can begin anywhere? In the face of all that possibility, all that blank space, it is easy to feel a little intimidated, even a little lonely.
And I suppose that’s the second reason new beginnings can be a little challenging, because in addition to the fact that there are a million ways we could begin, there are also a million ways the story could end. We do not always get to choose our endings. In fact, most of the time we don’t. We commit ourselves to the process without any guarantee of how things will turn out.
This is the great risk of living our lives: there are so many things we don’t get to choose.
Change is like writing a novel. Staring at the blank page and the blinking cursor, with spiralling thoughts and doubts circling your mind, the infinite choices and possibilities ahead. Just like writing, there’s a sort of comfort to the messy middle. It would be easier to work with something that was already there and settle for the easy option in the road. But you have the power to say, “This is not how my story will end”.
You have to remember the 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. “You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in your life to change.” Starting a new year at school can be daunting, starting GCSE’s or A levels can be daunting, or joining a new school or university can be daunting. But exciting and new choices that lead to chances and ultimately change.
Change is hard and can bring a lot of anxiety, even when it’s good for us. Even when you’re in the middle of it, change is good. It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s part of life. Without change, we don’t grow and we become complacent. The balance on the seesaw becomes suddenly very one-sided.
Without the possibility of change, even the greatest gifts in our lives lose their luster, because we can take them for granted, knowing they could never go away.
While you can acknowledge feeling like you don’t know where to begin, it helps to remind ourselves that nobody knows exactly where to begin when they’re starting something new. It might seem like everyone else in your life has incredible clarity about their purpose and their plan and their intended outcome in this new step – meanwhile you’re stumbling around just trying to get off your sofa — but that is rarely the case. You’re all in the same boat.
Enjoy the now. Forget the burning questions and countless options and choices – and merely enjoy what each day brings, enjoy the hot summer sun on a beach with your feet up. Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t need to plan, set goals or prepare for the future. We can do all of these things and still enjoy each moment as it unfolds.
Living in the moment for me means letting go of the past and trusting in the future. When we are positive and optimistic in the present, we open the possibility of a positive and promising future.
References: Inspiration from Allison Fallon and Zig Ziglar (an American Author, salesman and motivational speaker)