- July 7, 2021
As a child, I bathed in immense joy whenever my parents got me a new outfit. My major reason– It presented an opportunity for me to parade myself before the world. For them to see me and appreciate the new outfit that suited me just perfectly. Change, in this case, had come in form of my new outfit, which meant I would be donned differently. And it dragged with it the desire to see a beautiful next thing: the appreciation from all who would see me in my new outfit.
It’s in hindsight that I wonder, would I be heartbroken if I went out in my new clothes but then the world failed to appreciate me? I’ll be honest. Yes, that would hurt.
Now that’s something that change does– it pumps up anticipation for the next thing. Whether the next thing refines you or tears you apart, that’s up to you and your capacity to handle change.
How do you react to change? What’s your capacity for handling change?
Change is inevitable, and when it strikes, growth is optional. Life is a journey that occurs in stages and phases. It is change that marks the different phases and stages of life. Life is designed so that human beings are always looking forward to the next beautiful thing; thus, new beginnings become inevitable. We anticipate a new job believing it could have better opportunities for us to grow career-wise and financially.
We look forward to adding another degree or certificate with the hope that after the completion, it will birth something new and beautiful. We anticipate a new friendship or relationship with the hope that something new and great will come forth. There is always some sort of excitement whenever we think of or experience new things in our life.
In this article, I hope to lead us into tackling the things that make us hesitate to go for new beginnings when the winds of change blow our way.
1. Fear of the unknown
New beginnings often feel like a walk down an alley that leads to a dark cave where one cannot tell whether they will survive, or die. Many of us feel the same way when we want to pursue something we have not experienced before. The unknown always gives us tunnel vision; an impairment we so much fear, but should the presence of fear mean that we bolt for the nearest exit in times of uncertainty?
Fear is a big hurdle when one is in pursuit of destiny. We fear frustration, failure, the new job’s outcome, the new relationship, new school, new role; new responsibility. We fear it all, as long as we can’t see as far as we would want to see. And that’s the thing; the devil is always in the details.The unknown always gives us tunnel vision; an impairment we so much fear, but should the presence of fear mean that we bolt for the nearest exit in times of uncertainty? Click To Tweet
Additionally, the proverb, “it is better the devil you know than the angel you don’t know” is one of those statements that paralyze us from stepping out into a new phase because it depicts that something bad is better than something unknown. Well, if we hang on such, we might live on a treadmill forever. A place of motion but also a place of stagnation. An illusion of moving but never really going anywhere. In contrast, I say it is better to pursue unknown angels than die with known devils. Anytime we taste new grounds, we expose ourselves to growth. We expose ourselves to experiences. And every time we pursue our dreams, we get equipped. Even if the new beginnings don’t work out our way, eventually, they teach us the way.
2. Once bitten twice shy
What’s that they say about a child burnt once? He/she dreads the fire.
Our previous experiences become our greatest hindrances to our forthcoming experiences. A good friend of mine had her heart left in splinters at the hands of a romantic relationship. We were catching up a few days after she had undergone a serious break-up.
“I don’t know what love is. I don’t know what trust is. Because all I thought love was and all the trust I had was crushed in a day by the one who held my heart,” she lamented. Out of her heart-ripping experiences, she is scared to ever pursue love again. She is just an example of what many of us do when we are faced with bad experiences. We run away from the pain, the embarrassment, the disappointment, the feeling of failing.
The truth is, however, that mistakes are part of life. Mistakes shouldn’t stop us from getting what we deserve; rather, they should be stepping stones to get everything we desire. What happened to you should not prevent you from trying again, and shouldn’t make you curl up into a protective ball, fearing the kicks life may throw at you. Our experiences should give us lessons but not limitations. I invite you to ask yourself this rhetorical question, is your past a place of residence or a place of reference?
A broken heart can love again. Broken wings can fly again. A bad encounter can be relived in a better way. We just have to dare again, look life in the eye and say, hey, it’s me again, and yes, I dare.
Thomas Edison said, “Don’t worry if you fail once.” The legend goes that Edison, the inventor of the incandescent electric bulb, tried to perfect it and failed 10,000 times. In addition to this, he had been rendered redundant at two jobs. Nevertheless, he did not stop trying. Eventually, he said, “I did not fail. I learned 10,000 ways in which an electric bulb could not light.” Don’t let your past lock the door to your future. Try again. Just like Vince Lombardi said, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
3. People’s opinions
Every time one is ready to venture into something new, they often test the grounds by looking for opinions or stories from people close to them or from people who have tested those grounds. Sometimes we seek information from people who can be very pessimistic and they only serve to downgrade our vision. When I first wanted to stand on a podium and speak to people, I was fed with all kinds of information. You are not good enough. You are not old enough. You don’t have the right content. You are this, you are not that. Some people would say your audience is not meant for a speaker like you; your audience is this, your audience is that.
Interestingly enough, people who have tried and failed will be the most vocal at such times. But I realized what did not work for another doesn’t mean it will not work for me. We are all uniquely made for our distinct purposes. Cease from just believing in what people say but start believing in the power of your dreams, the essence of your presence, and the reason for your existence. If your heart beats for it, don’t let your ears stop you from pursuing it.
New beginnings are possible, and they are beautiful. Put on the garments of resilience, determination, patience, and boldness. Pursue your new beginning. If it scares you enough, it’s worth enough to take the risk. Every great person we see; be it a president, a minister, a business mogul, an actor, a producer– they all took that one step in life. Destiny does not happen by chance but by choice. You are one decision away from your next blessing. Stop at nothing. Go with everything.
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