I honestly believe the old saying is true, “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”. If you have been around long enough, I am sure you can think of at least one time in your life when something that at one point seemed right and good, suddenly or maybe not so suddenly came to an end only for something even better to begin. I myself can think of several times this has happened to me throughout my own life and while sometimes endings can be difficult and even sad, they almost always come with the promise of a fresh start and that all-important feeling of hope that something even better is right around the corner.
What is so great about life is that each and every morning that we are lucky enough to open our eyes we are given the chance to start over. Every single one of us is given a clean slate every day to do with it what we will and in my experience even when we decide to change up even one little thing in our lives that may not be working so well for us anymore or that just may have run its course, a chain reaction often happens. For example, almost three years ago I decided to start taking better care of myself. I didn’t go crazy and buy every diet pill out there or join the most expensive gym I could find and spend hours a day there but I did commit to eating out less and working out for 30 minutes a day to get myself on the right track.
That one pretty small decision snowballed into so many positive things happening in my life such as getting off the anxiety medication I had been on for years, starting this blog, reconnecting with old friends, and even getting a promotion at work and buying my first house! I had gotten sick and tired of the way I looked and felt and just decided it was time to start fresh.
That is how it usually happens though, right? We get sick and tired of the current situation we are in and finally decide to do something about it. And while sometimes the universe does it for us, we always at least have the power to control how we react to it being time to start over. By this point in my life I have of course realized that change is inevitable, so why not embrace it, make the best of it and come out the other side of it a better, stronger, smarter, and more badass version of you?! Below are some ways that we can shift our mindset from being tentative and maybe even afraid of change to being excited about the possibilities it might bring:
Accept that is it indeed time to make that fresh start. Make peace with the fact that a new chapter is necessary and begin to think of all the possibilities that lay in front of you as opposed to dwelling on what you are leaving behind in the past Take an honest account of your life and hold on to the things that make you happy and put behind you the things that don’t. Life is moving forward one way or the other after all, so why not live for what could be instead of what was.
Pull off the proverbial band-aid. If you have been thinking about it for a while, feeling the change coming, or just been hesitant to make that jump, my advice is just JUMP! Life is too short people! That little 6th sense that we all have telling us something is over, something is not right anymore, or something has run its course is very rarely, if ever wrong. Listen to your intuition and just go for it.
Work on changing old habits and forming new ones. So often in life we get into ruts because we just accept that the way things have been is the way it has to be. It is never too late to start over you guys. It is never too late to learn something new, to meet new people, to take up a new hobby or even just to alter a routine you have been in or a mindset you have had forever. Make conscious decisions to change what is isn’t working until you find what does.
Talk to someone. Reach out to a friend or family member who knows you well and have an honest discussion about what is going on. Very often I find it is invaluable to get an outsider’s opinion as they may see things much more objectively than we are able to. We have the tendency to wear blinders when it comes to our own lives so talking through a situation with someone who is not directly involved in it may just provide us the right amount of clarity we need to finally make that fresh start.
Don’t wait for the “right time”. You will probably find yourself waiting a long time because there very rarely is a right time to do something that we might, at least at first, find scary. Don’t wait for a new year or a new month or even next Monday. Decide, commit, and do everything in your power to get yourself where you truly want to be the instant you feel like a fresh start is necessary.
Don’t worry about what other people will think. This isn’t their life after all. You need to do what is right for you without fear of judgment or disapproval because you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make, not them. If you decide to stay in a situation that is not making you happy then you decided to live with it. If you decide to do something about it and are brave enough to take that leap, tune out any negativity that may come your way and celebrate the fact that you were strong enough to do what is best for you. But either way, do it for you. Not for anyone else. You have one life. Live it exactly how you want.
Get out of your comfort zone. Just because something is familiar and “normal” to you does not necessarily make it right. The normal reaction to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones is to just not do it. Our comfort zones are warm and inviting, and well comfortable for a reason. But no real meaningful change happens there. We often have to get uncomfortable for a little bit to find something even better on the other side of the temporary struggle it will take to get there.
Try something new. Maybe you know it’s time for a change but you just don’t exactly know what that should look like. That’s ok! There are so many things out there that you can start doing or try for the first time to get yourself at least moving forward. Sign up for a race. Go skydiving. Join a book club. Take a class on something you have always been interested in. Like I mentioned above, oftentimes taking one step forward, making one small adjustment or baby step in the right direction can lead to much larger, more meaningful changes happening down the road.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of life y’all. I have failed so many times I have lost count but what I haven’t done is quit. Every time I have fallen flat on my face, I have picked myself up and started anew. Failure offers us a wonderful chance to take stock of ourselves, our actions, and our behavior so that we can avoid making the same mistakes again. I have come to the point in my life where I truly believe if you haven’t fallen you haven’t tried hard enough. Fail a hundred times if you have to because when that one time comes that you succeed all those failures will have been more than worth it.
Believe that you are worth it. Don’t settle you guys. You deserve all the happiness in the world, but guess what the world is probably not going to hand it to you. Love yourself enough to let go of things that are not truly making you happy so you can pursue what does. And don’t be reactive about it. Be proactive. Make that change. Go ahead and jump. Take it upon yourself to better a bad situation. Shed what is holding you back and find what makes every day a day you look forward to waking up and embracing life to the fullest.
Fresh starts come in all shapes in sizes. Sometimes they are major events like ending a long-term relationship you thought would last forever, or finally leaving that job you have been talking about leaving for years, or picking up and moving across the country just because you have always wanted to live somewhere else. They also might be smaller events like dyeing your hair pink just because you have always wanted to do so or adding to your family by adopting a new pet, or maybe it’s just waking up one morning and deciding to start eating healthier and exercising a bit because it is finally time to take better care of yourself. Whatever change you feel you may be needing, just go for it! I am not saying it is going to be easy or quick or painless but sometimes you don’t even know how badly you need it until you start moving in the right direction.
Stay safe and healthy out there you guys…and don’t forget to be kind to each other!!