To move forward, we must stop starting over and instead begin again. But, unfortunately, we sometimes reach a place in our lives where to begin again is our only option. We have held a vision near our hearts with plans of how our lives would be, only to realize that life has an entirely different agenda.
When life’s plan derails yours, It is not the easiest thing to experience or accept. You feel like you have failed, are embarrassed to be back at square one, and are ashamed to tell anyone you have to start over—your time and effort in getting where you now seem like a waste. You are disappointed, depleted, and uncertain whether you have the energy to try again. It may feel like it is best to do nothing—throw in the towel. But, what is the point anyway? In part one of this two-part article, we shared six ways to begin again, and today we are sharing the other four ways.
In part one, I talked about trusting yourself, assessing, and accepting where you are now. We also discussed the possibilities available to you, determining where and how you will get there. And we finished the article by designing a road map to get you there and how necessary consistency and baby steps are in the process of beginning again.
Read on for four ways to continue your journey to begin again.
To begin again does not mean a grandiosity of things; it is simply moments of meaningful change.
After part one of this article was published, I got questions like: “does it not mean I am starting from scratch”; “I think it is starting over,”; “it is just me starting from square one.” I believe this way of thinking is misleading and demotivating. We never start from scratch in any situation. I do not think you can ever go back to square one.
We are different from yesterday, and next week we will be different from last week. We have had so many experiences along life’s path and learned so many new things that it is impossible to start from scratch.
Through this process, you may feel like you are back to where you started, and you will never get to that new feel-good, happy, and peaceful place. But think about it this way, you are different in many ways. And yes, your progress may be tiny and slow, but it is progress, and it will get you to that place. Stay the course.
Give yourself grace, and be kind and compassionate to yourself.
We are our harshest critics. As I write this, I am still drying my tears—I spent the last hour crying, questioning how I got here. I took a moment and reminded myself of a promise I made myself. I promised that when things seem to be moving slower than I would like, and I am thinking and feeling bad about myself, I would give myself grace and remind myself that I am doing this for me and I am doing the best I can at this moment. And I reminded myself of how far I have come and how proud I am of attempting to begin again.
Be kind and compassionate to yourself because it is never an easy task when we choose to do something for ourselves. I can almost guarantee that it is the most challenging task you have decided to do. If working on ourselves and making positive life changes were easy, everyone would do it. And we would all be living in a fantastic world. But most people prefer not to try or throw in the towel too soon and stay where they are comfortable because it is difficult.
Be willing and courageous.
Maya Angelou said that courage is the greatest virtue of all. And she was right. In the last year and a half, I have learned what courage is. And how important it is to build that muscle to move forward in our lives [I still have ways to go].
You may feel like I did when I started this journey—like a failure. Hey, I felt that way an hour ago. We feel like we should know better than to accept the same shitty treatment from others again and again. Or we should understand better than to keep making the same mistakes repeatedly.
But I believe the real beauty here is that you have the courage and willingness to want better, to want different things, and to do something about it. I believe that being aware that things need to change and being proactive in making those changes is what matters. It is what will get you to the next step. It is you getting up and beginning again that matters.
Just do it
Getting discouraged, disappointed, angry, frustrated, ashamed, and sorry for yourself is easy. But stepping out on faith to begin again is magical—you see the difference. You will realize that some things that mattered no longer do, the sadness that once consumed you, is slowly lifting away like an early morning fog, and there is a glimpse of light out there.
And even when that glimpse of light is not visible, or you break down in tears, know there is progress. Know those simple moments of meaningful change are happening below the surface. Know that growth is taking place even during those uncertain times. And rest in confidence that beginning again is the greatest gift you have given yourself because the benefits of the change you will experience outweigh the difficulty of embarking on this journey.
So, my Dahlings, I want to empower you and inspire you to begin again whenever you choose.