As the world is undergoing a great many changes currently, so are many people’s lives. To the point whereby many are starting afresh in a variety of ways. That’s what I’m writing about today…
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own” – Michelle Obama.
Coronavirus is on everyone’s minds and has become part of most people’s lives and one can’t help but think that life is changing in a strange and surreal manner.
People are suffering in a variety of ways, many every day activities have come to a grinding halt and many people have lost their jobs, lost their businesses or had to adapt their roles greatly in order to cope.
For many, this is the time to think about starting afresh and perhaps to start hatching plans.
Courage is contagious too, as is hope. Whilst there is so much uncertainty and despair, there is also hope and courage.
Hope – that we resilient humans have always found a way forward. (you can read much more about this topic here: Finding Hope in Difficult Times)
Courage – that in the face of pain or grief, we can always dig into our deep reserves of strength and find new opportunities.
Could you instead use this moment to pause, press “reset” and start afresh and could you use this time to create a new beginning of your own choosing? For many, this is daunting, of course it is, big life transitions often are, but it is also a chance to get excited and dictate our lives should we choose to do so.
Where do you start?
One thing which is clear is that we are moving towards a “brave new world” – a new normal and that this new brave world will accelerate a range of new trends, it’ll fundamentally change several aspects of our society and create new opportunities in all manner of places for varying different people..
And so it is worth thinking about what is changing:
In general, people are at home more and at-home experiences, especially online experiences are booming. Kettlebells, yoga mats and jigsaw puzzles have been amongst the most popular search terms in the past couple of months.
More and more people are using online wellness, home entertainment (think virtual pub quizzes, online cooking classes), streaming services, and mental well-being apps. I’ve been running a lot of courses and other initiatives online myself, I’ve had to, and the demand for that has been greater than before.
So how do you go about starting your new beginning? The fundamentals remain the same with some tweaks based on the situation. The big challenge is often making the decision to start afresh; mustering the courage and stepping out in the new direction you’ve chosen.
Here are some top tips to start afresh:
Everybody has heard the words, “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” As much as these words resonate within us, as I’ve already mentioned, it’s admittedly a little scary to take chances. The word itself suggests a risky little gamble. Letting go of everything that’s comfortable and taking a new journey step-by-step to a place unknown is quite unnerving. Now tell yourself this, “So what?” So what if it’s daunting to start afresh? Is there a better alternative and finally ask yourself this question, “If not now, then when?”
Below is the list of how to successfully let go of the things that may well be holding you back and help mobilise you to start afresh.
Take a stock of your goals
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot.
Wharton management professor Andrew Carton has found that one reliable way to boost motivation is to conjure a very vivid, real-life vision of a day in the future that will be made possible by achieving your goal.
Remember those dreams you had as a child? Are they still just dreams? If they are, perhaps it is time for you to reassess your life. No, seriously. As silly or stupid as those dreams may be, you have a duty to yourself to aim for living them, and loving the journey as you take aim. Think about it this way, if it’s taken you so long to fulfil the dreams of the younger you, how much longer will it take for you to get to the big dreams of today that you have for yourself? The ones that you always think about seconds before you fall asleep. The ones you know are going to haunt you if you don’t.
If you’re at crossroads in your life, or even if you aren’t; knowing what you want from life is one important way to decide what you’re going to do next. Ask yourself some difficult but necessary questions starting with ‘Am I happy?’ Is whatever you’re doing today going to move you toward your goals? If not, maybe reconsider what you are doing, maybe move on, and do what you need (and ideally want) to do. Examine those excuses if they crop up.
Own up to your past
“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Let’s face it, everyone has a degree of suffering that they are doing in their own way. This current crisis can sometimes feel paralysing. There are instances, of course, when we have to look back to figure out the dynamics of our past, and to get a grasp of the things that made us who we are today. Obsessing over things we don’t have control of, however, will do nothing but compromise our future. If our sights are only fixed on what’s behind, then who’s going to look ahead? So if you’re constantly going over things you did and weighed down by the things you should have done, then please stop. If you’re going to examine your past, seek to reflect, learn from it and use it to propel you forward in the direction you want to go in.
Accepting your life struggles is a process, sometimes a long one but it often has to be done and you’re the only one who can. So if you are struggling, tell yourself “this too shall pass”. Make a habit of reaping the phrase daily. Don’t let a tough time break you. Remember, this situation is only going to make you stronger. No matter how dark or difficult situation you are in, it’s how you see it and what you make of it and lastly how you leverage it, can either define you or break you.
Don’t be afraid to start anew
“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Do you want to lead the life you have always envisioned? If you aren’t starting now, then what are you waiting for? Maybe you’re afraid to get out of your comfort zone. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everybody’s afraid of change even if change is the best thing that can happen. Of course, you can’t do it overnight and there are many factors to consider in all aspects of your life. That’s all well and good but don’t you ever let fear hold you back. No excuses you can make for that one. See where you want to go, plan it out, resolve any unresolved issues and relationships and just be emotionally and mentally prepared to take this journey and take a deep breath and get right to it.
Be more social
“We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.” – Letty Cottin Poprebin.
It’s worth remembering that during these periods of isolation and lonely outbound activities with no results to show for your efforts it’s healthy and beneficial to have a strong network of support around you. A network made up of individuals that know what it feels like to be in your position. People who can understand and empathise with your situation because they perhaps are in same boat. It’s important to know that you’re not alone and to know that encouragement and help is still available to you.
Mental health experts are noticing an emerging phenomenon- anxiety about life after lockdown. Yes, it may well be uncomfortable for many of us, but it will end eventually.
When we go outside, we have all this stimuli hitting us and it can lead to a bit of a sensory overload. A couple of things you should keep in mind for this one though. Learn to be more gentle and kind with yourself. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your worries, if you can. Often, a small smile toward a stranger could go a long way.
If you learn to genuinely relate to other people’s struggles, they will appreciate yours. And you know what? There’s really no feeling quite like finding people who really relish your presence.
Here are some relevant articles I highly recommend if you wish to focus more on this topic:
Learn to unlearn
“The future belongs to those who learn, unlearn and relearn.”- Wayne Mansfield.
This one is pretty straight forward. Simply put, let go of your prejudices, assumptions and conclusions of yourself and others. Relinquish your need to control and make room for things to play out in the way it’s meant to. Stop being self-critical, self-conscious and focusing on your shortcomings or worse assuming that you can’t do something even if you’ve never tried it. Learn to trust yourself, to trust your deeper instincts, reflect upon them intelligently and stop paying attention to the little voice in your head that tells you, “You can’t.”
Reacquaint yourself with your dear ones
“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen. “ – Winnie the Pooh.
Sometimes the things that you’re looking for come from the least expected places, like the above quote for instance. At this point when you are trying to start afresh and going on a journey to look at the world with a fresh perspective, the ones who really need the fresh perspective is your loved ones. Everyone is guilty of taking the ones we love for granted. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but ask yourself this, do you really know the person they are now? Just like you, your near and dear ones have gone through life, and probably experienced the same experiences you have and it’s changed them just as much as it’s changed you or more or less. Find out who they are, learn about their dreams, laugh with them.
Surround yourself with positive people
“Look for three things in a person – intelligence, energy & integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two” – Warren Buffet.
This one is not a biggie either. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t do you any good. The ones who are always negative, who get you down, who mock your dreams, the ones who drain you of all your energy, you get the gist. Let’s face it; people have a huge impact on your life.
You are who you are partly or even mostly because of the people in your life be it family, friends, neighbuors, teachers, colleagues etc. So, it’s safe to assume that your future will also be affected by people. Keeping this in mind, at this crucial point, you need to surround yourself with people who inspire you, who motivate you, who have your back, the ones who empower you to make the changes you need to make to succeed and finally the ones who will cheer your success.
To reap the benefits of starting over, we just have to recognise and leverage the opportunities around us. Research by Wood, Tam and Witt (2005) has shown that shaking up our routines and circumstances can make it easier to enact positive changes.
It’s important to stay active, fit and healthy. Get up early and on time every day. Even if you are at home and don’t have a job, try to get up early in the morning, have a shower, get changed, have breakfast. Find and stick to a process that is right for you, fall in love with the process – and start the day right.
Stop apologising for being yourself
Never, ever apologise for who you are. Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t apologise for something that you have done, but the essence of you, no, never apologise for that. Don’t even necessarily justify who you are, you are who you are, and you need to be who you need to be. If people can’t handle that, too bad. You shouldn’t have to say sorry for it.
This is your life, it can be whatever you choose it to be. What motivates you? What is your vision? What do you really want to do? If you had to find a job and had all the time in the world to find one – what would it look like? Aim high, don’t leave yourself short-changed, put together a strong list of things you want accomplish and then write down reasons why.
It’s never too late to start over. Let go of your inhibitions, fears, excuses or whatever else is stopping you from getting exactly what you want. Don’t be scared of moving slowly, just of being still.
Has this piqued your interest in this field? Then have a read of these pages:
Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studes? Explore the pages of this website.
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.