No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Carl Bard
This quote has been with me for quite some time. Initially I had intended to use this quote last January to tie in with making New Year’s Resolutions, but other ideas were more exciting. So I tagged this idea and thought about using it in June focusing on how we can make a new start at any time. But again life and other ideas got in the way. So here we are back in January once again. But this time, we can analyze the process of trying to make this blog posting happen to receive insight into why we don’t make changes in our own lives.
The first thing we can learn from my experience with this quote is procrastination. Obviously I procrastinated in writing this blog. Other ideas seemed to be more important or timely. This is often the largest obstacle to trying something new. We rationalize that other things need our attention, we don’t have time, this is not the right time, or we need to have other things in place first. “Once I have a new job, house, spouse, or clothing size THEN I can begin creating a new life.” Procrastination is only the symptom. The real reasons for not beginning to write our own ending is Fear and Self-Caring.
Fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change, fear of hurting others. There are thousands of fears that keep us from considering change let alone taking the first step. So how do we move past fear? First, identify your fear. Until the fear is identified, it can not be removed. Once the fear is identified, hit it head on with proof that it is not true, or at least that it is not as big as we think it is. Write down your fear. Then write down three (3) circumstances from your own life or those around you that are evidence that this fear is unfounded. Now with this new evidence re-write your fear in a less threatening and less stifling way. For example:
My fear: is that I will fail to complete my goal in time.
Evidence my fear is not true (note that these can be large or small, evidence is evidence):
1. Last year I completed my goal of reading a book a month.
2. I completed college in four years.
3. I completed all of my shopping before Christmas.
Revised Statement: I will be able to complete my goal and its ok if it takes me longer than I think.
The other thing that may hold us back from making changes to our lives is self-caring or self-importance. All too often we are last on our own list. We think other people or things are more important that ourselves and our goals. We don’t allow ourselves to concentrate on the bigger things, the things that matter. Instead we become distracted by the little things. For instance, as I attempt to write this I have stopped to clean my computer screen, arrange papers on my desk, and water the plants. It may appear that I have ADD, but the truth is that I am not giving myself the focus and am allowing other things to appear to be more important. A way to counteract this is to add yourself to your to do list. Carve out time every day or at least every week for you. Use this time to identify what you want to change, make plans about the change, and then take action. Don’t let other things or people take your “me” time away. Treat it like you would any other obligation on your calendar.
Identify and dissolve your fears, make time for yourself, and begin to look at your life. What does it look like now? How would you like it to be? Write down what needs to be in place to make your life exactly how you would like it. Put this list somewhere you will see it every day and read the list not with longing of what could be but with trust that it is possible right now. Start creating your new ending today.
Wishing you a most wonderful 2011 filled with happiness, joy, good health, and much success!!