“To begin, begin.” ~ William Wordsworth
Ever lie awake at night wondering “How did it come to this?”
You had a vision, a dream about how your life would unfold, but life had other plans.
You find yourself feeling like you’re back to square one. It can feel humiliating. You’re ashamed to tell others that you’re starting over.
You put so much time and effort into getting where you are now, you wonder if it’s even worth the effort to try again. You probably thought you’d just continue to get better. At this point, you may be tempted to just throw in the towel.
Maybe you’re facing financial ruin, relationship bankruptcy, an addiction relapse, or significant weight gain after having lost just as much.
If you’re at the point of wanting to give up, here’s a few thoughts that may help:
1. Beginning again does not mean starting from scratch
Phrases like “starting over” or “back to square one” are ultimately misleading because we don’t actually go back to square one. The experiences we’ve had and the things we’ve learned from those experiences make us who we are today.
Even if it feel like you’re back to where you started, you’re essentially a different person. Keeping this in mind will help combat the feeling of spinning your wheels. Even if your progress is incremental, it’s progress nonetheless and it matters.
2. It’s the willingness and courage to begin that matters
It’s natural to feel like a failure from making the same mistakes over and over again. So many of us get stuck when this happens because we feel like we should know better.
But the real test is how quickly you get up and begin again when you get derailed. The more quickly and consistently you get back up, the less likely you’ll be to go astray the next time.
3. Be kind to yourself no matter what
Decide to do this from the very beginning. Make a pact with yourself that no matter what you think or how you feel about yourself, that you’ll commit to treating yourself kindly as you attempt to begin again.
Your mind may say lots of bad things about you. However you can simply choose to not believe what it says. This also goes for the criticism that may come from others. Make yourself a cup of tea, go for a walk, or watch your favorite movie. It’s hard work to begin again, and you don’t need to be hard on yourself.
Feeling sorry for yourself? Angry? Frustrated? Ashamed?
Regardless of how you feel, are you willing to step out in faith and begin again?
You may not feel like you’re making any progress but there’s profound change and growth happening below the surface. To tap into the benefits of this growth, you must be willing to begin again.
Know that you can begin again anytime you choose.