The Courage to Begin Again
Sometimes things happen. It might be a sudden, unexpected event that forces you to change plans. Or it might be something bigger - something that results in starting over completely. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or a financial crisis, unexpected change can feel absolutely terrifying in the moment.
As humans, we are creatures of habit. We like when things are predictable. However, there was nothing predictable about 2020. Everyone had to make some type of adjustment with some being more challenging than others. It takes courage to decide to move forward due to unexpected events. And, it takes courage to force yourself to focus on the possibilities ahead, rather than the pain from the past.
Just recently, I was reminded of the possibilities that can come from unexpected change. When I first started eSucceed Virtual School the intent was to incorporate project based learning opportunities for students. However, with the pandemic, any opportunities for real world projects were put on hold.
Now, a year later, we have a different perspective. We don’t only want to provide project based learning opportunities for students, we want to provide a truly personalized learning experience for each individual student. That means some students may choose to do projects and some may choose to take more traditional classes. Instead of looking at all the time lost, we now know the unexpected turn of events, although stressful at the time, has brought clarity, purpose, and a lot of excitement for the vision of our school.
If you're open to change, and willing to move forward, you'll be surprised at the positive things that can come into your life that you never anticipated. Of course, saying that you’re open to change is easier than actually going out there and having the courage to begin. Fears, doubts and roadblocks may appear. But when you realize that the fears, doubts and roadblocks are actually part of the process, it’s easier to move past them.
Here are some tips on how you can overcome what may be holding you back
Remember to make courage a habit by using it every day. Flex this muscle by being courageous in small ways. What is one small step you can take that would move you closer to your goal? Then another. It might be scary to ask someone for help or look for a new job, but taking small, steady, consistent steps will develop the habit to be courageous and it will get easier and easier every time.
Focus on the end goal. What is it that you really want? What are the benefits - to you and to others? Use those goals and aspirations as motivation to face your fear and embrace the changes so you can reach that end goal.
Learn from those who have come before you. - Identify someone who has achieved what you want. It doesn’t have to be someone you know personally. What’s her story? How did he start? You will be surprised to learn that success didn’t happen overnight. It took courage, persistence and the resolve to never ever give up. When you can see that others have overcome challenges on the road to attaining their goal, it will give you the courage and motivation to continue to move forward.
When the pandemic is finally over, the way we live and work may be different than it was previously. Life may not go back to exactly how it was before - and that’s ok! When life doesn’t go as you planned, have the courage to begin again. With this courage you will be launched into not only surviving an unexpected change, but creating or experiencing something better than you could ever have imagined.