When I sat down to write about new beginnings, countless ideas flourished in my mind. I reflected on several stories I’ve heard about events that contributed to someone’s fresh start.
Although many of these experiences are inspirational, over time, I have identified a disconnect that is rarely discussed. It has since become my mission to guide others in understanding how the end of a challenging chapter can present an opportunity. In fact, my own new beginning after a divorce led me on a philosophical journey to explore the power of choice when facing difficulties.
New beginnings are unique to every individual. Some occur by choice and are exciting: accepting a new job, buying a home, or getting engaged. Other beginnings can arise from circumstances outside of your control: an unexpected layoff, a shocking betrayal, or the end of a marriage.
Irrespective of the circumstances that lead to a new beginning, it’s common to feel uncertain about the unknown. When a new chapter starts by choice, however, you will rarely be consumed by fear. Instead, you’ll have faith that you are on the right path. You’ll probably feel happy, hopeful, and open to the opportunities that might come your way.
Yet when a new beginning follows a negative event, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or even frozen by fear. Your thoughts may be chaotic as you consider the obstacles seemingly looming before you—even though 85% of things we worry about never actually happen.
How do you choose faith over fear regardless of the events that led to a new beginning?
The answer applies to anything in life that you want to achieve: assuring yourself that you are in control of your thoughts no matter the situation. Even better, when you begin to implement certain tools, you can gain a new perspective on life with faith leading the way.
An abrupt end to an experience can be devastating. Give yourself a grieving period if necessary: wallow in your sadness and cry. Feel your rage and scream. Come to terms with—and genuinely acknowledge—what has happened. The power of choice emerges in that moment when you tell yourself, “This happened in my life. Now what?”
While you may not have had control over the event, you do have control over the path you take at this fork in the road. You can either focus on what you can’t control (and therefore cannot change) or begin to discover what you can control, with faith leading the way.
It is not easy, but it is that simple.
Forgiveness is often thought of as a gift you give someone else. But true freedom lies in the act of forgiveness for yourself; it allows you to let go of emotions that have kept you stuck, enabling you to move forward and be free.
Once you become aware of life’s challenges and discover that faith is always a choice, regardless of the situation, you gain a new perspective on obstacles: these events are not happening to you, they’re happening for you.
The magic is in the challenge; it is the opportunity.