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How to Face the Fear of Starting Over.
Can you talk about facing your fears? I am graduating high school in a few days and, while I am excited for my next chapter, I am also scared.
Thank you, Rami
Congratulations on your graduation. No matter what happens, remember you have so much ahead of you. Life only gets better from here.
Starting something new is almost always scary. Being scared means we care. Usually, we are afraid we will be unprepared for what is to come. New beginnings usually involve saying goodbye to something else; something we have grown accustomed to. We have to leave a familiar place for one we have little knowledge of. Maybe we have no idea what place we are even going to next. Maybe all we know is we are leaving this one for another.
To combat the fear of starting over, we must start with self-forgiveness. We must forgive ourselves for how little we know. We must give ourselves permission to begin again even if we are unaware of what is in store.
Luckily, we have moved on and started anew countless times before. We left the safety of our mother’s womb when we were born. We left the comfort of our home on our first day of school. Maybe we have even said goodbye to someone or something we have loved or still love. We are creatures made for change. We are made to explore new horizons and we are fully equipped to do so.
Before we take off in a new direction, we first need to ground ourselves. We have to rediscover who we are. Likely, we have become someone new since we last began. The person who begins something is rarely the same person who finishes it. To meet this new person, we must center ourselves. We must find that true soul buried deep inside; the one we have been neglecting.
The new ‘us’ is usually lighter and more nimble. They have less baggage than the people we used to be. They have peeled back the unnecessary layers. They have let go of the parts of themselves that have nothing left to offer. This internal simplification is sometimes frightening. Often, we want our story to be more complicated or longer than it needs to be. We do this because we are reluctant to move on. We convince ourselves that the next step is too far when, in fact, it is much closer than we think. The next step is closer than close. It starts inside of us, not in front of us; it starts in that place we never learned of but always knew.
No matter what a person does and no matter where they go, the richness of their life will be measured by their willingness to begin again. It will be measured by their ability to let go of what no longer serves them and to see what else is possible in this beautiful world.
This sounds frightening, I know. Beginning again is like taking a step on a mountain top we are not sure can support our weight. It is like venturing out into a brave new world; a world that may break our hearts and that may also show us our hearts are bigger than we ever knew. However, we must venture out. We must put down the second hand knowledge we have acquired. We must walk out from our safe homes into the glistening sun and observe the world for ourselves.
The only choice we have is how we take the next step. We can be reluctant or we can hold our heads high regardless of whether people laugh or cheer. If we look inside, we will see that the latter choice is the only ‘real’ option. We know in our hearts we were always destined for the journey that lies ahead. We were always destined to step out courageously into that brave new world. Courage does not mean we are not afraid; it means we are afraid but we do it anyway because we know we must.
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