Whether you’re starting a new job, school, or stage of life, change can be extremely difficult and scary. Breaking the status quo to something brand new, leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions. The comfort of familiarity is now gone, and you’re left wondering and hoping for the best, but unsure of what truly lies ahead.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, be he who conquers that fear” – Nelson Mandela
So often you hear people say “don’t be scared” or “don’t worry, you’ll be great”. While we know these come from a place of support, the reality is, it is OK to be scared or to be worried. You feel these emotions for a reason. What matters is what you do with those fears and concerns. To be courageous does not mean to live without fear. Being courageous means recognizing the challenges or uncertainties that lie ahead, allowing yourself to feel any emotions necessary, and then having the determination and grit to keep going.
This distinction is important. So often we allow fear and doubt to consume our minds and convince ourselves that we can't do something. This is simply not true. Taking the time to read this article already demonstrates your commitment to overcoming your fears and unleashing your full potential. Do not underestimate this drive within you. You are strong, courageous and determined. You may just need a little push to let you know that it is your turn to start building your happily ever after.
“It’s ALWAYS your turn” – Seth Godin
So how can you go from “no I can’t do it” to “I know I can”?
You are young! You have your entire life to have everything figured out. This is the time to try new things and take chances! Maybe it won’t work out. That’s ok, at least you know you tried! Plus, you may discover a new path in life you never thought would be possible!
Just because your friend or classmate has their next five years planned out, does NOT mean you have to also. It’s normal to not have all the answers right away. If you are between jobs, embrace the flexibility and freedom. If you’re in college or university but aren’t sure what you want to do once you graduate, be excited you still get to find out. If you’re starting a new chapter in life, be grateful for all that comes along with it.
It’s important to take the time to understand your current situation and what steps you need to take, in order to get you to where you want to go. Write out your goals and be very specific. What exactly do you want out of this new chapter? What do you need to feel as comfortable and prepared as you can? What timeline are you working with? The more specific the better.
Now everything likely won’t go exactly according to plan and that’s normal! Remember these are detours, not dead ends. You may consider making alternate plans as well, just in case. Plus then, if a worse case scenario happens, you are already equipped to handle it!
There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it shows strength. Whether this is in the form of a tutor, counsellor, colleague or friend, asking others for advice can be very beneficial. If you are in university or college, we encourage you to explore the free workshops that are often available on campus for students! If you are on the job hunt, consider connecting with someone on LinkedIn in a similar profession to pick their brain.
Setbacks can be challenging, there’s no question about it. However they are also normal. We all go through them every once in a while. Do your best to be kind to yourself during these times. It was not your intention to have a setback, so don’t treat yourself as if it was. Don’t see them as “failures” either, because to fail suggests you didn’t accomplish anything. When in reality, setbacks are where some of life’s best lessons are born.