New Beginnings, Part 1

5837865120_ea5ccebf78_z (1)We often think of a new day as a new beginning. We also have new beginnings in relationships, careers, or when moving into a new house or another state or country. In some ways we face new beginnings daily. Some of these are good, others not so good, and some really great.

Today let’s focus on new beginnings in areas you may have been neglecting in pursuit of things that are all good, but if you do not begin anew in these areas, the price will be costly.

Changes Will Come Whether We Choose Them or Not

Serenity prayerChange is inevitable, and you would do well to live in that reality and be prepared to deal with it when it occurs. But how do you respond to change so you are not defeated by it?

Be honest about how you feel and what you think about the change. Sometimes it may not be possible or wise to share that with the person who is the reason for the change until both of you are in a right frame of mind to do so. In the meantime, you need to be able to share with someone what you are thinking and feeling about the change. This honest sharing helps to decrease anger and keep resentment from building. It also serves to give you some perspective on managing the change.

Acknowledge what you have control over and what is outside your sphere of influence. This idea is well articulated in the first four lines of the well-known Serenity Prayer made popular by Reinhold Niebuhr.

First Steps to Fully Embracing Who You Are

writingLast week I talked about how our struggle to truly embrace who we are is at the core of our difficulty with trusting others.

I want to offer a few suggestions to you in the process of fully embracing who you are.

Get out of your head. We all have the tendency to live in our heads. When you think about it that really is the worst place to live. In our heads we come up with the worst scenarios about our situation and ourselves.

When living in our heads, we seem to focus on our negative experiences, the things about us we do not like and do not want others to know about. We are usually not afraid to trust others with what we are good at or when we have a good idea. But we struggle to let others know about the negative or less than wonderful things. The truth is all people find themselves living here sooner or later.

Why We Find It Difficult to Trust Others

Trust thrown in airWhy do you find it so difficult to trust others? Why do you find it amusing when a child is honest and trusting? You were once like that child, completely trusting and honest with those around you. What has transpired from childhood to adulthood that now makes trusting others so difficult?

I have spoken with many people who say they know they need to start trusting others but they don’t know if they can. When I ask why, the typical answer is, “I am afraid others would judge me or not like me if they get to know the real me.” They also fear letting others know that they are struggling.

Why do we find it difficult to trust others with who we are?

Ultimately, the Buck Really Does Stop with You!

buck stops hereThe phrase, “the buck stops here,” was made popular by President Harry S. Truman. The phrase was on his desk in the Oval Office as a reminder to himself and the nation he was leading that ultimately the final responsibility was his. The phrase implies that the responsibility for something cannot or should not be passed on to someone else. No one to blame, no scapegoating or making of excuses. Let that sit with you for a while before reading any further.

What might happen if you were to approach living your life in this way? Rather than doing the thing that comes naturally—blaming others and making excuses, you start saying, “the buck stops with me,” and you take total responsibility for your life.