Often times it is tough to close the door on one phase of our life or even one event in our life. Endings are difficult – no doubt about it.
Whether that ending is a season of life where you came away with the championship, or ended up winless, the fear of what’s next can be very real.
During times like these, we must remind ourselves that every ending is the opportunity for a new beginning. A fresh start that is full of new possibilities.
Think of a new season in sports. Whether you are a player, front office or fan, every team is locked in and ready to begin working for a championship. At the period of beginning, everyone believes that they have what it takes this year to win it all.
They are starting from a better position than at the end of last season. They are fresh, healthy and armed with the corrections to the mistakes of the past.
Where are you in our own cycle of endings and new beginnings? Are you stuck in the past – afraid to let go, or are you hungry and ready to embrace a new beginning and all the opportunity and possibility that comes with it?
A few days ago, I closed the door on my Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program. This 5 month program was both impactful and transformational as it imparted the skills and mindset needed to start my journey in the coaching field while also stepping my leadership game up to the next level.
It was tough, and admittedly still stings, to think I had to say ‘goodbye’ to my colleagues from the cohort, the talented faculty, the vast knowledge and content we were exposed to, and to the space that we all created to explore our growth as leaders and coaches.
As I sat in class during my last day, a big part of me wanted to have several more modules to look forward to – more learning, more growth and more interactions with my colleagues.
However, when times like these come around we can either focus on the past and try to extend an ending, or pick our heads up and look to the next new beginning.
While the program is now behind me, I have a new beginning taking shape with every forward moving step I choose to take. It is a new beginning filled with additional skillsets, an expanded leadership toolbox, and brand new perspectives on life, work, well-being and the ripple effect of great leadership.
While I don’t know exactly how coaching will fit in to my day to day at work and life, I do know that by intentionally looking forward to the opportunity of a new beginning versus the safety of a past ending, I’m giving myself the best opportunity to figure it out and chart an exciting path ahead.
New beginnings create the possibility to make a bigger impact.
Yes, it is difficult to leave the space my cohort created. I would have enjoyed more modules and another motivational recharge to look forward to next month. However, after a point, the longer we stay in our comfort zone and safe space, we risk reducing the potential impact that we can have on others and the world around us.
It’s time to accept this ending, get out there in the world, and make a positive impact through a new beginning.
A new season is starting, so let’s get after it.
Embracing New Beginnings
Stepping out of our comfort zone and into a new beginning – a new future – is a powerful choice that gives each of us the opportunity to shape our tomorrow and intentionally create the impact that we want to have in the world.
It’s difficult, though, to step out from what is familiar, safe and predictable. However I urge you (and myself) to be courageous and take that first step.
Acknowledge when one season of your life wraps up so that you can run full steam ahead into the next new season.
So, as you take your first steps towards embracing your next new beginning, here are some benefits to support you along your new path.
Every ending creates a new beginning
Yes, this sentiment probably sounds a bit repetitive throughout the post, AND it is foundational to forward movement and personal growth.
No matter what ending you may currently be sitting in – whether it was one of your best seasons, or worst, or somewhere in between – it marks a threshold where you can step into a new beginning.
It’s an opportunity where you can take the momentum from a great season and begin to shape an even better one, or learn from the hardships of a difficult season and begin to create a better tomorrow.
No matter where we are ending, we must see and accept the opportunity that every ending marks your next new beginning. Feel the excitement in that, and take the first step into the next season of your life.
The powerful upside of change
Change can be scary.
It is the movement away from what we know, what we are comfortable with, and what we know to be safe. We all feel this… it’s part of the reason change can be so hard. We are hardwired to go into defense mode and protect ourselves.
However, the up-side of change is so much more powerful, and if we can embrace that, we can break free from our mind wanting to protect ourselves and hold us back.
Change helps drive growth, new learning, opportunities and new perspectives that can all work together to take our game to the next level.
As we encounter the opportunity for change, we all need to be intentional about choosing to see the upside so that we can take advantage of all the great opportunities that lay before us.
A new growth edge
As of this post, my 14 month old is finding her way from transitioning from the crawling / pulling up phase towards getting strong and confident enough to begin taking her first steps.
Such a monumental point in her growth and development – a huge growth edge. Months from now, taking those steps will literally become second nature, and her new growth edge will be something entirely different – running, learning to talk more, count to 10, etc. What was uncomfortable and difficult will begin to feel easy and natural.
Even now that we are full grown, we have the opportunity to challenge ourselves and grow as leaders, spouses, friends, parents, members of our community, and so on. We can still create our next learning to walk moment.
Where is your discomfort zone now, and where could it be in the future?
As we close a chapter on one ending, we’ve pushed the boundary of our comfort zone – our growth edge.
By accepting the opportunity of a new beginning, we give ourselves the ability to push that edge even further – to make what once was difficult and overwhelming feel easy. And to set out towards the next new challenge and become even better.
Renewed energy, optimism and hunger
I can still think back to the end of my high school football seasons – torn because I wouldn’t be able to throw those pads back on and get out on the field, yet relieved because I could take a breath and recover a bit. I always had the choice to dwell on the end of a season – a partial loss of identity, or missed individual and team goals.
At the end of one season, we also have the choice to refuel ourselves – to regain that hunger and desire to improve and prepare for the next season – to have another shot at realizing those individual and team goals, while hopefully making those goals even bigger in the process.
Our energy, motivation, hunger and drive needs to be refueled at times. We can’t keep trying to extend an ending when it’s time has come.
Accepting and embracing a new beginning creates the space to look at a situation with new eyes and a fresh mind, body and spirit.
A beginner’s mind
One of the challenges that my coaching program’s faculty put on the table during the first day was to come into this new challenge with a beginner’s mind.
How often do we walk into a situation thinking we know it all? Where does that get us? How open are we new learning new things or seeing things differently?
Accept a new beginning, and open yourself back up to having a beginner’s mind.
If an athlete doesn’t embrace the potential to learn new things around their game, no matter how good they are, someone will pass them by. As soon as you stop learning, you stop growing. As soon as you think you know it all, you are beginning your sprint towards defeat.
I was fortunate to have a couple of members of my cohort who, while retired from their original career, were still furthering their learning, expanding their toolbox, and looking for new ways to create a positive impact in their world.
To say it was inspiring would be an understatement.
No matter our age, or where we are in our lives, let’s commit to maintaining our hunger for learning and always be willing to play the role of the beginner again and again.
During each new season – each new beginning – take the time to recommit to a beginner’s mind, and get excited about all the new things you can potentially learn. If you do, no one will be able to catch you.
New Beginnings & New Hope for the Future
The past is behind us… there is nothing we can do to change that. Our endings are no different.
The present, on the other hand, is ours for the taking, and the future is ours to shape.
However we will never be truly present in the now, or maximizing our potential for the future if we have one foot in the past… one foot holding onto an ending.
We should all take the lessons we learned from the past, as they are invaluable, and leverage them to create our next new beginning. Our next opportunity to create and design the life we want for ourselves and others. Our next opportunity to get 1% better and one step closer to creating our best self.
Today, I challenge you to look forward rather than look behind. Allow yourself to unleash your Inner Athlete and charge full steam ahead into the next season of your life!
Discussion Question: What ending are you wrestling with in your life right now? What is one way you can close the book on your old season so that you can see the opportunity of the new season that is ready to unfold before your eyes?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."