This Spring…..Just Get Started!

By Peggie Arvidson

This Spring…..Just Get Started!

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Ah sweet Spring. You approach as a gift after the cold and wet of winter. No matter where you live you find that there is an ebb and flow to Mother Nature.

So, with Spring arriving full of blossoms and bugs and sneezes is a welcome reminder of the consistency of being alive. Winter is the reminder that everything must end in order to begin again. Spring is the not-so-subtle reminder to celebrate the surprises and fun of starting over.

Why is it then that we avoid starting over? No one relishes being a beginner. Whether you’re lingering in an unfulfilling job, a house that you’ve outgrown (or it’s outgrown you) or a city that you hate, odds are you’re hanging on because you hate the idea of starting over.

Is there fear in beginning? Probably. Starting something new brings on lots of fear for me – fear of looking silly, fear of failing, fear of not fitting in or not being able to figure out whatever it is that I’m contemplating, and that is tied to the fact that I want to be an expert, all the time, right away.

Lucky me – I’m onto my ego’s tricks and try not to fall for the whining and fears and simply face the fact that I’m going to have to be a beginner if I’m going to do something that’s purposeful (and often fun).

I was talking with a co-worker (at a job that was brand new to me just a year ago!) about the way that kids can just have a friend for a day, or even an event. They know how to begin things, without worrying about looking silly and as a result they seem to have a ton more fun than I do when I go out. My friend’s daughter simply walks up to another at a party and asks, “Do you want to be friends?”

Mind you, this child is not particularly outgoing when it comes to grown-ups and sure I’m a little miffed that she’s never asked me to be her friend. Still I’m inspired by her ability to start out new, every time she goes to a new event with her peers. The event ends and she’s back to her sweet family, not lamenting that the friendship is “over” or didn’t work out the way she’d anticipated, just tired and often jacked up on candy.

What if I (and you) could do that? Start something new without worrying about how it’s going to end before we even start?

Tell me I’m not the only person who has ever written out 10 different possible outcomes before I’ve even started something new. Not being four years old, we do have a few other practicalities to focus on daily – it’s logical that finding a new job should encompass some understanding of what’s expected for you and your employer to get out of it. And I’m not advocating you end a steady job without a new one in hand, I am encouraging you to think about leaping into a new career if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. With record low unemployment, companies are looking for talent outside of “normal” venues – this just may be the perfect time for you to explore a new field that’s always been an interest. If you have the ability to start out as a beginner, go ahead.

Fear of starting a new career may masquerade as your ego not wanting to lose a perk or two (prestige you’ve worked hard to earn, or maybe a cushy corner office) however the real issue may be that you’re going to need to step back, ask for help and learn to begin again.

If you don’t have the financial backing to sustain a lower income (either because you’re starting lower in the corporate hierarchy or because you’re entering a field that simply isn’t as lucrative as the one you’re leaving) why not decide to practice being a beginner with financial planning and budgeting so you can make your dream of your new job come true down the pike?

The same fears and practices fall in if you want to move across the country or start anything else that’s new, and often uncomfortable. I have friends that told me they nearly gave up their dream of learning the guitar because of the callouses they were getting on their fingers while pushing the strings on the frets. While they’ll not be playing sold out stadiums anytime soon – they are happy they stuck with the practice and can look back over the years and feel the sense of accomplishment that only comes from beginning!

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