Trying something new and different hasn't always been out of the realm of possibility for me. That was clear when I was 15 and my first plane trip was around the world to spend 9 months with a friend and her family in Mongolia. There I also somehow ended up teaching English classes to students twice my age. What? Who suggests things like that to their parents and what parents are
Doing something new and different didn't end there. I returned to the states at 16, got a full time job and my GED before deciding to go away to college. I have a small history of quitting jobs on faith that the next thing would fill my need better--and it always has.
I've been quite the shy, reserved person my whole life. Yet, somehow, with the right encouragement and support and resources I've had opportunities to round out that reserved nature with rockclimbing, public speaking, surfing in Hawaii, travelling around the world. And, of course, there's been the life adventures like having a baby in college or being jobless and homeless for a couple months.
I'm not an outgoing adrenaline junkie, but I do love a good adventure and a good story. And new beginnings are both for me. A new beginning and trying out the unknown is a little act of faith. It's an opportunity to test and see that today's Davids still defeat their Goliaths, that today's Josephs have dreams that come true, and that God is alive and fully involved in my life today.
We're getting ready for some more new beginnings. I've mentioned it on social media and in my emails, it's about time I mention it here in a blog post. My husband will be quitting his job in a couple months and returning to school. We have dreams, goals, and plans, but it all starts right here with the next steps and these new beginnings. We really can't be sure where it all leads and for sure how all the pieces will come together. I am sure of the God-given encouragement, support, and resources that have been providing this adventure and are helping write this story.
With those current beginnings fresh on our minds, and those past beginnings reassuring me forward, here are some ways I've learned to not feel so overwhelmed as a lifelong beginner.
Ways to not feel so overwhelmed as a beginner...
This blog was started on the idea that I wanted to try new things. It evolved as I realized I'll likely forever be a beginner in something and that can lead to joyful adventures and life-growing stories. Here's a few ways I've learned over the years to not get overwhelmed by that awkward beginning process and instead enjoy it.
Bravely take that next right step.In short, stop talking about the thing and do it. Take the leap, even if it's small. If you keep thinking about something, dreaming of it even, it's worth moving forward in it. Whether it's a small hobby or a major life change, you'll never know if you never try. And planning it out is completely different than actually following through on it.
See failure differently.What we might call failure actually helps us focus and redirect and fine tune our goals. Sometimes our beginnings don't go as planned and our successes aren't as epic as we hoped. These hold-ups are less about throwing in the towel, and more about refining our goals and our direction. Failure means we started and tried, and that alone should make us proud.
Join the overcomers club.Struggle is a part of life. Be the type to persevere through challenges. That doesn't always come naturally and it rarely comes easy. It is, however, so worth the effort. Just ask a farmer that labors over his fields to produce crops. Or a momma that labors over birthing her child. Or an artist that labors over a masterpiece. The outcome often outweighs the challenges.
Life isn't just one end goal. Okay, for Christians, it kind of is. But while we're here on this earth, everyday is a little checkpoint on our way to eternity. In that journey, success is about others, it happens one step at a time, it is contentment in this phase, and sometimes it's just showing up. Acknowledge those milestones and celebrate them. They could be the very victories that give us hope and courage to keep on keepin' on.
even especially the little ones.
Take a break--not "cheat days," but real rest.Talk about something else and do something else. Rest refreshes our perspective and energies, and it renews our creativity and ideas. Taking a break isn't like a cheat day where we take a step backward and practically undo all the hard work we've done. Real rest is a God-given opportunity to turn off the hustle for a mid-day break, for each night, for Sabbath each week. It's the rhythm He created us with that almost seems counter-intuitive to productivity, but can actually be the very foundation to success.
Read up--for info, encouragement, and validation.I was seriously never much of a reader, until after college when I started learning the key to actually like reading was to read books I actually like. Makes sense, right? I'm glad I figured that out, because much of the beginnings and successes I'm most proud of have been largely thanks to reading. Reading blogs and books and testimonials and stories and especially the Bible has helped me learn practical information, and it's helped me feel supported, encouraged, and validated in my journey.
What are you beginning? If the answer is nothing, then maybe it's time to start something. Some small or large way to face your Goliath or to see if your dream really is a vision for your future.
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