Member preview

5 Ways to Smartly Start Something New

Image: storyblocks

You’re at one of these crossroads in life. You’re either continuing the trend of what you’ve done the past few months, years even. Or you’re saying yes to a new opportunity. You’re diving into the big unknown.

Whether you’re about to start a new job, getting married, or moving to a different city. You want to, but you actually don’t want to do it.

Any change is scary. It’s a natural mechanism that our brains impose on us. Fear is a feeling that we get when we’re about to do something uncomfortable. It’s an automatism that withdraws us from any danger to protect us.

Starting something new comes with uncertainty and an unknown outcome. Our brains protect us from the hardship and discomfort when things don’t work out.

Exactly one year ago I stood in front of a huge mountain to climb. I had made my decision and although it was exciting and refreshing. I sh** my pants.

I had decided to pack up my life and follow my heart.

To the Middle East.

Although I had a quite comfortable life in my home country, I was also ready for something new. Ready, but scared. Scared of losing my friends, being homesick, feeling lonely, being lost and unsafe, having no money, having to learn everything from scratch.

So, there were 5 things I did. And these 5 things made me survive my first year of doing this huge new thing. I strongly recommend everyone to consider these five things whenever you are doing something new. Anything new that scares you.

1. Listen to your body

It’s hard to understand what your body says sometimes. So, don’t try to understand it. If you feel tired, rest. If you have a headache, take a pain killer or cancel a meeting. If your stomach is upset, don’t go out for dinner. If you have cravings, eat. New situations can be overwhelming and your body can react in ways that it never did before. Whatever you’ve been through in the past, it’s not necessarily a reference for what you’re going through rnow. Trust on the fact that all storms settle down. Your body will adapt. Just don’t fight its reactions.

2. Tell yourself “It is not me”

When in a new situation, you encounter new people, now food, new cultures, new ways of doing things. And you will fail at how it’s done. Because you simply never did it before. If it doesn’t work out immediately, it’s not you. It’s the situation you are settling yourself in. Learning a new sport comes with trying again, again and again. When it doesn’t work the first three times, it’s not you. It just is that hard.

3. See an opportunity in every disappointment

Nothing comes easily. There is a reason why we don’t like to do new things. We will probably struggle before we get a smooth ride. That’s why we should keep our eyes open. When there is a disappointment in one area, it might allow you to advance in another. Personally, I had to wait 9 months to get a visa. It broke me emotionally in the sense that I wasn’t allowed to start the life that I was ready for. Not being able to look for a job brought me to discover my more creative side and I started writing. By the time I had my visa, I was ready to start my own business as a copywriter.

4. Cry without asking yourself why

Emotions are an inevitable side-effect of taking a chance on life. Taking risks on the road to achieving something amazing, has its toll. So, when you feel frustrated, angry, stuck or insecure. Just cry. Don’t dig into the “why” of it. The tears will go away and new motivation will come. It’s just this new thing you are doing. It’s not because something is wrong with you.

5. Remember that there is enough of everything. Also for you.

Sometimes you will see others getting to their goal faster than you do. They might get opportunities easily while you work so hard and get nothing. It is frustrating and evokes jealousy. You might feel anxious, insecure or panic. Just realize that everyone has their own pace. There are enough opportunities, networks and nice people in the world. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. But in the end, it’s only yourself that counts.

Helping each other write better.