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  • Oge Austin-Chukwu

A Fresh Start



“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Mary Pickford


For many of us a New Year is a chance to begin again. A chance to hope for something better or something more. But who says you have to wait for the start of a new year to make a fresh start? Many of you, like me may have found last year very challenging year on so many different levels. In the aftermath of the pandemic, there is uncertainty coupled with a pervasive lack of motivation that coupled together, are making it difficult for people to plan their future. Some have lost businesses or jobs, have had to change the way they lived or worked. Change is never easy at the best of times, but when that change is thrust upon you, it can be even more difficult to adjust. And yet adjust, is exactly what we need to do in order to keep moving forward.

I used to be afraid of failure, because as an overachiever, failure was particularly hard to swallow. I was afraid to try; unless I was I was certain of success. That was until I decided to change my whole perspective. Instead of viewing failure as an end, I chose to see it as a chance to do something new, something different. It’s the same with change that perhaps we haven’t chosen ourselves. We can spend time moaning about it or we can chose to become excited by the opportunity to do something new. The pandemic has certainly got us doing things differently. While I had always wanted to do my coaching virtually, so that I wasn’t limited geographically, it wasn’t something my clients were keen on. In the last year though, we haven’t had the choice so we have become used to doing a lot virtually, and we have discovered that there are some real benefits to this.


When we first consider all the challenges we have faced in the last year, and still face, it may be difficult to muster any enthusiasm for the next few months. However, when you stand back and take stock, you may discover that there are some treasures to be found in what was a very dark year. Whether it was more time spent with family, savings made from not having travel so much, more time to exercise and make healthier meals, or the opportunity to get off the hamster’s wheel that life had become and slow down a little bit, there were some positives to being in lockdown. And if you are reading this blog, it means that you are alive and have so far survived the pandemic – some have not been so fortunate. This should fill you with hope, as it does me – hope that even if I have to start from scratch, I have breath and therefore I can do it.


So how will you emerge from this pandemic and lockdown? However challenging it has been for you, as you begin to focus on the positive things that happened rather than the things that didn’t, your perspective will hopefully change. Fresh hope and enthusiasm for what lies ahead will allow you to begin to dream again, in spite of the uncertainties. I do believe in the power of our dreams to move us forward, giving us the motivation we need to keep pursuing our goals regardless of the setbacks and challenges that we so often face.


It may be that your goals and plans need to change, that you might need a complete change of direction in your business or career, but you have to believe that this is not the end. You somehow have to convince yourself that a better future awaits you as long as you are willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I love to read stories about people who have overcome seemingly insurmountable circumstances to go ahead and succeed. Somehow, their stories make me think, if they did it then so can I.


Take some time to revisit your goals and celebrate the ones you have achieved even if you have only achieved a part of them. Cross off the goals that are no longer relevant or no longer worth pursuing. Tweaked a few others, making them more realistic and more specific, add a few more if necessary. Remind yourself what your ‘why’ is – why are you pursuing these dreams and who will gain from their fulfilment? Then mapped out some steps that will take you closer to your began to take those steps. It is amazing what taking action does with regards to increasing our motivation. Doing what you know to do regardless of whether you feel motivated or not, has the ability to awaken your passion when nothing else is working. You can have a fresh start right now, and you don’t have to see failure as the end, but as an opportunity to try again, albeit differently. All things are indeed possible to those that believe and today brings with it the promise of a new tomorrow.


So pick up your dreams, recognising the power inherent in them. Decide that you will emerge stronger, wiser, and more resilient. Change your focus if necessary; re-group with better resources if that helps, and keep walking towards your future, one step at a time. I promise you, you will look back one day, and be glad you had.






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