The search “why are beginnings so hard” in google produces 34M results. Its opposite, “why are beginnings easy” produces less than half of that same number.
If you think new beginnings are hard, you’re not alone.
We all go through firsts. Our first class as a teacher rather than a student. Our first promotion to a position in leading a team. Our first home purchase after renting for so long.
If we think about these items as “firsts” it can get a little overwhelming. How can one cope with these perpendicular learning curves at the same time? This first time at anything can get a little awkward – Are we doing the right thing? What if we make a mistake? So many questions emerge when doing things for the first time. When we achieve a level of mastery, or even familiarity, our questions are fewer. Our confidence is greater. We worry less and work more and that confidence produces a flywheel of results, where success begets more success and confidence begets more confidence.
If we think carefully about arriving at each beginning, we will be reminded that they are not, in fact, beginnings at all. A long road of experience stretches behind us; teaching the first class is simply preparing presentations and content for a large audience that is eager to learn. The promotion to leading a team is simply teaching others what we have mastered by learning from our own team leads.
These are not beginnings; they are simply the small steps right next to our existing accomplishments. These activities aren’t brand new, they are things we are already good at. The confidence returns. The questions fall away.
Consider not only the road ahead of you, but the road behind you as well. Put your beginning into context with the ending just behind it. Stretch out your timeline and re-evaluate how daunting this new beginning is versus what you’ve already done. I suspect that this beginning isn’t really a beginning at all - just a small step forward, building on your existing success.