|"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail." |
I am always in awe of the beauty found in Spring. It's my favorite season with the bright sun, gentle rains, vibrant colors and warmer temperatures. One of the most special sights from my office window is to look out and see the yellow daffodils peeking out and coming up. I am always amazed that they come up year after year as beautiful as ever.
That's the wondrous thing about us humans as well. Over and over again, year after year, we keep blooming. We are given second chances to shine.
Have you ever failed miserably at something? Have you ever made a big mistake that seemed impossible to fix? Or had an illness from which you thought you might not recover? Maybe you are facing some of these challenges now.
If so, I have good news for you! You have a second chance. You get to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. You have a blank canvas and get to paint a new creation. Don't give up! Just look for your second chance.
Do you know what a second chance looks like? Most often, it is not dressed, as we have imagined it to be. Sometimes it requires being able to see the big picture in order to see the gift found in a second chance. You have to put on your "second chance spectacles" and look for it or you could just miss it altogether. What a shame that would be. Second chances are blessings! They are grace at its very core.
Maybe your second chance looks like a different partner, and not the one you thought you'd grow old with, to travel with you through life. Or maybe it looks like a different job instead of the one you thought you "had" to have. It could look like a new location in which to live instead of where you have grown comfortably. Or medicine that makes you feel ill, in order to ultimately heal you. Maybe your second chance is simply the opportunity for you to share who you are with others instead of hiding behind an image.
How do you recognize the second chances that come your way? I'd like to offer three suggestions that will help you see them:
1. Let go of the past. Learn your lessons...never forget them but move on. Learn to forgive others and, (this is a biggie!), learn to forgive yourself. It's difficult to move forward and take advantage of second chances if you are stuck in the past. Let it go. "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt creep in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. Develop a positive attitude and awareness. Expect the best and look for the good. Become conscious of opportunities and very often you will find them right under your nose. Second chances can be quiet and disguised -- one has to be on the lookout for them.
Thomas Jefferson said, "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal. Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude."
Develop the right attitude for you and see what happens.
3. Persevere. Keep on. Figure it out. Press on. If one approach doesn't work the way you would like it to, then try another. Do what you gotta do.
One of my very favorite quotes is from Ann Landers who says, "If I were asked to give what I consider the single most piece of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'"
Wow. I love that!
So, then, our success formula is:
Let Go + Positive Attitude + Perseverance = Second Chances When I see the April daffodils popping up as they do, I am reminded of how they, like us, are given the chance to grow, become stronger and more beautiful with each spring season. It's a time of new beginnings...a time for second chances. Will you claim yours?
Beth Burns is a Professional Life Coach, partnering with motivated people on their personal and professional goals.