Starting Can Be Harder Thank It Looks


If you’re like most parents you’re really glad to see your children get started again with the new school year.  With summer an almost distant memory and everyone excited to get back in action.

It’s fine if you have a plan, your courses chosen, your direction thought out, but for many young people, particularly those in the 16 and over category, there can be a tremendous amount of stress connected to starting back to school.  Why you ask, well for many young people they are beginning to really look at where their next phase of life will take them. At 16-18 most of us aren’t thinking about what our very first step to starting could be.  It’s easy for other people to say, don’t worry just do what you love, but what if you’re not sure what that is and more importantly, what if every time you look out there it just seems like a big black hole.  I can’t think of anything more terrifying than believing you don’t know where you’re headed and more importantly believing you don’t have what you need to get there. Of course neither of these things are true, but it’s the getting started which can be really tough

This recent advice  from Eat Pray Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert in this Huffington Post video might seem surprising but actually it’s right on the money with one very good place to start.

So what else could a student making life changing decisions begin with?  The simplest answer, what they already have.

1.  Write down their strengths, loves, interests, hobbies.  Get them to really give details on what they love about these areas so they can begin to look for offshoots from them.

2. Start a conversation about what other people think they are good at.  What do people tell them seems easy for them and they enjoy doing, everything counts even the small things.

3.  Stretch out and get them to start wondering and wandering, chances are they haven’t been moving much outside of their comfort zone in terms of diverse input, check out sites that will show them new trends and ideas like Fastcompany, Gizmodo and PSFK.


The truth is not everyone has a clear idea of where they’re headed and that is absolutely fine, but when faced with the situation it’s important to take small steps in order to get going in the right direction in order to move around the overwhelm that can then rise up.

Keep reminding them, “they already have what they need”, it just requires that they work at uncovering it and building skills that will work along side of it.

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