Knowing When to Close the Chapter

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Accepting that change is imminent is sometimes one of the hardest things we must face, and for many of us, we will have to go through this process many times during life.

Change is often greeted in one of two ways – with fear and doubt, or with enthusiasm and excitement.

When it feels like things are out of our control, and we didn’t play much of a role in deciding whether we are ready for it or not, we often face change with feelings of fear and doubt. Fear that the change will cause more harm than good, fear of failing to see it through, filling ourselves with doubt and the most commonly asked question “what if…?”.

On the other hand, when change is something that we have desperately been waiting for, we often greet it in a much more welcoming manner, with enthusiasm for a better life, better partner, better job, better health and better life altogether. We’re more inclined to look at change with a positive light when we feel that we’ve contributed to the change occurring.

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But when change is most needed, it is often delayed. At times, the change needed to break free from negativity, unhappiness and even harm, is the hardest to face. When change requires us to take action that will impact someone else in any way whatsoever, we often pause to think of the impact it may have on them. We fear the consequences of having to do something that will upset, anger, disappoint or hurt someone else.

In doing so, we inadvertently bypass our own needs and desires, for the sake of someone else or the situation at hand. Whether it’s leaving a job that makes you unhappy, ending a relationship that isn’t healthy or making a choice for yourself that others don’t agree with or support, all these things cause us to question our motive. We easily remain comfortable and unhappy, as opposed to being brave and better for it.

However, due to our inner-voices – the views and opinions of others – we tend to ponder the impact it may have on them, and we forget to ask ourselves how it could impact us. Is staying in a state of unhappiness better if it means that no one else needs to get hurt? Is staying in a job that you dislike more important than your own mental health? Is staying in a state of inaction to avoid impacting others more important than the outcome it could offer you?

To do nothing means that you give authority to the situation and circumstances over your life. To do nothing means that you are allowing yourself to be ‘stuck’. Only you have the power to turn the pages and reach the end of a chapter, to begin a new one altogether. You’ve read this chapter before. You know how it begins and you know how it ends.

Following your gut instinct, as reluctant as you may be, is sometimes exactly what you need to do. I have often been asked the question ‘what does your gut tell you?’. Despite knowing what to do next, and that my gut was telling me that I needed to make a change, it was still so difficult when I allowed my emotions to get the better of me.

One of the fundamental struggles we are faced with at times, is the ability to break through the clutter of our thoughts and emotions, when faced with a situation that poses a threat, risk or potential negative outcome. For fear of being judged or criticized, we often remain in a situation that has been begging for change.

If you think about a situation right now that has brought you any kind of discomfort, unhappiness, dissatisfaction or anxiety, what has your gut instinct been telling you? Have you ignored your body’s signals and warning flags? Or have you done something about it? If you have, you have shown immense bravery and courage to take action, where most people struggle.

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If you have yet to find your courage to do something about it, don’t waiver. Everyone has the courage to change something that isn’t right for them. Courage is not something that bursts out of the ground like a magical fire, roaring into your life to save the day. It is a burning ember that resides in all of us, and sometimes it just needs a gentle nudge to rise up and flare.

The key is to take a moment and ask yourself these few simple questions:

  • If I don’t do something about this, where will I be in 3 months’ time? How will I feel about myself and my life?
  • On the other hand, if I do something about this now, how different would my responses be to the questions above?

Which scenario is better in the end? For the cost of some discomfort, is a long-lasting solution that offers you better growth, opportunity and happiness not worth it?

Your life is your story. It is your book that you hold in your hands. At times, yes, a chapter may close sooner than you thought it would, but nevertheless it makes way for the start of the next chapter.  Remember, until you close certain chapters in your life, you cannot make way for something new, something better, something beautiful or something great. 

“Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.” – Norman Vincent Peale


Shantal is a mindfulness blogger from Rockhampton Australia who has overcome her fair share of trials and tribulations that held her back from reaching her full potential, to create a life of meaning and purpose.

With a vested interest in human behaviour, mindset and living a life of meaning and purpose, Shantal has spent the last three years conducting research, reading books, journal articles, listening to podcasts, attending webinars, workshops and seminars, and a range of other resources to equip herself for a full personal transformation.

Successfully overcoming a negative mindset, Shantal has reached new heights, fostered by her deep understanding of self-value, self-love and self-acceptance.

Website Link: https://www.bluebirdinabox.com

This post was written by a guest contributor based on their expertise in their respective field. Want to write for us? Reach out to us here.

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