why you need to be your own hero (and how to do it!)
make a positive mindset your favorite accessory

the best beginning: 7 tips for starting out strong

Today is my first day at my new job. I'll be honest with you, my loyal readers: I'm nervous. I don't want to be; I want to be excited and over-joyed that I'm starting a new job, which I'm sure will be filled with awesome new experiences and great new people, and I am excited, but I'm also nervous. It's been a long time since I've started a new job (over three years, to be exact!), and, back then, I had no idea what I was getting into. Having survived my first real job, I now know all of the ins and outs of what a job entails -- and that makes me all the more nervous to start a new one. 

As I embark on this new journey, I'm spending a lot of time thinking about how I can make the most of it and have the most positive possible experience in my new environment. Overcome at times with nerves, I've found that it's not always easy to stay positive, but I'm doing my best to focus on the good things and not let my mind get carried away with all of those "What if..." scenarios. After all, thinking about the possible things that could go wrong is certainly not a good way to focus on the present moment. If I want to live in the moment, I have to focus on what's happening now -- not what could someday happen. 

The only moment I have is now, and the only beginning I have is this one. There will never be another beginning exactly like this one. I will never again be able to come back to this job as the new girl, the one who is just starting on her very first day. There is only one first day and it's one of the most important days because it's that first impression that often sticks with people. Not to put too much pressure on them, but beginnings are very important and, for that reason, I want to make my new beginning as positive as possible. I might be nervous and I might be uncertain, but I'm going to do whatever I can to make the most of my first day at my new job. 

As I've been enjoying a week off and a week of preparation for the new gig, I've been thinking about ways to make the most of my first day. While I was thinking about how I can be both positive and present during my first day at work, I started realizing that the ideas I was coming up with could apply to almost any new beginning. Whether you're starting a new job like me or going through another big change in your life, you can use the tips I've outlined below to make the most of your new beginning. 



How To Make the Most of Any Beginning

  • Be mentally prepared. This can be one of the hardest parts of embracing a new situation -- preparing mentally. It's easy enough to choose the right outfit and do your research on the new journey you're embarking on, but preparing mentally is a totally different story. It takes a lot more time and effort to get yourself in a good mental place as you begin something new, but this is critical. If you're not mentally prepared for whatever you're diving into, whatever you encounter will be much more difficult. For that reason, it's so important to take the time to prepare yourself for what's ahead. This preparation will, of course, depend on your particular situation, but do whatever you can to be mentally prepared for what's ahead. 

  • Have a good attitude. As you're beginning something new, one of the best things you can do for yourself (and the situation) is have a good attitude. Yes, this seems obvious and cliche, but it's much more important that people often realize. New situations are intimidating and scary and can often be overshadowed by negative thoughts and doubts. Don't let this happen to you. When you find yourself in a new situation, focus on the positive things about that situation. There will inevitably be good and bad in any situation, but if you choose to focus on the good things, you'll make any new beginning more enjoyable.

  • Keep an open mind. When you find yourself in a new place, surrounded by new people and things, it can be tempting to close your mind and remember what you used to know. New things aren't always that easy to embrace -- but don't let a closed mind hold you back. If you go into any situation with a closed mind, you'll find that you're not living up to your full potential. You're restricting yourself and limiting yourself to the goodness that lies within any situation. If you look for it, it's there. No matter what you face at a new beginning, don't close your mind to it. Look at it with fresh eyes and keep your mind wide open. 

  • Pay attention to details. First days and new experiences can be overwhelming for sure. You'll find yourself on sensory overload, trying to pick up on all of the new terms, new sights, new places. You'll be overwhelmed by all of the introductions and all of the excitement of spending time in a new place. But, no matter how overwhelmed you feel, remember not to ignore the details. The details of a place can help to bring it all in to perspective. You shouldn't ignore the big picture, of course, but the details will help to ground you in the moment. Be attentive and mindful and you'll find the situations you encounter be much more manageable. Embrace the now by paying attention to the details. 

  • Ask questions. You, in a new situation, will be wondering many things. You'll be unsure about where to go, where to put your things, where you're supposed to be at specific times, and when you're supposed to be attending to specific tasks. There are many things to consider at a new beginning and it can become a daunting task to manage it all in your mind. When you find yourself wondering why or what or when, ask. It may seem easier to think you'll figure it out later or someone will tell you, but, believe me, if you want to know something about your new situation, the best way to get information is to ask. Ask, ask, ask. A lot. It will put your mind at ease and make the situation much less intimidating. 

  • Be friendly to everyone. As much as I love to share my insights on positivity, I'm not always Ms. Friendly, especially when I'm overwhelmed or nervous. Like many people, when I'm uncertain about a situation, I'm focusing on myself. But this is something I'm going to work hard to avoid on my first day. I'm going to do my best not to worry about how I'm feeling (nervous... unsettled... unsure...), and, instead, I'm going to focus on being friendly to everyone I meet. There's a lot to take in during a beginning, but a great way to put yourself at ease is to put others at ease with your friendly attitude. I know that, no matter what I find myself up against, a smile will make it all that much easier to handle. 

  • Determine your goals. Even though there is a great deal going on at a beginning and it can be hard to know where or what or when you have to get things done, one of the most important things you can do to start off on the right foot is to determine what your goals are. If you have goals and purpose for your new situation, you'll be able to get through the trickiness of the beginning and you'll have a big picture to focus on. Everyone's goals will be unique, but whatever your goals are, they should be clear to you from the beginning. Once you establish what you want out of a situation, you'll be much happier to be in it. 

 


Starting something new -- a job, a class, a school -- can be intimidating. It can be so difficult to go into a situation not knowing what to expect and holding onto only your hope for the best, but I'm a firm believer that attitude is everything. If you go into any situation with a good attitude, you're guaranteed to have better results than if you went into that same situation with a bad attitude. No matter how intimidating a situation is, it's important to keep in mind that, no matter what, you are you and you can handle any situation that comes your way -- especially if you have the right attitude.  

 

How to you make the most of a beginning? 
What can you add to my suggestions? 

Comments

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I can relate to starting something new. I'm moving with my fiancé down to South Carolina, not knowing anyone but each other. I'm sure your going to do great at your new job. Just let your natural personality shine and you won't have any problems. (Yes, I have to work to practice what I preach).
Good luck!

Have a good attitude. That's the most important part from my perspective. And it's not just an action. That 'have' means for most people a life-long process of changing limiting beliefs, transforming thinking and emotional reactions.

Being friendly to everyone is key. I like how Wooden put it -- "we can agree to disagree." As one of my mentors put it, be "open and respectful."

Hope your first day went really well, Dani. These are very useful tips for beginnings, especially in a new job. For me it helps to look at it from the other side too. One's own positive attitude in a new situation is very important, but I'm sure you're working with good people and they will be making allowances for you being a new employee, giving you support by accepting that, even if you are a bit nervous or uncertain on your first day, this won't necessarily be how you'll act when you settle in and know the ropes better.

By the time you read this, you will be looking forward to Day 2! Hope everything went well.

For my beginnings, I tend to do two things: 1) remember past beginnings that went great -- I harness those positive feelings and carry them with me 2) take it easy & have no expectations -- things will be what they are ... I can process them and check in with my gut once the hard part (setting out) has been taken care of. In the meantime, I'm relaxed in the process.

Dani, I understand completely. I am embarking on a different phase of life--retiring from this long career. I would say that one of the main things to remember is to be a team player. Trusting the people that I work with and not micro-managing has helped bring much success to this organization over the many years that I have been here. Individually we don't make as much of an impact as when we all work together. Good luck with your new position.

I wish you the best of luck with your new job. You're going to do great, and they're lucky to have you :)

Hi Dani, I always think 'when in doubt, smile'. That's helped me few quite a few situations, including being new at something. I'm looking forward to hearing about your first day.
Topi

Liz - I'm glad you could relate to this post. I hope these tips help you with your new move. I'm sure it'll be great!

Eduardo - That's a really great point about how having a positive attitude means not just having it in a particular moment, but actually having an entire re-haul in terms of beliefs. It's something I'm very familiar with and it's a great point!

J.D. - Good points. Being friendly (which I really tried to do today) makes everything much better. "We can agree to disagree" is a great reminder when it comes to getting along with others.

Catherine - The first day went really well! I really appreciate your comment on this post and your insights about looking at things from the other side. It's a great point and I'm going to keep it in mind. Thanks!

Chania Girl - Thanks for those two great suggestions! As you wrote, I am already looking forward to Day 2! It was a good first day and I'm really glad you commented. Thanks for stopping by!

Syd - Thanks for sharing your experience with this comment. Teamwork is so important and I'll make sure I keep that in mind at my new job.

Melissa - Thank you so much! It means a lot to me to read your positive outlook on my new job. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Topi - Good point! Smiling not only puts others at ease, but also makes us feel better as well. The first day went really well and there was definitely a lot of smiling!

good luck Dani ! your such an inspiration =)

Hi,

There's a model that I study that presumes that one is either in an inhibitory bias or an excitatory or generative bias. This may fit into what you've written. The summary is below:

There are two basic biases an individual can have as they orient themselves in the world – inhibitory and excitatory. A person with an inhibitory bias sorts for and notices the problems and limitations of the situation. A person with an excitatory bias sorts for and notices the possibilities and potential. Neither of them are True, both of them bias the system. While still able to notice problems, a person with a baseline excitatory bias is naturally healthier and more potent.

Best,
T

Brilliantly said! Thanks.

Rocky - Thank you! I'm so glad you think so! Thanks for leaving the comment. Comments are one of the things that inspire me.

T - I really appreciate you sharing that information in your comment. That's a really interesting model and, from my experience, it seems to be quite true. Now, the question is: can people change from one bias to another?

Derrick - Thank you! I appreciate the comment!

What great advice

Zoya - Thank you! I'm glad you got something out of reading this post.

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