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Tamika turned thirty-five and found herself depressed to still be in the same

job she’d never liked. She decided it was time to stop procrastinating and

find a new career. For Donald, New Year’s Eve stared him in the face,

looking in the mirror vowing this would be the year he finally lost weight.

And for John, it was watching another month pass without a decrease of

his angry outbursts and abusive speech. Next month, he promised himself,

he would try harder.

If you’ve ever vowed to change at the start of a new month, new year,

major birthday, or milestone, you’re not alone. Researchers call this the

“fresh start effect”. They suggest that at calendar points like these we’re

more prone to assess our lives and try putting our failures behind us to start

over. In our journey to be better people, we long for a ‘fresh start’ aka a

‘do-over’ of sorts. To be successful, this ‘do-over’ must take place on a

mental level if we are to experience success of any kind. Like Tamika, you

could begin by taking an honest look at yourself, your skill set THEN

attending classes to increase your marketability for the career you want.

Getting to the bottom of why and when you emotionally eat BEFORE

signing up for the gym membership would prevent your unconscious self-

sabotaging efforts. And for John, discovering the true root cause of his

anger and WHY his temper is so hair-triggered would result in a higher

percentage of success.

Fresh starts mean nothing until we have an inward honest talk with ourselves.

After the initial self-talk, take the necessary step to invite someone such as a therapist, counselor and clergyman to the table to help you sort through all the ugliness and make sense of it all. To hide guilt and shame, many will think, ‘I don’t need anyone in my business to help me sort through this – I got it’. May I offer some reasonable logic?

If your wrong thinking (the processing of information incorrectly) got you

into this cycle, how can the same thinking get you out??

Moving in quicksand only gets you deeper involved. First step is to stop moving, stop

getting deeper involved. Second step is to identify someone on the outside

who can offer a birds-eye view to help pull you out.

Stephanie Lyons is a Mental Health Advocate at the BBFG Community. She is also the original Co-Host of "Voices Of the BBFG" for the Black Business Focus Group. The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author's and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website or its affiliates.

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