You hope and dream of new beginnings and second chances. What is stopping you?

Three myths keep us bound to the past and longing for more.

We can choose a new beginning in our life’s story. With determination and commitment, we can create second chances. But the stories we have been told about who we are keep us from who we can become.

Doors remain closed because we think the key is hidden from us.

We impose limits on our potential.

I have believed each of these three myths throughout my life. No matter how much I read or how often I dispel these falsehoods, they come lurking back. When I scroll through Twitter or Medium, I find these three myths discussed, challenged, and repeatedly dispelled.

Why do we continue to believe them? Maybe you don’t. You may have other lies you tell yourself that keep you from living your happiest and best days.

Wisdom comes from many sources. The words and ideas of others can inspire, comfort, and challenge. Reflecting can set us on a path of new beginnings, but second chances require action—even one small step at a time.

Myth 1: Our past defines our future.

Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
—Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

“To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.”
—Jack Kornfield

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
– Carl Jung

Myth 2: Vulnerability is a sign of weakness.

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.”
—Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
— Madeleine L’Engle

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Myth 3: Perfect is the goal.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
—Anne Lamott

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
— Michael Law

“Perfectionism doesn’t believe in practice shots. It doesn’t believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly – and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner’s work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn’t know how to say, “Good try,” or “Job well done.” The critic does not believe in creative glee – or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.”
— Julia Cameron

Every day is a new beginning.

Another chance —

to learn more about ourselves,

to care more about others,

to laugh more than we did,

to accomplish more than we could,

to be and become more than we were before.

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us,
and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and do what really matters most.”
—Stephen Covey

How will you learn, care, laugh, and accomplish more today?

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photo: © Kathryn LeRoy