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Start Something New and WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS IN THE LIBRARY By Michiko Aoyama

Cover of the book What You Are Looking For Is In The Library as a teaching example for Starting Something New

Many people stay in situations that make them unhappy because they are scared of change.

This fear is entirely understandable - starting something new means leaving your comfort zone and opening yourself up to potential failure. Achieving dreams isn’t easy – it takes consistent, hard work. You must overcome your doubts and take the first step to achieve your goals.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Take The First Step To Start Something New:

Assess Your Current Reality

What is working in your life, and what is not? Consider whether the things that aren’t working would improve from a mindset shift or if a more significant change is needed. When you think about your long-term life goals, are you on the path to achieving them?

Consider The Impact Of Inaction

Sometimes, staying the same is even scarier than leaping. Current situations that make you feel sad, scared, or helpless daily are red flags that change is needed.

Identify Your Fears

List the things you are scared of, the likelihood that the situation would occur, how deeply it would impact you and ways you could work through or prepare for it. This will help you right-size your concerns.

Build Your Team

It’s always easier to do things with help and support. Figure out which people can talk you through confusing situations, motivate you in challenging moments, and soften the blow if there are falls or setbacks. Tell those people you want to change and enlist them to join your team. Specifically, inform them about the best ways they can help you. For example: “Hold me accountable to___,” or, “When I’m doubting myself, remind me how capable I am.”

Commit To 1 Small Step

Success builds motivation and resilience. Determine the many small steps you need to take to achieve your goals and commit to the first one. Once you do, celebrate that independently and with your team. Use the pride and accomplishment from that success to motivate you to the next step. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Teaching Example:

What You Are Looking For Is In The Library by Michiko Aoyama

Tomoka is a sales assistant at Eden, but her life is far from heavenly. When Tomoka’s friends ask how she is, Tomaka responds brilliant when, in truth, she is bored. Tomoka struggles to care for herself; her meals are all pre-made and purchased at convenience stores, her apartment is a mess, and she’s lost her spark. Tomoka is unhappy and frequently thinks about finding a new job. However, she believes this is impossible until she learns computer skills and thinks classes would be too expensive.

Applying The Skills

Tomoka notices that she has a job she doesn’t like, no social life and that she hasn’t been taking care of herself. She recognizes that she could stay in her current situation but would be forever unhappy, which feels bleak. She knows her fears are primarily that she isn’t good (driven, educated, etc) enough. Tomoka expresses her discontent and the practical barrier of lack of computer skills to a friend who tells her about inexpensive classes at a community center. A few days later, Tomoka goes to the community center and enrolls in the class, which she finds interesting.

Learning empowers Tomoka, prompting her to improve other parts of her life. She starts taking better care of herself, cooking real meals, cleaning her apartment, and developing better relationships with friends and co-workers. Things don’t go from chaotic to perfect overnight (or ever), but Tomoka notices that she is happier as she takes small, consistent, healthy steps.

Tomoka doesn't have all the answers. But she has clarity. In her own words:

“I still don’t know what I want to do or what I can do. What I know is that there’s no need to panic, or do more than I can cope with right now. For the time being, I plan to simply get my life in order and learn some new skills, choosing from what’s available. I’ll prepare myself…”


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