If you search for new beginnings, you are likely to be bombarded with new beginnings quotes; Instagram-friendly images with pseudo-philosophical quotes in playful or display lettering.
In therapy, there is a concept around new beginnings being a challenging transitional period in our lives because any new beginning also has to be preceded by an ending – and for most people, it is this part that can cause anxiety and fear of the change to come.
As with most people, we fear change at some level because of the uncertainty that comes with it. Will the new job be as good as the old job? Will I be able to do the work to produce a successful outcome for the project? Will this new relationship be ‘the one’ that I’ve been seeking for so long?
It’s perhaps this uncertainty that leads us to seek out reassurance that we are doing the right thing or that it’s going to turn out alright. We seek out other people’s opinions from our friends and our family, from strangers in Internet forums and from new beginnings quotes on Instagram.
The human brain, although an incredible organ, still has its weaknesses and us seeking confirmation of what we already are thinking is known as confirmation bias; where we seek out information to confirm our existing position – even if this comes from our own anxiety. This means that if we mostly want to do something but are a little unsure we will seek out quotes and opinions that back our decision. If we are very unsure or even fearful of the change then we will seek out quotes and opinions that discourage us from taking those next steps.
So it’s for these reasons that we must be cautious when looking for advice and support to help us make these life-changing decisions. If you are consciously aware of our unconscious biases (irony not unnoticed) then it can help us to make sure that we are not just seeking approval/disproval and that we are genuinely finding a neutral observer to offer us objective guidance. Including the new beginnings quotes.