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An Ending or a New Beginning

The Choice Is Yours

by Steve Ward

Author of Article photo

Steve Ward

Whenever you face a challenge, you have a choice to make. Will you choose to view the challenge as an ending or as a new beginning?

Take a cancer diagnosis, for example. You could wallow in your anger, pain, fear, anxiety, and deep sadness, sur­rendering yourself to all the negative emotions associated with your cancer journey. You could choose to view the challenge as an ending, with nowhere good to go after that. But before you make that choice, ask yourself, “Would I like to live with negativity?” I doubt that the answer would be yes, but you’d be surprised at how many people pas­sively choose to live with negativity even if they say they don’t want to. If you buy into the idea that the challenge is an ending to mourn, you invite negative emotions into your heart.

On the other hand, you could work through the negativity and choose to view the bad situation as a new begin­ning, a chance for you to change your life in new and exciting ways you scarcely imagined were possible. Viewing a challenge as a new beginning that will lead to a positive outcome will play a vital role in your path to serenity.

Viewing a challenge as a new beginning that will lead to a positive outcome will play a vital role in your path to serenity.

At the onset of your challenge, see­ing your situation as an ending is normal. We all tend to do it. It’s easy to assume that the bad will continue, that you’ve reached the end of the road, and that’s it. Even when you decide to shift your point of view to that of seeing this chal­lenge as a new beginning instead of an ending, you’ll likely waver back and forth between the two viewpoints. The idea, though, is to work hard to change your perspective while focusing on the positives in your life. As you begin the process of finding your positives, also make a concerted effort to view the situation you’re in as a new beginning. You’ll find that this is an extremely powerful anti-negativity weapon.

As your belief in the idea that you are bound for new horizons takes hold, you will feel passionate, inspired, focused, and excited. Don’t be afraid to share this passion and your story with others. Mov­ing out of your shell to give back to others as you recover will help not just you but also those with whom you share your story. They will see that they, too, can rise above their own challenges, and you will feed the fire of positive energy you sparked when you first decided to actively pursue the positives in your life. Giving thanks for the good you have in your life and then giving to others will propel you further along the road to healing and recovery.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This article is adapted from Finding Your Positives: Your Personal Self-Help Plan for Overcoming Life’s Toughest Challenges by prostate cancer survivor Steve Ward. Learn more about Steve and his book at

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, May/June 2014.