It's your turn.
I received a call the other day from an individual facing one of the greatest and most fearful challenges anyone will ever confront: starting your life over again. Her particular situation was the result of divorce. However, starting over again can be caused by anything from an unexpected death, bankruptcy, loss of job, a new career, retirement, kids going off to college, kids coming home, marriage, new children, or any number of other life-altering experiences we all encounter that upsets our life balance. The calls are always the same with the circumstances being the only difference. If it’s happening to you, it’s a scary, tough, and potentially debilitating experience regardless of the back-story.
The question that comes to my mind is what makes starting over again so terrifying to some yet extraordinarily exhilarating to others? On one hand, idea starting over represents an unwelcome reality often caused by an unexpected or uncomfortable life experience. The shock of unanticipated events represents an assault to our stability and threat to our perceived safety and dominion. Starting over can also be the result of deliberate choices we make to break away from our past and create a new and hopefully better future. Starting over has two distinctly different faces – or does it?
Here’s where it gets interesting: I’ve never encountered a situation where starting over ended up being a bad experience for anyone – regardless of whether or not it was propagated by an unexpected or purposeful decision. As difficult and inconvenient as divorce, death, the kids going off to college, an injury, a new child, or whatever may be, the experience and forces surrounding starting over changes our lifestyle, perspective, and experience of our lives – most often for the better. Breaking up with your partner may be difficult, but it spares you the insalubrious side effects of a troubled relationship. The loss of a loved one may be excruciating, but memories change us in ways that profoundly influence our life’s experience and view of the world. The kids going to college can be traumatic, but it also frees us to experience the life we put on hold and gives us opportunities to play a refreshingly different role. A new marriage or career challenges our place in the world, but introduces new paradigms that take us in new directions. Regardless of the situation, the process of starting over is an opportunity for us to reimagine, review, and renew our lives – if we take it!
Even the most uninvited realities allow us to benefit from rather refreshing and life-sustaining “do-over’s.” I remind my clients it’s nature’s way of allowing us to reboot our lives. Whether it’s the result of a commitment to improve your life or something beyond your control, understand where you’re at and seize the opportunities you’re being offered. Here’s a simple framework to help guide your efforts.
- Stop. Breathe. Get it under control. One of the most common albeit understandable responses to starting over is panic! Get the panic out of your system by screaming into your pillow – then start moving ahead. We panic because we fear the uncertainties we’re about to confront. What do we do? Where do we go? How will we survive? Your first step is to eliminate uncertainties by exploring questions and fears one at a time – and, after you’ve taken a breath and cleaned the pillow feathers from your mouth!
- Put everything in perspective! Starting over is an exceptional opportunity to start life anew. It’s a perfect opportunity and queue to reevaluate your life plan and explore new ways to improve its experience. It’s also your chance to move and grow in new directions – and make you your life’s priority! Starting over is about reimagining your life and coming up with something better and more profound. Embrace yourself and where you are and go forward knowing you’re about to write the next amazing chapters of your life! If you need guidance or assistance, explore your options with trusted friends, or purchase my book Reimagined and follow where it takes you. Work with friends and family members to make the most of this exciting period in your life by transforming “starting over” into a launching pad for the rest of your life!
- Take it one step at a time! Life is not a race and reaching the finish line first is not what it’s all about! It’s all about the journey. Starting over is an engaging process that occurs one step at a time. Give yourself the time and opportunity to explore your options and integrate them into your life’s plan with care and purposeful intent. Explore the most pressing issues and investigate potential solutions one at a time. (If you have my book Reimagined, carefully explore the areas on relationships, dependencies, life quality, and decision-making.)
- Embrace the world of wonderful options you have! Once your necessities are covered, explore your new life and improvements that can enhance your life’s quality and experience. Take the time to think explore and reconsider the design of your life, and use that opportunity to improve your life plan and its experience. (Once again, Reimagined provides an invaluable resource in your efforts.)
- Develop your new life plan, embrace it, then go for it! Stick to your dream! It’s your new beginning and you have explored the ideas and opportunities that will transform your lifestyle into something more than you’ve ever experienced. It’s an amazing process. Carpe diem! (Seize the day!) Realize that changing the experience of your life begins with changing the life you live. You’re in now in total control of your life and will define its experience by the life design decisions you will create.
- Live your life beautifully! Starting over again is something everyone experiences in their lives and your success and happiness is the ultimate revenge! How starting over ultimately influences you and the experience of your life depends on how you approach and leverage it. Do it perfectly! Starting over is a personal cleansing activity despite its often emotionally bewildering and draining experience. The most important thing to remember is starting over is a natural life function that provides an invaluable opportunity to reevaluate and realign your passions and interests within the context of your life. Take nature’s hint!
One day I asked a golfing friend of mine who is an obstetrician why some babies die immediately before or shortly after birth. He commented, “…it’s nature’s way of dealing with something that’s gone catastrophically wrong.” I think of starting over in much the same terms. Starting over, regardless of the reason, is a necessary albeit protective process that occurs when something in our life has gone catastrophically wrong, the rules we’ve always lived with require transformation for one reason or another, or life has taken its natural course and we must adjust to a new reality.
Whether you’re starting over with a new life together, or starting over with a new life to yourself, this is your opportunity to reimagine your future and write the next amazing chapters of your life with fresh perspectives. Embrace your life, embrace change, and write its next chapters beautifully!
So, what’s next?
The concept of starting over again is daunting to most people – and for good reason! However, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your life, what you want from it, and the design that will can get you from here to there. Unfortunately, we’re never taught about how life really works or is designed from a human perspective. As you might expect, this often results in doing the same things over and over again.
Starting over is your opportunity to break old patterns and barriers in your life and explore new ways and ideas that will define your future. This is your opportunity to take back the control of your life and its design. Reimagined: How amazing people design lives they love (and what they can teach you! can help you and your journey. Discover the guide that tens of thousands already know and use every day to reimagine, design, and build lives they love! It’s a smart investment in your future and happiness!
For less than $10 for the Kindle® version (which can be read on everything from your smart phone and computer to your Kindle® reader), to less than $25 for the paperback at Amazon.com, you can start exploring and designing the next amazing chapters of your life!
Here’s to you and your amazing new life!
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It’s not simply about living life. It’s about loving it!™