Scary, exhilarating, uncertain, exciting, overwhelming are words we associate with starting over.
I agree. Starting over is sometimes by choice and other times by circumstance.
Ten years ago I started over. Bad decisions, a lifelong addiction to people pleasing and feelings of inadequacy left me at rock bottom, alone, angry and nowhere to look but up.
I collapsed one Saturday night when I could not physically, emotionally and mentally take anymore literally into the arms of Christ after years of ignoring and running from Him. While He had every right to be angry He “stood by my side and gave me strength.” 2 Tim 4:17
Here’s what my start-over taught me.
First, your circle of influence will determine the success or failure of your start-over. You can’t rise up around others who want to keep you down where they are.
I spent the first six months of my start-over mostly with myself. My old “friends” deserted me and the ones that lingered didn’t like the woman I was becoming. Perhaps they felt like I was abandoning them or my desire for something new was a threat. I don’t know.
Those months were lonely and uncomfortable at first, like being with a stranger because I’d lost my identity trying to be what others wanted.
But over time I found a friend within me. She’s extraordinary yet I never knew it because I never bothered getting to know her. These days, she has my back, is my biggest supporter and I genuinely appreciate who she is.
Second, you don’t need a clear plan to start over. Overthinking leads to anxiety. Fear paralyzes. Doubt derails momentum.
While I had no idea what I wanted in my start-over, I did know Who I wanted to become.
Since then I’ve been editing my life to align with her. Asking quality questions, removing excess and taking ownership were some of the daily, small actions I took that’ve had massive impact.
Thirdly, make sure you don’t have a heart condition.
My heart was overflowing with bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness of others and myself. I tried for years to heal my heart and I’ve learned that self cannot heal self.
Like consulting the manufacturer of a product for help when it breaks down, I began each morning consulting God the Creator for my broken down heart.
I knew my start-over was going to rely completely on His grace and strength to help me “throw off everything that hinders” my race (Heb 12:1). He did and still does.
Life will try to saddle us with envy, comparison, discontentment and insecurities that suffocate us. Daily appointments with the Master Physician asking Him to “Create in me a clean heart O God. . .” is critical to our survival and sanity. Ps 51:10
Fourth, silence the soundtrack that’s been playing in your head all these years. Replace that old cassette recording with something new.
My soundtrack for 43 years was “you aren’t good enough.” It played when I was alone, in a crowd, trying to learn or accomplish something new or get out of my comfort zone.
It played on repeat so long I believed it and allowed it to dominate every area of my life which seemed to confirm it.
That’s the power of beliefs. We believe them so long we subconsciously create evidence of their truth when all along they were nothing but lies.
When your old mental recording starts playing, immediately turn up the volume on the lyrics you want to believe even if you don’t right then and over time you will. My new melody for the past ten years is a rocking tune that supports the woman I am becoming. It’s positive, encouraging and empowering!
Finally, don’t bury your past or let it define you.
Your past is your reference book, teacher and personal trainer for your present and your future revealing to you what/who you want and what/who has to go. Otherwise all your tears, pain and sorrow are in vain. Your past is not your residence, your judge or jury unless you allow it to be.
Your new season may be starting a new career, retiring, moving on from a former relationship or pursuing a healthy lifestyle, conquering a lifelong fear, relocating, healing from old wounds, breaking free from expectations, learning a new skill, returning to school etc.
Starting over is scary but it’s also a sacred opportunity to evolve on your terms and get reacquainted with yourself, your wants and needs.
Is there somewhere in your life you are ready to start over? Is it with your physical health, your emotional wellbeing. relational or financial peace or environmental wellness?
Don’t delay your happiness by staying where you are. You can start again.
The Wellness Coach for Women
A Second Wind is a TCC signature 1:1 course where starting over becomes your starting point to power and wellness, internally and externally. Get more details here.