Some of us reach a point in our lives where we’re faced with a tough decision, to start over and we’re not sure if we can. Plans failed and the formula we thought would work, didn’t. This is my take on the process of starting over, what it requires and what happens when we do.
Experience with Starting Over
My previous article about failing many times brings up the question, how did I do it without giving up? At some point shouldn’t I have thrown in the towel for good?
The thing is, quitting my dreams leads to a mediocre life, which is my greatest enemy. I cannot see myself clocking into a job then coming home to simply rest and repeat.
Life needs to be fulfilling, exciting, passionate and interesting at least. Mediocrity has none of that or not enough for me. I have a certain “drive” to keep moving forward.
This is how I’m able to start over again and again without giving up completely.
Where did I get this drive from? Is there a secret juice? Are you born with it? Can it be taught, packaged or acquired?
The truth is, I believe is we all have the potential inside us, but most have so many layers on top of it we simply cannot see it. I believe we can peel off these layers to reach our potential. Some need to be taught how to, whereas some figure it out themselves as I did.
So how did I figure out my drive? Spoiler, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It never is. Although I’ve been creatively driven since I can remember myself, I did not know I had it in me until I was pushed into my darkest moments.
I believe when a loved one dies, we have to re-adjust our lives to move on without that person by force, which is a form of starting over. This happened to me at an early age when my best friend, my father passed away from cancer. I was just 16-years old at the time so nothing made sense.
Through sadness, depression and figuring it out on my own, I “restarted” my life. The one person who was supposed to guide me into adulthood as a man, was gone forever. I’m not saying I’m the only one it has happened to, nor do I ever want pity, but I believe this experience developed my ability to start over by force.
This fundamentally changed me forever.
Then there was the toxic marriage that left me broken for quite some time. I married the wrong person, so getting back out there after a 6-year marriage, was difficult, to say the least.
This also forced me to restart my life in many ways… and I didn’t get it quickly.
I was not myself, not for more than 2-years afterwards. Still finding myself back and trying to move forward while battling for custody of my son, over more than four years, against some of the biggest lies, was the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced.
It took time, a lot of it.
This experience taught me what I did not want in life. Knowing this, you can hone in on your process more efficiently, eliminating unnecessary situations, to reach your destination, where it’ll last longer.
Everyone has their own process and time period. Please don’t look at other people’s lives thinking they’ve moved on quickly while you’re still stuck in second gear. A lot of people appear to move on, and that’s it, they only appear to, because most people are about appearances only these days.
This isn’t the way to truly start over. As my late father used to say, “You may think you’re fooling people, but the only person you’re fooling is yourself”.
Take the time
Starting over isn’t like a smartphone, where it restarts quickly and everything is back to normal. It’s not like the movies either, where a few moments pass, a few things happen and you’ve miraculously moved on completely.
Movies are expressions of art, not tutorials on life.
We would like for it to happen quickly, instantly and effortlessly…we think, “oh, well now I’ve made up my mind to move on, so it’s gonna happen soon”. Nope, that’s not how it works. Like everything “worth it” in life, it happens slowly, gradually, even tediously.
Learn to Rest
I would’ve liked to move on to my next “big thing” when ideas didn’t go as planned. However, I noticed I wasn’t ready to, so I took the time to rest and heal. One major thing I always do after things go pear-shaped is to reflect during my alone times and talk it out when I’m not, it’s cathartic.
The Company you Keep
The people around you the most can either directly or indirectly encourage you to give up and join their mediocre lifestyle because failure loves company. While others will help re-fuel and re-ignite your flame to get back in to fight the good fight.
The is a vital part of moving on, healing and starting over. Who you keep around or communicate with will influence your next step whether it be for the good or bad. Learn to choose wisely or you may dig your hole deeper without realising it.
The people around you influence a lot of your mental stability. Therefore the company you keep is more important than you think.
Letting go is another key factor to starting over. If you never release the button to restart, you’ll never truly restart.
It starts with moving on in some way. Doing this develops something in you, a unique strength and wisdom you can’t get elsewhere. You can’t force it either, it must come naturally, unfortunately.
Part of letting go involves not only the things or people that put you in the downward situation, but also letting go of the people who will not be joining you on your journey forward. Otherwise, you’re just carrying excess baggage and fooling yourself into thinking you’ve truly moved forward when you really haven’t.
After you’ve moved on and let go, you can feel somewhat lost, even feel bad about letting go. This is only temporary because if you took the time to reflect and release, you’ll soon remember why you went down this path and figure out what your next step is.
Sometimes things or people will distract you in other directions, which may be more appealing, but it wasn’t what you set out to do. It’s not you!
Don’t get caught up with this temporary attraction, you’ll only waste more time in your evolution.
Although I’ve written so much about my failures and starting over each time, it sounds quite simple to execute, but not everyone can do it. Convincing a flat-earther that the earth is round would be much easier.
The thing about starting over is that you’re not starting over from scratch. You’re taking the original formula, breaking it down and building it back up, fixing and filling in the errors and holes you missed, throwing out complete equations, replacing them with more efficient ones.
You’re going back with more wisdom and a stronger conviction, hopefully, to do greater things along the same lines of the dreams you’ve had.
Things didn’t work out the way you thought they would have the first time and that’s okay. You’ll soon realise the way it was meant to work out is much better than anticipated.
Starting over is almost like an epiphany moment, but not as instantaneous. A lot of joy can come from starting over, it’s not all pain and strain. You’ll also have less fear because you’ve failed already and risen from it.
Re-igniting the flames of a dream you’ve always had is like restoring an antique, it may look the same, feel the same, but it’s not the same. It almost becomes something new with a little more character to it, some history behind it and a story to tell.
If you’ve made up your mind to start over and do, you would’ve gained so much strength, wisdom and potential, nothing would be able to stop you now. You know you can do it.