Starting over is scary. I know this for a fact because I’ve been there. Aside from taking a break to raise my kids, I worked as an R.N. for most of my life. When my father came to live with me, it quickly became apparent that he had advanced dementia so I opted to leave my career to stay at home with him. I was able to do that at the time because I had alimony income.

After my father passed, and I gave up my alimony (don’t even ask), things didn’t go so well. It was also the middle of the housing crash. Faced with losing my home, I had to figure out a way to make a living again. I didn’t feel competent enough to go back to nursing – I had been out of it too long and the profession had changed so much, so I basically had to start over.

Whether it is a new career, a recovery from a broken marriage, a new romance, or building everything from the ground up again – starting over is scary. It isn’t impossible, however. No matter how things are going, you can embrace starting over with these tips.


1. Trust Your Instincts

If you start feeling like it is time to start over in some way – then give those feelings some serious thought. We all have moments like this, but if your moments are always on your mind, then you might need to honor those feelings.


2. Take Some Time

No matter the context, starting over, is rarely done quickly or without regret. Honor those feelings. Taking some time to mourn your loss before you start thinking about your future will help you get ready to start over. There’s a book on Amazon that I’d highly recommend called “You’re Not going Crazy. You’re Just Waking Up” by Michael Mirdad. It’s short and easy to read – perfect for stressful times.


3. Believe it is Possible

People often have to start over during dark times. You might have lost your job, loved one, your romantic partner or even your home. You might worry that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You are wrong. You CAN start over, and you will be stronger than before once you do.

Affirmations are great for this. Create some positive affirmations such as “Things are getting better every day” or “I CAN do this” and stick them on your mirror or carry them with you in your wallet. Don’t forgot to read them aloud to yourself every day.

Another thing that helped me immensely was to start a daily gratitude practice and I have continured it until this day. At the time, I thought it was pointless. I thought there was NOTHING to be grateful for, but I found the more I looked for things, the more I found – the way the aspen leaves shook and shimmered in the breeze, my pups on my lap while we watched T.V., the success of my grown children. There’s really a lot when you stop to think about it.


4. Forgive Your Past

It’s weird but sometimes it’s easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. If you are starting over because of a mistake or a perceived failure of yours, please try to forgive yourself. I know it’s really difficult and that feeling will want to reel its ugly head every so often, but how can you possibly start a new journey, if you have self-loathing hanging over your head? The past is the past; forgive yourself and forge a new path forward.


5. …But Don’t Forget it

Forgiving yourself is one thing, but you don’t want to forget your entire past. No matter what, the failures (usually more so than the successes) of the past have given you valuable lessons. Analyze what worked for you in the past, and double down on that in the future. Figure out what didn’t work, and try to avoid those things on your new journey. Of course, some of them are much bigger than just something that didn’t work. But you can still analyze those situations and learn how you got there, so as not to do it again.


6. What Do You Want?

Starting over can be scary, but there is also some excitement. What do you want for the “new you”? Is there anything you have always wanted to do, try, or even be? Starting over is your chance at making things right, so honor your personal preferences. Write a list of those things that you want in your life, both personally and professionally.


7. Reach Out

When you have to start over, it can be pretty overwhelming. Take some time to reach out to your closest family and friends. They can be the rock that you cling to while the waves of life batter you.  You will be surprised how readily people will be willing to help. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, consider finding a counselor to chat with. They can be an excellent resource and are often covered by insurance if money is an issue.


8. Create a Plan

People who are starting over often feel rudderless and lost. One way to ease those feelings is to start thinking of your future. Don’t just think though – make plans. Set some goals. Focus on the short-term and the long-term. Merely thinking about this “plan of action” will help ease your worries about the unknown.


9. Embrace The Future

We don’t get a lot of chances at fresh starts, so when you get one – embrace it. I know a lot of agony and heartbreak can lead to starting over, but this is a time where all of your options are open. Take the time you need to mourn your past life, but don’t feel ashamed at all if you feel more than a little excited about what’s to come. Sometimes a fresh start becomes a whole new wonderful life. As this current pandemic begins to draw to a close, I’m hearing lots of stories from people who were forced to change things up (creating their own business, downsizing, relocating) and are already living a happier life than they had in the past.



                    ONE                      TWO                    THREE

Think about all the areas of your life. Are there any that could use a total reboot? Are you suffering from a bad relationship? Is your career crushing your soul? Do you just want to be somewhere else? Anywhere else?

These are some areas to consider: Personal growth and development, spirituality, finances, career/business, romance, fun, giving back, health/fitness, environment (home, office, nature) and relationships.


Once you have thought about it, single out a specific area that you think needs change the most. Write down that area of life.


Now, take some time to figure out a single step you can take. Do you need to talk with your partner? Do you need to start looking for new jobs and begin your own business?  Whatever it may be, think about a small step that you could take today that might change your life forever. Now, do it!


FURTHER READING – Some books I’d recommend (Most can also be found on Audible.)


  1. Starting Over: Your Life Beyond Regrets
  2. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
  3. Starting Over, Starting Late or Both
  4. O’s Little Guide to Starting Over
  5. Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again 
  6. Women Who Spark After 50 




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