Everyone goes through changes in their lives, whether it be aging, emotional maturing, retirement, parenthood, or entering or leaving a relationship. However, some of us seem to embrace chance better than others. When change happens, we may find ourselves wondering how to start over and make the best of the new circumstances we find ourselves in.
You’ve likely been in a situation where you felt that things just weren’t working out. Whether it’s in your personal relationships or career development, you feel stuck and unhappy with the way things are.
You need that change, yet you’re afraid to make the conscious decision to move because you’re not even sure what change you need to make, or you’re afraid you don’t have time to start over in life.
You might have been with the same company for the last 5 years, and the thought of doing the same thing for the next 5 or 10 years scares you. You want to do more, or perhaps even something completely different altogether.
Or you could already be late into adulthood, where you’ve established a good career path, and you’ve got a lot going on, such as a family to care for. You’re financially stable and could potentially be working towards your next promotion. But, somehow, you’re not quite satisfied with what you’ve achieved.
There’s just something missing. And yet it feels like it’s too late to leave all that stability behind to embark on a completely new journey of discovery.
Why is that so many of us find ourselves limiting our windows of opportunity and potential because we think it’s too late to learn how to start over?
At age 37, Jack is a Senior Manager at one of the Big Four and has been working in Audit for over 15 years. He’s got a great salary, owns his own apartment, and enjoys the finer things in life, but not without the heavy demands that his job brings.
On the surface it would look like he’s got life figured out. His next steps would be a promotion to becoming Director, or settling down with someone.
Yet, when I asked him if he was happy with his work, he hesitated before answering. He said that he sometimes wished he could quit his job to do something less stressful. However, he’s become accustomed to this lifestyle and feels that it would be too late to give it up to pursue a new career or ambition.
The external struggles that Jack faces are financial stability, social influences from his peers, the lavish lifestyle he leads, and status or recognition that he gets from continuing with this job. These may be things you’re facing as well.
Internally, Jack faces the risk of losing what he’s built over the years. It just doesn’t seem logical to give up this job for the pursuit of an alternative that would give more meaning to his life.
You might have come across a similar scenario as Jack’s, or you might be a Jack. Whether it’s the stresses and demands of your job, a lack of satisfaction, or a feeling of stagnation, you have to decide if you want to tear down that wall or continue to let it enclose you.
How to Start Over When It Feels too Late
The good news is that as our society continues to develop at such a rapid pace, it also means we have more opportunities to do things that were previously thought impossible. These days, more individuals are pushing the boundaries and breaking stereotypes.
It’s not just about age or education. It’s about you, and your ability to accept challenges and having the determination to break free from your existing situation.
1. Gain a Fresh Perspective
To break free from our limitations, we’ve got to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective on just what limitations really are. On the surface, limitations are things that prevent you from doing something, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find that limitations are the things that keep you constrained inside a loop.
They keep you stuck facing the same problems, having the same choices, and taking the same actions over and over again. Limitations define the quality of your life. If you want to improve your life, then you must break free from the limitations that keep you in the same loop every day, month, and year.
It may seem that the limitations that you’re facing are out of your control or something that just happens to you. However, your reality is derived from your perception.
It’s not reality that’s important, but rather how you perceive your reality. Being able to control how you look at things is the key to learning how to start over and creating a fresh start. Shaping your perception is so powerful that just a small change in perspective can completely change everything, from your motivation and outlook, to your self-esteem and confidence.
2. Identify the Challenges
Once you decide to shift your perspective and look at things in a new way, identify exactly what challenges you’ll face as you try to learn how to start over and reboot your life. If you want to change your job, what’s standing in your way? Is it a lack of education, a poor job market, or simply a lack of motivation?
If you have just ended a long-term relationship, what difficulties to you foresee in the near future? You may need to find a new living situation, reconnect with old friends, or get used to being alone again.
To identify what’s holding you back, you can take this Life Assessment for free and get a detailed analysis of how you’re doing in different life aspects.
Whatever the challenges are, note them down and write down at least three possible solutions. Once you see that each problem has an answer, you’ll begin to put your mind at ease and get comfortable with change.
3. Check in With Your Values and Priorities
If you’re determined to start over and change your life, make sure you’re pointing yourself in the right direction as you change. Identify your values and priorities and understand that they’ve likely changed over the years.
When you graduated college, your priority was likely finding a job and making money. Maybe now you’re more interested in developing good relationships with your kids or traveling the world. Be honest with yourself during this process in order to make the most the change you’re going to make.
You can learn to identify your personal values here.
4. Utilize the Breakthrough Framework
The Full Life Framework (as outlined in the book Full Life Essential Guide) provides an overall paradigm shift to turn any limitation into an opportunity that is achievable.
By going through each of these four steps, you can transform your mind and actions towards the change that is needed to achieve your ultimate goals, and truly break free from your limitations.
Step 1: Find the Hidden Opportunity
It’s easy to see what’s standing in your way. Instead, look for any hidden opportunities that will come out of the change as you learn how to start over.
Step 2: Plan Your Progression
Create a plan to achieve the change you want to make. Set a long-term goal, and then break it down into smaller short-term goals that you can work on over the next few months or years.
Step 3: Invest and Prioritize
Invest your time and energy into making your plan and goals a reality. Prioritize what you do with each moment and create deadlines to ensure that your plan goes smoothly.
Step 4: Tap Into Motivation and Good Habits
Even if you have a good plan, it won’t work unless you develop motivation and positive habits that will keep you on track. These habits can include goal setting, daily reflections, and perseverance.
Grab your copy of The Full Life Essential Guide to learn more on tapping into your motivation to find your life’s purpose.
It’s possible to make life changes and learn how to start over. Don’t become a person who lets life pass them by only to regret it when you’re retired or far into old age. Don’t let your life plateau and waste away in the daily grind for the next twenty years while wasting the potential you still have.
Tired of being held back by your limitations? It’s time to break free from them, and start living out your best days.
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Featured photo credit: Jenna Anderson via unsplash.com