Starting over may be what you need to get your life moving again

Starting over is hardly up there with our favorite tasks, but sometimes it's the only way to jump-start your life and get it going again.

I've had to do it a couple times, and it was never easy. Even so, when you realize that it's absolutely necessary and you make up your mind, that's half the battle. Perseverance is definitely called for.

The good news is that we've all done this before, even though we may not have recognized it at the time. You may have changed houses as a child, changed schools, and certainly went from elementary school to high school. Granted, it's still school, but it's a new experience. What you've done once, you can do again. Starting over can feel invigorating.

Starting over with the unfamiliar

One school of psychology believes that when we do the same thing for a long time, a certain pattern becomes "etched" in our brain. Subconsciously, we know what's coming and are comfortable with it. Throw a bunch of new experiences at us and we have trouble adjusting.

Maybe that's why older people are more resistant to change. Our "patterns" have had a longer time to become entrenched. Or maybe we're just intimidated by new stuff.

One of the reasons we're anxious at starting over is we're afraid of what others may think of us if we make mistakes.

In the late 1970s, when the newspaper where I was working switched from typewriters to computers, the reporters and editors in the newsroom were all in it together. The home computer wasn't common yet, so none of us had any word-processing experience. We weren't concerned with our mistakes because all of us were making mistakes.

When you begin anew by yourself, it's a different situation. It helps to have a sibling or close friend who can give you encouragement when you stumble, because you will stumble. But if you look on mistakes as a necessary part of the learning process, that will take out much of their sting.

Starting over when the stakes are high

We often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves by thinking we only have one more chance. That's rarely true in life. That kind of self-imposed stress only increases our nervousness.

Instead, we should view the situation as serious but not life-or-death. Somehow, some way, we can get another chance, or we can head in another direction.

I started college as an aspiring comic book artist and instead majored in English and became a writer. In the long run, I not only had a more stable career, but it prepared me to do this site, among other things.

Starting over is the pattern of life

Each day is a new beginning. Whether we realize it or not, we're always starting over in life. We're constantly encountering new people, new situations, and new problems to solve. We can't let our feelings of inadequacy dictate our course of action.

Remember: Feelings are unreliable. Feelings are not facts.

When you reflect on all the obstacles you've conquered to get this far, your self-confidence will go up. You've proven yourself to be a problem-solver. That's a fact, regardless of what your emotions are telling you.

We take lessons learned from our past experiences and apply them to our current problems. That's why has been so popular; visitors benefit from my mistakes instead of having to make them on their own.

Yes, starting over takes courage, but remember that the God who helped you in the past is still with you to help you today and in the future.

You can make these changes. You can do these new things. You've already proven that you have what it takes.

The BIG starting over

When a relationship goes bad, we immediately think it's the end of the world. We think we lost our soulmate, the perfect person for us, and that we'll never find anyone as good.


If that person was unable to see who you really are, if they were unable to appreciate you for yourself, then they weren't for you, as much as it may hurt.

Dating again and getting back into life after a major disappointment like that can take everything that's in you, plus all the help God will give you, but life does go on, as unbelievable as that may feel at the time.

When my father died, my parents had been married 49 years. My mother loved him dearly, but she resolved, "I don't want to be sad the rest of my life." She was courageous enough to move on, and I admire her for it.

Yes, we need time to grieve the end of a relationship, whether it's caused by death or a breakup, but at some point it's time for starting over. Life is about new beginnings. You owe yourself another chance, and another, and another, and as many as it takes.

No, it's not easy, but you're worth it. Think of the times you missed the mark, tried again, and succeeded.

Your life has been a series of picking yourself up when you fell. You can do it again. You can start over. You can.

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