Starting over can be scary but it can also be liberating. It’s all a matter of perspective. Through choice or circumstance, at some point in our lives, all of us will face the process of having to start over – starting over in a new career, a new business venture, or a new relationship. Or maybe you’re starting over in a new country.
Starting over brings with it the prospect of expansion, the hallmarks of a growth mindset. Someone with a growth mindset believes that the outcome of their lives lies in their own hands. In essence, life is what you make happen. As opposed to thinking that life is what’s happening to you.
And, what if you have to start over because of unfortunate circumstances? The loss of a job due to cutbacks, the loss of a long-term relationship due to betrayal. Deterioration of your health rendering you incapable of living the life you once had.
Starting over because of circumstances “thrown at you” is difficult if you carry a bag of negative emotions from past experiences weighing you down.
Shadows of The Past
We all carry scars from the past – some of them caused by people who may or may not have meant well. Some of our experiences are deep wounds leaving what may seem like indelible marks on our psyche.
Interestingly, our interpretation of the past is rarely an accurate depiction of how things actually were. Studies show that two people experiencing an event will have different recollections of that same event.
Some people struggle to overcome their past demons. For instance, bad experiences from past relationships may hinder them from building robust and happy relationships in the future, finding it difficult to trust another person or commit to another relationship.
Re-Scripting the Past
Letting past experiences interfere with our future is detrimental to our growth and mental wellbeing. The shadow of the past into your present and your future is determined solely by you.
While you can’t change the past, you can change your relationship with the past.
Who would you be if you could rescript your past?” Looking at the losses you had in the past as doors that open to a different way of being.
There are no mistakes only lessons.
If the reason for having to start over was because of the choices you made in the past – the affair you had that caused your marriage to end. Poor eating habits that compromised your health. Your termination due to consistently being late for work
We all do things for which we are not proud. You can’t change the past, but you can forgive yourself for the choices you’ve made. Learn from them. And decide to make a change.
Our past does not define us. But the emotions from our experiences of the past have a way of creeping into our present. And it is these emotions that we must master. To release the grip of the past, we must embrace a new way of being. What would that look like for you?
Author and Playwright Tyler Stanley experienced a traumatic brain injury when she was seventeen years of age caused by a car accident. She had to start over from scratch, learning how to walk and talk. She had no recollection of her life before the accident. While that may seem like a double-edged sword to some, for her, it shook her identity. Despite the obvious obstacles facing her she was able to complete law school and pursue a career in social work.
What do you have to start over at this point in your life? What can you do to ensure this second time around will represent a better version of you?
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