Starting over can be one of the greatest things you do, but it isn’t easy, which means it’s also one of the hardest things to do. Depending on the circumstances, it can require quite a bit of strength and courage to take that initial leap of faith. It doesn’t help that the idea of starting over is often associated with failure. However, ask any successful person what it took to get to where they are and their answer is likely to include stories of failed attempts and starting over with a clean slate. Every new beginning is teeming with the potential and freedom to create whatever goals you desire to accomplish. This can only be discovered by taking that first step and experiencing it for yourself.
The start of a new year is a time of endings and beginnings. There is a powerful collective energy that happens this time of year, inspiring you to be bold, try new things, and, ultimately, seek further fulfillment. If you’ve been considering making some changes in your life, now is your chance to tap into that collective energy and begin moving forward, even if it means having to hit the reset button.
The Meaning of Starting Over
Starting over has different meanings depending on what’s going on in a person’s life. It can mean making a big move to another city, state, or country and completely starting from scratch. It could be revamping an aspect of your life, such as a relationship, career, or a new project or business. You don’t necessarily have to start from a blank slate. Start from a foundation already laid and use the wisdom of life experience to set forth once again, this time in a different direction.
Starting over can be something you choose to do, while other times starting over chooses you—whether you like it or not. The latter can be the hardest on both the ego and the heart. In those moments it may feel like the world is crashing down around you and you are left without any idea how to fix it. Those moments, however, are pivotal and represent a crossroads where you get to choose which direction to go next. The most empowering moves you can make in life are the ones you choose.
Let’s look at four benefits you gain when you take the opportunity to start over in any area of your life.
1. You Learn to Accept and Grow
It’s important to understand that starting over isn’t about failure. Starting over is the knowledge that there is something better out there for you—even if you don’t know what it is yet. It’s about learning from the past and using it to propel you forward in a way you had never considered before. It’s acknowledging and accepting who you are at the core of your being and finding ways to make decisions from this place of truth.
Letting go of past mistakes and changing habits that aren’t serving you will set you up for success. It’s ok to stumble and fall; it’s how you learn. You might have grown up being told how things should be rather than being allowed to explore, fail, and try again. Life is about testing the fences, so to speak, in order to determine your strengths and weaknesses. It’s about learning to recognize and focus on what makes you expand in happiness versus what makes you contract in unhappiness. Jump out of your comfort zone and begin to live a life that will bring you greater success, joy, and fulfillment.
2. It Encourages Self-Inquiry
If self-inquiry is something that is new to you, tools such as meditation are meant to help reveal the wisdom within. As you grow in self-awareness, you begin to remove the blocks to fulfilling your potential and live more in tune with your true purpose. You become comfortable living with the unknown, which is often the biggest fear around change.
To accompany your meditation practice, ask questions such as the following to help provide further insight:
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What am I grateful for?
- What is my purpose in life?
It doesn’t matter whether the answers come to mind immediately. The idea is to simply take a moment to ask the questions and let them go as you enter the inner quiet of meditation. The answers will eventually come, usually in unexpected ways.
3. You Learn to Trust Your Instincts
Starting over is a decision that doesn’t come easily. If you have decided that now is the time for a fresh start, that likely comes from a place of deep need. It means you can no longer continue as you have been. It’s a quiet knowing or instinct that something has to change. Life coach Tony Robbins states, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” Perhaps you have ignored this deep urging and push for change for far too long, until now.
4. It Opens You to Fresh Insights
When you focus on something that is past its expiration date, you remain stuck in situations or patterns that hold you back from living a full life. This feels like a heaviness in the heart or twisting in the gut. You lack energy or creativity and you begin feeling as if you’re living life on autopilot. It’s hard to imagine that the opposite is possible—living a life full of vibrancy with all parts of your life working in harmony.
Starting over helps open doors to a new way of thinking and being by changing (and hopefully lightening) your load and offering new perspectives. It’s hard to see clearly or believe what’s possible from a low vantage point. When you make the effort to change your life, no matter how small, you gain access to a higher vantage point where new understandings are revealed and creativity thrives. You also build resilience and courage as you start anew and reach for new goals.
Starting over means a clean slate and this is exciting! Life will never be completely void of struggle. However, when you are living in alignment with your purpose (or what makes you feel good), you have the energy and strength to confront and overcome obstacles with more grace and ease. You only get to this place unless you try new things, start fresh if need be, and see where it takes you. How you approach this is up to you—you can dip a toe in or jump right in. Everyone has their own journey that is right for them.
Beginnings and endings are a natural part of life. Pay attention to the natural world to see how integral this cycle is to promote evolution and growth. Learn to have trust and believe in yourself and the timing of your life. This is where meditation or any mindfulness practice can be helpful. Be gentle with yourself, keep a positive mindset, and remember: It’s ok to start over.
Ready to start flowing with the Universe, instead of against it? Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps make every day feel easy, fresh, and fulfilling with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.