Making the decision to start over is a bold step, especially after a divorce.
It means that you are pretending that you are satisfied with the cards you were given and ready to take control of your life.
However, new beginnings are challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start.
If you’ve lived your life on the autopilot or followed someone else’s dreams instead of your own, the prospect of a new life is daunting.
But like any other task, the key is to break your fresh start into smaller steps and focus on one at a time.
From overcoming limiting beliefs to letting go of old grudges, creating a new life requires you to take an honest look at the past before committing to the future.
Here are five steps to starting over in life!
1. Identify where you are and where you want to go
We have all been there dreaming of waking up in a new city with an exciting new career. Our old life was left in the dust.
And while it is normal to fantasize about starting over, it is important to understand where you are at this point in time before you begin planning your future.
Think of this as a GPS system. Before your car can determine the route to your destination, it needs your current location.
I recommend sitting down with a pen and paper and making a list of all the things that are currently part of your life, that you are happy with, and all of the things that you would like to change.
Many people only focus on the negatives, but practicing gratitude is important even when you feel out of control.
Then, think of the things you can do to take the first steps towards your new life. Get inspiration from podcasts and positive affirmations.
For example, if you are not happy with your career, you can revise your LinkedIn profile and take an online course to learn a new skill.
If you are disappointed with the dating experience you have had since divorce, it is a good idea to reassess your approach to relationships and potential partners. I especially recommend reading books on attachment theory!
The internet is an unlimited resource if you need help or advice on your new journey. The key is to break out of the cycle of daydreaming and wishful thinking with actionable steps.
2. Overcome your limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are the thoughts and ideas you have about yourself and the world that are holding you back.
Everyone has their own limiting beliefs, and overcoming them is key to starting over, moving forward, and making lasting changes.
Often times we are unaware of our limiting beliefs and simply believe that they are:
“I’m not smart enough to run my own business.”
“I’m not good enough at what I do to advertise on social media.”
“Taking risks is dangerous and always leads to poor results.”
“The world is by nature a dangerous place and I always have to face the worst.”
Most limiting beliefs arise in childhood and are shaped by our upbringing.
In order to rebuild your life and become your authentic self, it is important to identify and overcome your limiting beliefs.
This can be achieved, among other things, by practicing mindfulness.
For example, if you are hesitant or afraid to try a new activity, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. What do you fear is going to happen? What is the main cause of this belief?
Most of the time, you will find that these feelings are not facts.
They are just stories that make you feel safe but come at a high cost, namely that you spend your entire life wishing things would change but never responding to your truest wishes.
If you skip this step, any changes you want to implement will be short-term and superficial and will not produce the results you want.
3. Let go of the grudge
I firmly believe the importance of letting go of the past if you want to start over in life, especially after the end of a marriage.
When my own parents divorced, I saw firsthand how the grudges they held against each other affected not only their relationship with mutual parenthood, but also the way they interacted with others.
Holding on to grudges never leads to new goals and only keeps you trapped in a bubble of negative energy that is draining your potential.
Breaking out of a negative mindset isn’t easy, especially when it’s the standard way you approach life. However, letting go of old grievances is the first step to leading a more positive life.
If you refuse to let go of the past, you can easily play the guilt game of constantly finding excuses for your unhappiness while avoiding taking responsibility for your own life.
Regardless of your current situation, you can always reboot and start over.
The only way this can’t happen if you keep blaming people for X, Y, or Z in your past.
Unfortunately, you don’t always control what happens to you. What you control is your reaction and whether you will allow this event to help you develop into a better person.
4. Leave your comfort zone
Tony Robbins once said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” And I know this is true from my own experience.
When I decided to start my own blog, it wasn’t an easy decision.
I was just in the process of training my older child and helping my younger child with teething problems. I was tired, a little overwhelmed, and a voice in my head told me that I was being silly with this whole blogging thing.
But then I remembered that the biggest life changes I’d seen had come from discomfort. I listened to my intuition and moved on, and it turned out to be an amazing decision that changed my life.
It is impossible to change your entire life in a single day. However, getting out of your comfort zone inevitably produces results.
The choices you’ve made so far have brought you to this point in life. If you are looking for life changing results, repeating old patterns of behavior is not the way to go.
5. Look forward to life
Embodying the best version of yourself when you are feeling less than outstanding is a big job.
How should you get upset about life when there are so many things that you are unhappy about?
I want to come back to one of my previous points, gratitude. It is the secret ingredient to changing your mindset and approaching each new day with a sense of excitement.
Despite all of the challenges you have faced in the past and your current troubles, there are always things to be thankful for.
Even in the darkest of times, I could always be grateful to have a roof over my head, access to the internet, clean water, see my baby smile, and I made sure not to take any of these for granted.
Once you realize how lucky you have been so far, it will be easy to get excited about the things to come. You will become more positive and more open to new opportunities that will change your life!