In honor of Chinese New Year, here are 5 keys to starting over:
1) Guilt over Shame
Researcher and author Brene Brown says there is a clear cut distinction between guilt and shame. With guilt, you feel bad about something simply because it is bad. If you ever cheated on a test, you knew it was dishonest so you felt guilty. However, shame is another ball game. Shame sits on your shoulder and says, “you did something bad and therefore, you are bad.” This simply cannot be the case — that would make EVERYONE bad.
If you’re playing the shame game, stop. Nothing good will come from the negative self talk until it ceases. Once you get that little devil out of your ear, starting over will be exciting. Not embarrassing.
2) There is a Better Plan
This tip isn’t meant to get all philosophical on you. We all know this to be true but still fight it sometimes. You may have wanted to make some BIG change on January 1st. And if it didn’t happen, maybe there is a reason. Maybe you weren’t ready or maybe there is something better coming along. Either way, you have to accept it. Fighting it is useless when you could be plotting out your next goal or race or whatever stirs your soul.
3) Hold On Loosely
This goes along with tip #2. Hold onto your dreams like you would a bird. They are absolutely beautiful. Treat them with nothing but kindness and when they need to leave, allow them to do so. If you hold onto any one goal or idea too tightly, you will suffocate it. Holding on loosely allows new and refreshing things to come into your life.
When you find something new, you are not “starting over” in the typical way we think of it. You are actually continuing along the path you are already on, but in a renewed way.
4) Cut the Competition
And #3 leads into #4! See what I’m doing here?
One of the most annoying obstacles to starting over is comparing yourself to others. We tend to think that starting over equals failure or that progress has slowed down. And if progress has slowed down then the Wile E. Coyote (your competitor) is going to catch up to the clever little road runner (you).
We need to reframe this. Even if you are chasing the exact same dream, your path is not the same as your competition. We all have different backgrounds, tastes, friends, habits and needs that affect us in countless ways. Respect your differences by allowing yourself to be just that…different. Use your uniqueness to your advantage when starting over so you will embark on a journey custom fit for you.
5) Get Excited
This is your life! Some people don’t have the opportunity or the means to start over. If you do, get excited. Be grateful and be happy. Maybe you threw a pick in the first quarter. There could be a Hail Mary before half time of this year. You never know.
I hope these suggestions find you well. Sometimes being open and honest about my perceived failures really helps me. So, feel free to share your goals, shortcomings and ways of starting over below!