“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
What’s the big deal about starting over?
There’s a cultural stigma that says, if you have to start over, you somehow failed on the first attempt.
Yet, every new day offers a new opportunity to take a new look at what’s in front of us…even if it’s patterns, projects and processes that may been going on for a while.
We recently completed a big push towards a conference that pretty much held our focus of attention and finances for the better part of a year. The conference itself turned out to be a bust. Yet, it was holding onto the regrets, couldas, wouldas, shouldas and other forms of making ourselves and others wrong in the aftermath that impeded moving on to “Next!”
This got me thinking that this whole phrase of “starting over” should not be limited to last-ditch attempts when gasping for air before finally going under. What if starting over were a way of life?
Perhaps it’s the ability to see newly what’s already in motion, to come from “beginner’s mind” even when things have been proven to work (or not), that is a practice we want to develop.
Of course, seeing this in hindsight around our year-long initiative doesn’t change anything in the past. But does anything ever change anything in the past…other than learning and moving on with greater awareness?
There’s only moving forward, and I’m thinking that a good forward-moving strategy is to start over continually…and to be proud of saying so.
An intention to grow invites change. Change invites constant transition. Constant transition invites starting over…again and again.
How empowering would it be if we could all get comfortable with a casual response to the common greeting “How are you today?” with “Great! I’m starting over!”
Where can you choose starting over today…even if nothing is broken?
Where can you choose starting over today…especially if you feel something IS broken?
For this reason, we created The Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Online Program.
If you’re up to playing big games, you’ll always be in constant flux and transition. And if you’ve been dealt what seems like a blow from life, it’s only because you’re on the disempowered side of the Bigger YOU that this transition is bringing with it.
The Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Online Program shows you how to turn lemons literally into GOLD (forget the lemonade).
It’s a way of life, and you’ll either adopt a strategy for engaging in it powerfully or you’ll get constant bag-of-brick bruises upside the head that you’ll put all your attention on.
Just like I tell clients around job search and career transition, if you don’t have an ongoing career management strategy, you’ll always be caught off guard.
By learning a strategy to take any of life’s transitions – around relationships, finances, business, health, loved ones, career, etc. – and become more powerful out of them, you set yourself up for unimpeded growth and development.
Behind, back-of, inside-of, and underneath all supposed “bad things” that happen to us there are blessings. We rarely want to look at those in the midst of the muck.
However, by turning our attention away from our victim-ness and onto the unseen blessings, all of a sudden they begin to grow in our awareness and activate our next level of growth.
On the other side of the chasm of transition, there are new territories to be explored and new skills and abilities to be developed.
So many of us resist change when we see it coming, and yet there’s nary a one of us that can’t claim some new understanding, skill, capacity, awareness, knowledge or personal improvement on the other side of any change.
Getting clear on the opportunity to grow one’s curiosity becomes a lucky life gift on the far side of yucky life rifts.
Every change brings with it NEWness: of ourselves and the playing fields we then enter.
Learning to give ourselves the freedom to open up and play again – without the need to have it all figured out – brings a breath of fresh air into what might have become a very standard, staid, and typically normal life.
In The Back Forty, we say you have yet to do what you came here to do.
We all think normal is to be sought after, but if we’re really here to play a yet bigger game – no matter what we’ve accomplished thus far – it will take us breaking normal, taking risks again, and learning to have fun in the process.
“Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.”
Curiosity is something that has a general air of positivity surrounding it. Curiosity causes invention, creativity, creation, excitement, and more. So, it is no wonder that a wonderful way to help you win your midlife experience would be through being curious.
However, as we grow older we adapt a mindset that we know enough, that we are enough. After all, have you ever heard yourself or a loved one say things like, “that’s just the way I am,” “been there, done that,” or even “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?
As we age we seem to adopt the viewpoint that we no longer need to be curious, that curiosity is for the young. Here is the problem with that way of thinking. Everyone has had certain life experiences that shape who they become. There are some things that you hate simply because you have had bad experiences surrounding it before. Similarly, there are things that you love for the same reason. The problem with this is that each experience, either good or bad, puts on a new filter through which you see life. As more and more experiences create more and more filters, your view gets smaller and hazier.
The world is full of infinite possibilities, but if you are determined to see the world through your many many filters, you will miss so many of the possibilities that come your way.
You might be thinking, but all of these filters are different pieces of wisdom that I have gained throughout life. Isn’t wisdom a good thing?
Well, here is the problem with wisdom. Based on the small pieces of wisdom that we gain, we decide what we are capable of. These one-time experiences turn into pieces of “wisdom” that we have gleaned from our lives.
Maybe I would love short hair if I tried it again, but my previous filter has closed me to that new experience.
What are some of your experiences that you have always assumed gave you wisdom but might actually be limiting you? Maybe it’s something that you have always assumed is how you are, how life is, how relationships are. What can you be curious about this week?
Come back next week for Pro Tip #9 and remember to be curious this week!
I knew within a week that I had made a mistake. I had left a position at the radio station where I worked, to take a position in their sales department. Lured by rumors of high sales commissions, I had rationalized the change by telling myself I could use some sales and business experience, to add to my growing body of creative experience as a voiceover artist and recording engineer.
I hated it. I hated the pressure of meeting quotas, and morning “rah-rah” sales meetings, but put on a good face for a year, when one morning I woke up and realized I couldn’t tolerate one more day. So I turned in my resignation and drove home in tears of relief and fear.
I was terrified. How would I support myself? I was 28 years old, unmarried, with a mortgage to pay and a cat to feed, and in desperation, I decided to try meditation as a defense against the persistent voices in my head that told me I had really screwed it up this time.
I got a book that suggested I lay down so my spine would be straight (the better for the energies to flow?) and empty my head of thoughts. Thoughts like, “Am I doing this right? What about now? Oh darn, there goes another thought.” I stuck with it, though, and a funny thing happened. I began to hear another quiet voice, one that encouraged me to relax, that everything would work out just fine. At first I was skeptical. Could I trust it? The feeling of reassurance was so consistent, however, that I thought, “Why not?” and listened closely.
That quiet voice inspired me to reach out to people I knew in the broadcast production industry, and the timing was magical. Within weeks I had a steady gig doing both on-camera work and training as a production assistant. Thirty years later, I have found success in the marketing, advertising, and film industries.
I needed that voice again a decade later, when I knew I needed to end my first marriage, but was afraid of being out on my own. How would I support myself? As before, I had known for a year that our relationship had gradually become disconnected, and my resentment and sadness had become a too-familiar companion. “Have I failed?” I wondered. I was afraid that leaving my husband would confirm my deepest fears about myself—that I was unlovable unless I was perfect.
I struggled for months, hoping a miracle would happen and we would again be happy. But nothing changed. One day, I woke up and my fear of what I would become if I stayed was greater than my fear of what I would face if I left. I was terrified, and yet, I knew this time to listen for the encouraging voice inside me. That voice guided me to find a therapist and work through my resentment, and that going to dinner alone wouldn’t kill me, but open me up to interesting conversations with new people. A small client expectedly expanded into a big one, and my fears of not being able to provide for myself gradually eased. I learned to count on a steady stream of abundance that I worked hard to create.
With the passing of my years, I have come to realize that packed alongside every one of my fears is also the gift of courage that comes from trusting our own quiet voice inside: our inner wisdom. I was surprised the first time I shared the story of leaving the radio station for life unknown and someone exclaimed, “That was so brave!” It took me a while to own my courage, because it sure didn’t feel like it at the time. I own it, now, remembering the earlier times in my life where I was afraid and yet trusted that I could figure something out, even if I wasn’t sure if I could. That knowing has come in handy, when I was again afraid upon meeting the kind man who would become my second husband. I had one marriage that didn’t work out, could I try again? I ultimately decided that I could, and we have just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. The gift of my fears led me to be lovingly vigilant about doing the things that make our relationship happy, solid, and fulfilling to us both.
I can say that being afraid at age 58 doesn’t feel any better than it did at age 28. There are always things in life that kick up fears like a car on a dusty road. But I now face the unknown with a little more curiosity and self-trust than I used to, and that makes all that earlier discomfort well worth it.