starting over

Be Aware of These 3 Things When Starting Over

Christel Van Gelder General Life Advice 2 Comments

We all have times in our lives when we have to start over. This can be because we decide to do so. We make a conscious choice. Or maybe life happens and forces a big change upon us.

Obviously, I’m talking about big new beginnings that affect your life in a significant way. I’m not talking about making a new batch of pancake dough because your first batch turned out way too liquid.

When you’ve made a choice that affects your whole life or when you’re forced to do so and you have to start all over, it’s not as easy as making new pancake dough.

  • When you get married
  • When you get a baby
  • When you get separated or divorced
  • When someone dear becomes very sick and you have to take care of them.
  • When you’ve left an abusive relationship, emotional, psychological, physical
  • When you lose someone dear to you, through death or a huge conflict.
  • When you get fired and have to find a new job.
  • When you become an entrepreneur for the very first time or start a new career.
  • When you move to a new location, city, country.

Maybe you can think of some other events that apply to your own life.

Small side note: starting over doesn’t necessarily mean horrible things have to happen. Something exciting or wonderful things — like a new career, becoming a mum, getting married or engaged, winning the lottery— can also create the need to re-invent yourself.

So let’s say that starting over always follows a life event that requires you to re-invent yourself. To get a new identity as it were.

Whatever the cause of you having to or choosing to start over, you will need to confront and consider these three things:

  1.  You have to learn to live with uncertainty:
    Even though you’ve made a decision, a choice, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You can project, fantasise, worry, make up great or dreadful scenario’s in your mind. But in actual fact, you don’t know what will happen down the line. You have no crystal ball. You’re not allowed a peek into the future — though it’s sure tempting, isn’t it?

    What to do?

    The solution here is to trust the process. Let go of expectations, scenario’s, worry, doom-thinking or unrealistic fantasies. Just trust that making a choice will start the flow of what needs to happen. This flow comes naturally, you can’t force it your way. All you can do is go with it.

  2. Your life becomes a mess and is in total chaos.

    Things will be messy and chaotic for a while. On a practical and emotional level. This is normal. After all your life has turned upside down and now you’re entering unchartered seas. This can be hard. But in all truth, you can deal with that if you set your mind to it.

    What to do?

    The solution to navigating this unknown territory is to sit with your emotions whenever you feel overwhelmed, sad, angry. Don’t run or hide from these emotions. That’s the worst you can do because they will come back. So allow them to exist and come out.
    The next thing to do is take small steps into these new waters. Now is not the time for making big and radical decisions. You’ve just done that and you need to slow it down. You need to slow down. Your monkey mind needs to slow down. Let yourself be for a while. This will dissolve the stories and emotions.
    Try and get more comfortable with the mess, because it’s not going to go away anytime soon. Take your time to adapt to your new reality.

  3. There seems to be no end to the dark tunnel.

    Yes, I know the feeling of the never-ending tunnel. Every day something else will come and upset you. It feels like one step forward, and three backwards. Every day brings a new discovery, new emotions. Remember, you’re still in the mess, and the middle of the tunnel can be a scary place to be. Please, don’t despair when you can’t see the light. It will come. I guarantee you that.

    What to do?

    Have trust and patience. Now, this is much harder than I make it sound. Impatience is one of modern time’s “things”. We have this innate need for resolving everything yesterday. That’s not how it works, though. So practising patience is imperative.
    Patience in combination with trust is powerful. And it’s the only way to deal with fears that will come up.
    When you do go in fear-mode, ground yourself, centre yourself. Go within. Find that place deep inside of you where you do trust. Where you can remain calm. Where you can wait until the worst of the storm passes. 

In that safe place, be mindful, stay in the present moment, make yourself as comfortable as possible.
    And don’t forget to practice self-care while you’re in the tunnel.
    Last but not least, have a supportive friend who will listen to you without judging. Who’s there for you when you need a hug. Who doesn’t mind hearing your crap over and over? Who no matter what is still your friend.

Have you experienced a big life-change recently? Are you feeling the mess? The chaos? Are you disheartened because the tunnel seems way too long?

Let’s have a chat. I have some tools to help you deal with this.
Remember this first call is free and no strings attached. So take me up on it. You never know what happens.

Or check out my website and have a peek into my work and world.

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