Starting over is not the easiest thing to do. Often it is scary. Yet, I know from personal experience it is possible.
So what is starting over for me and what were my experiences?
For me, starting over is almost like getting a new identity. It means stepping out of an old pattern and into a new one.
It involves Change. With capital C indeed.
You change the way you see things.
You change your relationship status, a situation in your life.
You move house, city, country.
You start a whole new career.
All of these changes may imply the need to make a big change within yourself. In how you view and handle these events, emotions, circumstances.
Some changes can seem small, but even so, they may have a larger impact on you than you expected.
Of course, some changes are huge and often quite dramatic. And they will throw you off for a while. Getting used to a new identity and new pattern may not always go smoothly. You have to grow into it. It is not a one-day-thing. It is a gradual process, which comes with its own obstacles and challenges.
I’ll share a few examples of when and how I took on a new identity. You may relate to some.
- Moving to another country.
When I was 23 I moved from my home country Belgium to Portugal. Not that Portugal was new to me. I had spent many holidays there, but when I started living there it was different. I was no longer on holiday. I was creating a new life, a new day plan, having a job, and no longer spending days on the beach and late nights out.
I had to get used to this new role of me working, no longer being a student.
I admit I resisted this change by feeling homesick and comparing and despairing. By thinking that everything was better at home in Belgium. But when I had to move back to Belgium six years later due to certain circumstances, it proved that I no longer felt at home in what was supposed to be my home country.
I had indeed created a new life in Portugal. I realized only at that point that I preferred living in Portugal over living in Belgium. And after not even a year we moved back to Portugal.
- Becoming a mother.
Some women are a natural at being a mom from the first moment their baby is born.
I actually dreaded the huge responsibility that was put on my shoulders. Taking care day and night of this little one that was all dependent on me for everything, really made me afraid.
There actually was a guilty moment of almost hating having a baby. And I went into the blues for while. But slowly I got used to a mother and I grew into that new aspect of me.
- Becoming single again.
After 21 years together with my then-husband, I decided this kind of relationship was not what I wanted. That it was actually very bad for me. That I had lost myself.
Finding myself again was not as evident as I thought it would be. Separating from him was not as easy as I thought it would be. Getting divorced turned out to Be not as simple as I thought it would be.
But what I did love from the very beginning was living on my own, in my small apartment, doing what I wanted to do.
Not being reproached for not doing what he wanted me to do.
Not having to be who he wanted me to be.
Being able to actually breathe was a mind-blowing experience.
- Dating again.
Being single comes with the territory of starting to date again.
That also was a new experience after all these years of being married.
I made some foolish mistakes, which I rather not think about. But I also learned some valuable lessons. Amongst which is that I trusted too easily and that I was not a “player”.
- Becoming “thyroidless”.
Over a decade ago I had my thyroid removed. I thought it would be a piece of cake, which in actual fact it was. The surgery itself that is.
Hormone replacement therapy proved to be a bitch. I did not do well on the standard treatment and had to resolve to studying and experimenting and finding my own path as a thyroidless person.
I became very ill and could hardly do anything. If I did, I had to “pay” for it, by having to lie in bed or on the couch for several days, just to recuperate.
It was not easy to get better and it took me nearly three years.
But now I have gathered quite some knowledge on thyroid and other hormones. I even help some women who have nowhere to turn by steering them onto reading the right books and asking the right questions from their doctors.
- Empty Nesting.
Having my boys leave home to study and work was a big change to get used to as well.
As a mom you get so used to taking care of everybody and everything. You fix problems, practical and emotional ones. And when they leave, you no longer have to do that on a daily basis.
A plus: the washing gets so much less, which is a relief!
- Becoming a coach and entrepreneur.
Even though I used to have my own business before, I never had to do it on my own.
Becoming a coach means also having my own business. And I am not the marketeer I would like to be, so for me that is very daunting.
I am slowly growing into that role. The life coach part, I honestly think I’ve been that for the most part of my life. Only I didn’t know it. So my life experience, combined with the tools I learned and am still learning, makes that part feel more natural than the entrepreneur part, which I am gradually easing in to.
Every time I started over, I had to slowly grow into the new me, even if I didn’t know that I was taking on a new identity. But looking at this list (and I didn’t mention even half of the times I started over) makes me realize all the lessons I learned, all the wisdom I gathered.
All the things I have within reach to help others start over as well. To help them smooth out the transition phase, to help them dream up a better life, a new way of thinking and being.
That is a treasure for which I am forever grateful.
Are you making a fresh start? Give me a call. we can chat. And maybe I can be of service.