Boy—do I know all about how to start over! Though it took me a long time to realize that starting over was the best thing I could do, I know now just how powerful and critical the choice to start over has been for my life, time and time again.
I also know this because I’ve witnessed thousands of others’ starting over moments. On the hit Emmy Award-winning reality show Starting Over, which aired Monday through Friday on NBC from 2003 to 2006, I was the lead Life Coach who helped the women start over.
Each woman came to the Starting Over house with a dream, and it was my job to help it come true. There was the beautiful Andy Paige, who had zero female friends when she entered the house and left with a boatload of them along with a new career. Or Jessica, whose mother died on 9/11. As her Coach, I had the privilege of moving her through the grief of losing her mother in a very public way as well as helping heal the collective grief of the United States.
The women who entered the Starting Over house wanted to start over and knew they needed to—or else their life would keep going the way it was going.
Unfortunately, far too many of us see starting over as a setback—something that proves we’ve gone down the wrong path, something that should be avoided at all costs—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t worry; I was right there with you many years ago (as were the women of Starting Over). I thought the idea of starting over meant I was going backward. I thought it meant admitting defeat. I thought it meant I had failed. 😱
What I know now, and what I hope you will embrace too, is that all of that hesitation to start over was fear talking.
If you’re new to Fearless Living, welcome! The Fearless Living site is filled with helpful resources and training tools designed to help anyone who is willing to crack the secret code to fear. In this how-to post, I’m going to help you lay the groundwork for starting over. This is the start of your journey towards living the life your soul intended.™
If any of the following resonates, this one’s for you:
- Do you feel stuck in a rut?
- Do you feel unfulfilled by your career?
- Do you feel like you have no time for yourself?
- Do you feel stressed and burnt out all the time?
- Do you wish there were more hours in the day because you always feel behind?
- Do you go to bed every Sunday night dreading the start of a new work week?
- Do you feel like you're living your life for your family and never for yourself?
- Do you feel miles away from the dreams you once had?
- Do you feel like you have nothing to look forward to?
Your soul did not intend for you to walk around half-fulfilled, consumed with self-doubt, and lacking a true purpose. If you answered yes to any of those questions, starting over may be the change your life is craving. But how do you start over in life when the idea of change seems so far away and impossible? Let’s start with some basics. The following are not exact steps; they are guiding principles for your journey.
How to Start Over
1. Know That It’s Never Too Late
It’s never too late to start over. While that might sound cliché, I truly mean this, and it’s an important point to hit home.
I’ve worked with countless life coaching clients who believed for far too long that they were too old to make a drastic change. They had settled into mediocrity or, even worse, a life they absolutely hated but felt they had no choice to change because they thought they were too old (too young, too heavy, too weak, too shy, too something) to make a change.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 85—you have the power to turn your life around and design it so that you are happy and fulfilled.
Let me tell you about Bill, a life coaching client I worked with who, at the age of 60, changed careers and became a Life Coach himself in order to find peace, fulfillment, and freedom from his career.
At the age of 60 years young, Bill was ready to retire from his high-level corporate job, but he wanted more from his early retirement. Starting over was not a setback but a new life filled with opportunity. He’s now a mentor inside our Life Coach Certification Program. He coaches corporate executives while being happily married and enjoying the freedom of his successful coaching business.
His time is his own and he determines how much money he makes. He and his wife are able to travel more because he can coach from everywhere. And his marriage has become stronger than ever.
Bill did not let his age determine his path. He designed a brand new career for himself because he wanted more meaning in his life, to give back, and to use his experience for the benefit of others. He wanted to live a more balanced, empowered, and fulfilling life. Becoming a Coach far outweighed what he was receiving from staying on his corporate track.
Learn more about Bill Grout’s journey, including how he transitioned from corporate America to a successful coaching business, in my podcast: S05E01 – Becoming a Coach After 60.
2. Stop Waiting for the Ideal Moment
I have some cold, hard truth for you—The right, ideal, perfect moment will never come. And believing it will is only an excuse that’s covering up your fear that it will not work out.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you’re afraid of what might happen if you try to start over. You’re afraid you might fail. You’re afraid of what other people might think of you. You’re afraid of the unknown. And it’s natural to feel this way—I’ve felt the same thing! But letting your fear guide your life will keep you running around in circles, living a life that is not yours.
Do any of these sound familiar?
I’ll do it when I have…
I’ll do it if I get…
I’ll do it when I know more…
I’ll do it when I have more money…
I’ll do it when it feels right…
I’ll do it when I have more time…
I’ll do it when the weather cooperates…
I’ll do it when my kids are grown…
I’ll do it when I’ve paid off my debts…
I’ll do it when I’m happier with my appearance…
I’ll do it after I meet the right person…
All of these “I’ll do it when’s” keep you trapped. They hold you back from ever making a big change because you always have that excuse to fall back on.
In order to start over and truly commit to the process, leave behind all of those ifs, whens, and buts. The ideal time is not on its way. You won’t be anymore equipped for the difficult, eye-opening, heart-expanding journey of starting over later in your life, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you can have a life you actually want to be living. There’s no time like the present!
If starting over is something you want or something you believe you need, know that it is within your grasp. It’s only you who is holding yourself back, and your excuses are masking a deeper reason why you’re refusing to take that first step.
3. Move Beyond Excuses
Are you afraid of what your family might think? Are you worried you won’t make enough money if you make a career change? Do you lack confidence and question your own abilities? Do you constantly feel like it’s not the right time to pursue your dreams?
Excuses are incredibly powerful because they’re real… at least a little. But the kernel of truth within your excuse does not have to keep you from starting over and designing the life you want to live.
I made excuses for myself for years. My mother died at the hand of my father and then he took his own life when I was fourteen years old. I saw it all. I was right there. I let that fact be my excuse for everything. I let that shocking, horrifying time guide my life and my identity entirely far too long. I was afraid I would fail if I tried to do what my soul was calling me to do, so I leaned into my excuses.
I made excuses for my drinking. I made excuses for being an insecure partner. I made excuses for not finishing college. I made excuses for treating people poorly. I blamed my parents (big giant excuse) for just about everything in my life that wasn’t working, which was just about everything. The list goes on, and I believed it completely.
I thought that not having a bunch of fancy degrees meant I could never run my own business, and boy, was I wrong. I thought I couldn’t look for a long-term relationship until I lost weight, but what I really needed to focus on was my own self-love and forgiving myself. When we allow excuses to take over, we prevent ourselves from making real progress in our lives. We hold ourselves back because we are so afraid of the unknown.
Recognizing your own excuses and moving past them will help you find the courage to start over. You’ll begin seeing the unknown for what it really is—filled with opportunity and possibility!
4. Take a Healthy Risk
How do you feel about risks? Risks have a bad reputation, but they are often exactly what’s needed to move you forward with the big changes that are calling you. When we talk about risk, we’re not talking about breaking the law, running out in front of traffic, or gambling away money you don’t have.
Taking a risk can be a bright and beautiful thing for your life. In fact, most of the time, making a change in your life is a risk, but it’s those risks that lead you to living the life your soul intended.™
Starting a business as a Life Coach (before life coaching even existed!) was a huge risk! I didn’t know for sure that it would work out, and to be completely honest, there were times when I was terrified. Publishing my first book was a huge risk, too.
But I wouldn’t change a thing because I wouldn’t be where I am today without those risks. It was the risks that got me here.
Heck, it was also a risk every time I opened myself up to love. What if they didn’t love me in return? What if I said “I love you” and that person didn’t say “I love you” back? But without risk, there are no rewards. I wouldn’t have grown as a person or experienced the great relationships I’ve had without taking a risk on love.
Starting over is a risk. I’m not going to lie to you about that. (Just ask Andy, Jessica or Bill.) But I want you to rethink how you feel about risks and understand that there are many, many risks in life that are worthwhile. It’s the risks that can lead you down a new path, and it’s the risks that can lead to endless rewards (or at least a worthwhile learning opportunity.)
In fact, without risks, your confidence will stall. Confidence is built one risk at a time, whether it’s successful or not. It’s taking the risk that gives you the confidence you need to take more risks.
Learn how taking risks can actually be a good thing—and often a necessary step in reaching your goals. In my article How Taking Risks Can Lead You to a Better Life, I share real-life examples of risks that lead to positive outcomes and strategies to move past your risk-averse instincts.
Oh, and be sure to check out my risk-building course inside Fearless You called Stretch, Risk or Die. (No, you will not die. Promise! 😊)
5. Be Willing to Make a Change
Lastly, I want to cover a point that I discuss time and time again because it’s so, so, so, SO important.
Being willing is the most important aspect of making a change. No matter how many strategies, tips, and real-life stories I provide you, you won’t be able to start fresh and make progress on the life you want to live until you are willing.
It doesn’t matter how many times I or someone else in your life tells you what you “should” be doing; it won’t do you any good unless you are willing.
Are you willing to show up for yourself every day?
Are you willing to do the best you can?
Are you willing to take a few calculated risks in order to turn your life around?
Are you willing to go on an intense but worthwhile journey to find a fresh start?
The great news is you don’t have to take the journey alone. The Fearless Living community is filled with individuals just like you who are committed to progress and lifelong learning.
Star Over With Fearless Living
If you’re ready for a fresh start, my 10-week Fearless Living Training Program (FLTP) can help you start over, one small step at a time. It’s designed to crack the secret code to fear—the fear that’s been following you for your entire life. I’m talking about all of the fears that are keeping you from making the fresh start you so desperately want.
With Fearless Living, you’ll learn how to prioritize your own needs, build new habits, live life to the fullest, maintain boundaries, and find self-fulfillment. Plus, we have a community of like-minded individuals that will be there for you no matter what. Getting started is only a click away.
Want access to it all? The Fearless Living Training Program lives inside Fearless You, where you can access my Starting Over course and my risk building course, Stretch, Risk or Die. All three are right inside Fearless You. If you’re serious about starting over, join me.