I believe the pandemic has brought with it more changes to society on a micro-level than anything else. There has been a sharp increase in divorce rates, a spike in the number of resignations (the great resignation) and a great movement of people from big cities to small towns.
As we enter yet another wave of the pandemic, change and uncertainty is becoming the only constant. Many of us must start anew – starting in a new career, a new business venture, or a new relationship. Or maybe you’re starting over in a new country!
While the prospect of starting over can be daunting, it can also be exhilarating. It all depends on your perspective.
Starting over brings the prospect of expansion, the hallmarks of a growth mindset. Someone with a growth mindset believes that the outcome of their lives lies in their own hands. Life is what you make happen instead of thinking that life is what’s happening to you. You are the locus of control, not something external to you!
And what if you have to start over because of unfortunate circumstances, losing a job because of cutbacks, losing a long-term relationship because of betrayal? Deterioration of your health, rendering you incapable of living the life you once had.
Starting over because of circumstances “thrown at you” is difficult if you carry a bag of negative emotions from experiences weighing you down.
We all carry scars from the past – some of them caused by people who may or may not have meant well. Some of our experiences are deep wounds, leaving what may seem like indelible marks on our psyche.
Interestingly, our interpretation of the past is rarely an accurate depiction of how things were. Studies show that two people experiencing an event will have different recollections of that same event.
Some people struggle to overcome their past demons. For instance, bad experiences from past relationships may hinder them from building robust and happy relationships in the future, finding it difficult to trust another person or commit to another relationship.
Letting negative experiences interfere with your future is detrimental to your growth and mental wellbeing. While you can’t change the past, you can change your relationship with the past.
Who would you be if you could rescript your past? Who has your history made you to be? Change your perspective! See the losses in your past as doors that open to a different way of being.
Consider if the reason for having to start over was because of the choices you made in the past – the affair you had that caused your marriage to end; poor eating habits that compromised your health; your termination due to consistently being late for work.
We all do things for which we are not proud. You can’t change the past, but you can forgive yourself for the choices you’ve made. Learn from them. And decide to make a change.
Your past does not define you. But the emotions from our experiences of the past have a way of creeping into our present. And it is these emotions that we must master. To release the shackles of the past, we must embrace a new way of being. What would that look like for you?
What are you starting over at this point in your life? What can you do to ensure this second time around will represent a better version of you? And who would the ‘new’ you be?
I have had to start over a few times in my life, including living in a new country. The first time was when I moved to Canada to attend university. Years later, I moved to Singapore with my young family because of a new job.
I have had to start over in a new career – when I left teaching to become a financial advisor. And now, to pursue a freelance career as a writer. And I have had to start over in a few relationships – each time bringing with it lessons from previous relationships.
With each ending comes a new opportunity to start over! But you’re not starting from scratch, you’re bringing with you a “bag” full of wisdom and insight from life lessons learned!
What new beginnings have marked your past year? Have you allowed negative experiences from the past to define your new life? Or have you re-defined past mistakes into wisdom?
Tags Reinventing Yourself