BLOG_2020_04_09 Starting Over_Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

Starting Over: Tips to Finding Grace in Difficult Times

09 APRIL 2020

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
- Lee Iacocca

Disasters… divorce… the death of a loved one... a job loss for no fault of our own...

There's likely not one of us over the age of 35 who has escaped major change and/or grief in our lives. It’s a part of life.  And whether you bring on major change yourself or circumstances beyond your control are thrust upon you, starting over is never easy.

In fact, major life change can bring with it extreme heartache, debilitating stress, and despair.

But I know you can do it
. You have the means within yourself to recuperate and grow from any life-altering situation. Truly. I hope you know it too!

If you, or a loved one, are facing some sort of grief or an experience that requires "starting over", keep the following points in mind. They'll help you get through difficult times with greater peace-of-mind and grace.  

Take time to let go.

  • Starting over often happens due to traumatic events in which you have little control. Even when you do initiate the change that requires starting over, grief is natural. Take the necessary time to grieve your losses. Your timeframe for mourning may be different than someone else’s, so be true to your own needs.

Be gentle with yourself.

  • If ever there is a time to love and nurture yourself, it is now! Go easy and be sweet with yourself. Show yourself massive compassion. Take rest when you need it. Say no to anything but the essential, and use that extra time to sleep, walk in nature, ask for help from supportive family and friends. Just be. Don’t resist your emotions.  Let them come, acknowledge them and just be.  What we resist persists.

One step at a time.

  • Starting over can feel overwhelming at first, so pay special attention to the “one step at a time” concept. As long as you are taking steps, you are making progress.  Even if you feel you are moving backward, you are still making progress as you learn along the way. So the key is to take action.

Take consistent baby steps.

  • You will make more progress (and it will feel easier) if you focus on accomplishing regular, small tasks rather than large ones just now and then. It will also help you move through the times when you feel so overwhelmed that you can't seem to do anything. Again, acknowledge each and every step as an accomplishment. Each and everyone is a success.  And, don’t forget to celebrate your progress!

Accept the change.

  • Whatever has happened has simply "happened." It just is. Try to avoid "what if" scenarios, passing blame, feeling guilty or creating stories to explain why it happened. Hard as it might seem, acceptance helps you embrace the process of starting over.

Change Your Attitude (CYA).

  • Starting over can be as easy as changing your mind or your attitude. Instead of being fearful of change and what lies ahead, embrace the potential change makes possible. Try to view it as a new opportunity to get unstuck, be adventurous, or perhaps even have an exhilarating experience. You may learn to celebrate change rather than trying to avoid it.  

Set realistic deadlines.

  • When it comes to the tasks required of starting over, it's helpful to set deadlines for yourself. But give yourself ample time to accomplish them. Give yourself double the time you think it would normally take.

Learn new skills if necessary.

  • Starting over might mean having to learn a few new skills. But remember, you have already accumulated so much experience, skillsets and knowledge from your “Game of Life” that you can tap into.  If you lost your job, you might need or want to go back to school. Be open to learning. It's a positive way to start over and have some fun at the same time.  Embrace the adventure.  Growing through self-development is also an excellent path to fulfillment. You may also want to kook for a mentor or a coach in your area of interest to assist you.

Create a support team.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members for help, or attend support groups. And know when to seek help from professionals. Consider advice from books as well, such as James M. Kramon’s Starting Out or Starting Over: An Expert’s Checklists for Life’s Major Decisions. Such resources can be invaluable to the starting-over process. By using readily available resources and asking for help, starting over will feel easier, and you will be able to go with the flow more gracefully.


Like it or not, change is inevitable.
How can you accept, pivot, embrace,
and grow from the changes currently taking place?

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