In those quiet moments, when it's just you and your thoughts, do you ever wish you could start again?
Hit the reset button and go back to college. Start afresh, and make some different choices.
Not roll over when you were trampled in that relationship or in that job.
Get your mojo back, like when you used to have that spring in your step and that glint in your eye.
Make sure you took that opportunity, instead of holding back because you were scared.
Wishing you could start again is easy…
Wishing is easy.
What’s hard, is change.
Change requires discomfort, and meaningful change often needs you to make yourself vulnerable. And those things are scary as hell.
So you go back to wishing and telling stories, because it's a whole heap easier and much less terrifying. In your head, you get to wave a magic wand and make everything better, richer, more fun, simpler and sexier.
Zero effort. All the good stuff.
Problem is, it's not real.
Wishing you could start again doesn't need any confidence, because it doesn't need you to go out there and do anything.
What's underneath the wish to start again?
Look underneath that desire to start over.
Look at the feelings it stirs up; the bubbling in your belly, the fire in your heart, the spark in your fingertips.
Look at where that's coming from, because there's a wonderful chance that there's something really, really important in there.
Underneath that wish could be something you’ve lost sight of, something you've forgotten about, or something you've become disconnected from.
If you feel like there’s something missing, or feel like there’s something bigger for you, then maybe there’s an important new direction for you to grow in. If you feel a sense of sadness, then maybe that’s because you gave up on something that mattered to you, or there’s grief around how you imagined your life turning out. Or if you feel a sense of unfairness or that you deserve more, then perhaps there’s a message for you about how you’ve been fitting in and not carving your own path.
Don't dismiss this feeling out of hand, because what's underneath can give you huge clues about what might add texture and richness and joy to your life.
Starting again is a question…
I sometimes wish I could start again. Make that move before that other guy got there first. Do things differently when it comes to love and figuring out my sexuality. Start my own business way sooner. Maybe even see if I could prevent myself from getting sick.
But rather than tell myself shitty stories about "what if" or "if only", stories that inevitably leads to feeling like I got it all wrong, or that my life sucks, or that I missed out, I dip into the feelings I have around it and ask myself these 3, very powerful, questions:
- What else can I acknowledge or get to know about this?
- How do I want to feel about my next chapter?
- What are the values that will drive that next chapter?
Those questions do 3 things:
1. Allows you to be whole
Wishing you could start over can be a convenient way to not look at those things that you've neglected, dismissed or felt shame about. But it’s in those murky, confusing, painful corners of your head and heart where you might learn something that allows you to be whole.
This is the stuff that you’d rather steer clear of, because it's awkward or painful, but those things are just parts of who you already are.
Go welcome those parts in like old friends, because that's how you get to feel whole and enough.
2. Opens up possibility
That desire to start again is woven through with feelings, qualities and experiences that feel good to you.
So it stands to reason that when you know more about what those feelings, qualities and experiences are, you get to exercise choice and open up new possibilities. Possibilities that might just bring you some of those feelings, qualities or experience.
Sure, there's not going to be a do-over or a Christmas miracle, but you always get to make meaningful choices about the life you're living.
There's power and possibility in that.
3. Focuses you on what matters
It's so easy to get distracted in life, and the wish to start again often bubbles up because you've lost sight of what matters, and feel a bit lost.
So it's important to recognise that you can always refocus on what resonates and what really means something to you. Every day, you have the capacity to honour, express and demonstrate the things that matter most to you, a capacity that's exercised through self-trust and confidence.
When I wish I could start again...
Sometimes I wish I could start again. It's part of being human, and we've all seen movies where the hero gets to start over to see what happens if they made different choices.
I've learned to catch myself when I feel this bubbling up, because I know that the story-telling is really just another distraction.
And what I find, time and time again, is that the urge to want to start again is just a cue from ten thousand feet down to connect.