The first step to starting over is realizing that it’s time to start over. What do I mean? Well, have you ever been in a position where you’re spinning your wheels, not getting any traction, and just keep doing what is not working? That might be an indication that it’s time to start over.
Some people don’t like the idea of starting over because it feels like failure. Starting over doesn’t mean that you go back to square one. We can never go back to where we started because there is always experience and growth between where we were and where we are now. Starting over means that we’ve come full circle. We’re back to the beginning, but at a different level because life moves in a spiral. We have to travel in a circle to move forward and upward.
Once you’re ready to start over, shift your mindset back in to beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind is a state of curiosity where you are observing and asking questions instead of interpreting and making conclusions. Think of Jack Skellington in the Nightmare Before Christmas. Look at things and ask, “What is this?” I guarantee that you will see things you didn’t the first time around if you use this approach.
For example, let’s say that you and your partner are arguing over the same thing again. You’ve asked him to give you straight answers. He says he has been forthcoming and clear. You think how can that be when you still don’t know what he is saying or what he wants? When you ask for what you want, you get either no response or some long, vague answer that doesn’t answer the question.
Something registers to you that you’ve done this before. It’s not working, and you’re right back here again, so you shift into beginner’s mind and get curious. Your mind resets. You zoom out to see the big picture. And you notice that you could be perceived as being a bit pushy. Maybe he feels that you’re trying to force your agenda on him. So, your internal anger meter downshifts into compassion. You uncross your arms and take a deep breath.
From this space you start to feel how much he cares and wants to make you happy. It makes you a little sad that you didn’t notice this before. You keep observing. This is when you wonder if he feels safe to speak out. You notice that sometimes he can be really direct when he shares what he wants. You wonder what is the difference between those times and this time. Maybe he really doesn’t have an opinion. It could be that this is just not a big deal to him… And now you are in a new mental and energetic space.
The goal of starting over isn’t necessarily to resolve the problem. Remember the circle of life. It’s not about getting to the end, but about keeping things moving. If you do something different, you’ll keep moving. As long as you are moving, you have the opportunity to grow. Stop moving and you have a perpetual Groundhog Day.
So starting over isn’t a disaster. It’s a new beginning. New beginnings can be scary, it’s true. But if you keep going, new beginnings begin to blossom and mature. There is a harvest, then death. That makes way for renewal once again. Not so scary when you look at it that way, eh?