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How to Start Over Again

by Carrie Stemke

In life, you may encounter incredibly difficult situations, the outcomes of which find you struggling to pick up the pieces and start all over again. At times like these, it can be nearly impossible not to feel like a failure, and to simply want to give up. Try not to let these negative emotions drag you down. Although it might be hard to see at first, having to start over again can actually be an amazing opportunity to figure out what you really want, and to build the life that will truly make you happy.

Focus on Positive Changes

Recent research indicates that the adult brain retains the power to change, and that making positive thinking a habit can increase your overall happiness and reduce your stress levels. So when you think about what you want to change, make sure you're phrasing it in positive, not negative, terms, advises counselor Kimberly Key in the article "Tips for Starting Over and Rebooting Your Life" for Psychology Today. For example, instead of saying, "I want to stop smoking," try something like, "I want to take good care of my body." By concentrating on the things you want to achieve, rather than avoid, you'll be more successful.

Just Do It

The best way to get started is by taking action. Decide on the changes you want to make and start working on a plan of action to get there. If you remain in the job you can't stand or that unhealthy relationship, you're only letting yourself down, says personal development author Dragos Roua in the article "50 Ways to Start Fresh" on his website. It might seem like there are a lot of obstacles in your way, but try to objectively figure out which is a real challenge, and which is an excuse. You shouldn't let excuses get in the way of your happiness.

Prepare for Self-doubt

When you're beginning again and making changes, you're likely going to experience moments of indecision, fear and a lack of confidence. You might find yourself wondering if you're doing the right thing. Prepare ahead of time for these moments, recommends life coach Mia Redrick in the article "How to Start Over Without Regret" for the Huffington Post. Focus on what's best for you, not what's easiest, which will be the more tempting path in a moment of weakness. Then, figure out a solution to support yourself so you choose what will benefit you most, rather than leaning on a convenient crutch.

Celebrate Your Successes

It's very important that you acknowledge all of your successes, including the very small ones. It will be easier to keep moving forward if you set both long term goals that you have to strive and plan for as well as smaller goals that are easier to reach, suggests Redrick. By meeting and celebrating your small goals, you'll show yourself that you can be successful. This will increase your confidence, and help you maintain a positive path towards your long-term goals.

About the Author

A New York native, Carrie Stemke is an avid writer, editor and traveler whose work has covered many different topics. She has had a lifelong fascination with and love of psychology, and hold's a bachelor's degree in the subject. Her psychology research articles have been published in Personality and Individual Differences and in Modern Psychological Studies.

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