Behavioural expert and author Beverly D. Flaxington suggests that individual change and evolution is a natural and important process. People often reach stages in their lives when a major adjustment may be needed. This may be due a catastrophic change in their lives or encountering circumstances which mean starting over is the only real option. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understand-other-people/201611/it-s-never-too-late-start-over).
When we are young, we consider ourselves adaptable but as we get older the thought of starting over can be terrifying. If we are faced with the need to start again in later life it need not be so daunting and in some cases, it can be hugely liberating.
Starting Over in a Relationship
Clinical psychologist Marilyn A. Mendoza Ph.D. believes that losing a spouse can be one of the most traumatic moments in someone’s life. Their happy life as they knew it is over and they cannot envision being happy again.
Some people would never even consider looking for a new relationship and would choose to just adjust to life alone. Others may need the comfort of a relationship but be scared to look for a new partner. It is a very personal choice. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/understanding-grief/201901/dating-after-the-loss-spouse).
The key to starting over, especially when you have to do so in later years is to not rush things. There may seem an urgency to get back up and out there but truly there is not. The need to grieve must be respected and you should be absolutely sure that you are ready to move forward.
This is also true if a relationship falls apart in later life. It can be scary to be alone especially if the relationship was a long one. It will take bravery and resilience but more importantly time. Understand your self worth and know that sometimes it’s okay to focus on yourself. You will know when you are ready to move on, be patient with yourself.
Starting Over in Your Career
You may have had the same job and career for years, maybe decades, and it’s all you know and feel comfortable with. If something comes along to take that career away such as redundancy or perhaps medical issues that mean you can no longer do the work this can be a huge hit.
When in later life you can no longer go perform the job you loved, this is going to be scary and you are allowed to be upset by that. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have no use. Starting over is never easy but you can look into other careers. Take vocational classes to learn a new skill or trade. It’s never too late. Embrace the change and use it to find the next chapter in your life.
Keys to Starting Over
Starting over can be scary no matter what part of your life it is that is being affected. But there are keys that can help you get on the road to a fresh start.
- Gain a Fresh Perspective: Once you get beyond the immediate sadness of losing the way of life you had it is time to start assessing your options. Take a step back from your feelings and take stock of what you have rather than what you have lost.
- Identify the Challenges: Take stock of the challenges you face and for each one write down at least three possible solutions. Come from a space of positivity and a can-do attitude.
- Reassess your Priorities: Look deeply into your priorities, you will likely find they have changed from when you were younger. Form your plan for starting over based on what is most important to you.