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How to Start Over and Win: 12 Keys to Finding Your Second Chance

There’s just something refreshing about a clean slate, and we’re sure everyone agrees with us. So learning how to start over and start fresh is vital.

how to start over

Well, you can. Okay, so you won’t be able to erase your past completely, but that’s something you shouldn’t be focusing on. Instead, think about your future, the new you. You can always learn how to start over and leave everything behind. We have to admit that we could all benefit from this.

We tend to have a messy and dark past, and starting over with a clean slate will do us a lot of good. It might sound scary and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary if you want to have a good quality of your life.

Starting over doesn’t mean you’ll be forgetting everything and everyone that matters. Instead, a clean slate just means you leave all the hurtful and painful things behind. After all, everyone deserves a second chance.

Why do people start over?

It’s challenging to keep going when you’re the type of person who has a messy past or just has an overall complicated life. Even if you don’t want to let your past affect you anymore, you will feel stuck. A lot of people choose to start over because of the fact that they don’t want their past to define them anymore.

Their past becomes so traumatic and dark that they’re left with no other choice but to give themselves a second chance. You have to remember that you aren’t weak for starting over. If anything, you’re the exact opposite of that.

If you were weak, you would’ve just given up when things got hard – but no. You chose to learn how to start over, even if it’s not the easiest thing in the world. And that takes a lot of resilience and strength.

How to start over again

You should know that though it may seem hard *and it will be hard*, it’s worth it. This isn’t going to go as smoothly as it does in the movies, but take the chance. You deserve the second chance you want to have to start fresh and leave the pain in your past behind.

1. Reflect on your life

Before starting over, you need to understand yourself and your past. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’m starting fresh today.” But if you don’t look at what you did in your past, then you’re not actually wanting to change your life. It’s time to grow up. Sit down and really think about yourself.

You may cry, become angry, laugh in embarrassment. It doesn’t matter; the point is, you acknowledge yourself and the things you love and want to change about yourself.

This is one of the hardest things to do if you’re learning how to start over again. Nobody wants to sit down with their difficult feelings, but it’s a necessary step to start fresh. [Read: 10 self-reflective questions to help stay true to yourself]

2. Accept and forgive the past

We all did things in the past that we wish we never did. This is just part of growing up and learning. Can we rewind and change it? No. In an ideal world, you could change the past. But in reality, what’s done is done. There’s no going back.

The only thing you can do is move forward and forgive yourself for the things that you did that were wrong and accept that you’re a human being who makes mistakes. From now on, work on changing behaviors that allowed you to make those mistakes in your past. You can’t change what has happened, but you can learn from them.

3. You won’t be able to quit life, only change it

You can’t quit life. We know, if we could, we’d be the first one to try it out. But seriously, you can’t just quit life. You make your life different. That’s what you should be thinking about.

If you want to start over, you can, but only from this point on. So while you can’t change what has already happened, you can change your life and turn it around. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to start over and leave the past behind.

4. Think about who you want to be

Who do you want to be? What do you want your life to look like? These are some heavy questions that you need to ask yourself if you’re going to actually change your life. If you’re serious about learning how to start over, you need to know who you are and want to be.

It’s easier said than done, but really take the time to find who you really are if it turns out you don’t know the answer to these questions. Do you want to be a professor? Okay, if that’s the case, what steps have you made to be one? What do you still need to do? [Read: How to make yourself happy: 20 habits of incredibly happy people]

5. Make small goals for yourself

If you want to know how to start over right, learn to make goals. We know, making goals probably sounds very elementary, but it’s not. Make small, medium, and significant goals for yourself. Once you accomplish one, make another one. Keep challenging yourself to be better.

Goal setting is an essential aspect of starting fresh. You can’t get the second chance you aspire for if you don’t have at least minor or short-term goals for yourself. Whether it’s as simple as getting a job or changing your habits, you have to start somewhere.

6. Actually make the changes

We all want to change and turn our lives around, but we don’t actually make an effort to apply the significant changes. You need to follow through and make changes in your life. They can be small ones, but the point is, you make them.

Eventually, with time, you start making more significant decisions, ones that could really change the shape of your life. Maybe you’re in a violent relationship. Ending it is a huge step, and it’s definitely not easy to make. Or, maybe you’ve made terrible choices, and you decided to start being wiser.

7. Follow a motto

This is especially important when you’re trying to figure out how to start over and stay motivated day after day. Pick a motto; we don’t care which one it is. Pick one that speaks to you and stick to it. Have it taped to your bathroom mirror. This motto will support you when you feel vulnerable and think about giving up.

We know it probably seems cheesy to think about, but it’s why powerful affirmations work wonders. Especially if you tend to engage in negative self-talk or have destructive thoughts, having a motto might be just what you need to have a clean slate. [Read: Mantras to live by: 14 easy mantras that will transform your life]

8. Accept that you know nothing

Your ego is going to want to control you and make you think that you know everything. You don’t. In fact, you know nothing, so get over it. If you want to learn how to start over and improve the quality of your life, accept you’re not the best person in the room – and you never will.

Be willing to grow by learning from other perspectives, as you’ll never get anywhere if you just stick to your own. You think you know yourself, other people, and the world around you, but just wait until you freak out about this life change. You’re going to encounter people, emotions, and situations entirely new for you.

9. Be ready for the moments where you want to give up

You’re going to want to give up. No matter what the change is, you’re going to want to say, f*ck it, and go home. However, you need to resist your urge to give in to your tendency to give up.

Change will always be uncomfortable and scary, but who ever said turning your life around would be easy? It’s not. Your old life was comfortable, we know, but your new life will be even better. You just have to get over this moment of vulnerability.

10. Reward yourself

Reward yourself for your accomplishments. If not, you won’t see the joy in starting over. If you stop drinking soda and lose five pounds, reward yourself with a massage or a good book.

Show yourself that the change you make is for the positive. Thus, you need to treat yourself every now and then. The reward system effectively keeps you going, especially given how challenging it is to learn how to start over.

11. Trust your gut

Your gut instinct never lies. If you feel that going out tonight may prompt you to make some bad decisions, then don’t go. If you feel you’re strong enough to not drink or do drugs, test yourself.

If you feel, deep inside, that you won’t be able to say no, avoid the situation. Your gut knows you better than you do; it’s your raw inner self. Listen to it. [Read: 15 things everyone should know about how to live a happy life]

12. Keep moving forward

This is such an important thing to remember if you want to learn how to start over and leave your past behind. No matter how easy it is to feel stuck, you need to find a reason to keep going. You’re never going to be the person you want to be.

Why? Because you’re going to keep making goals for yourself, so you’ll constantly be pushing yourself more and more. Whatever happens in your life, keep moving forward. It won’t be easy, but it will be all worth it in the end.

[Read: How to focus on yourself: 17 ways to create your own sunshine]

So, how to start over?

Starting over is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’ve had a messy past and you just want a clean slate. Remember that your past will never define you and if you feel stuck by your past, learning how to start over is even more essential.

Now that you know some of the ways for how to start over again, you have no excuse not to. Will it be hard? Yes. Will you want to turn back? Yes. But will you keep moving forward? You must. You owe it to yourself to at least try. 

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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