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Six steps to starting over

Sometimes, there’s nothing for it but to let go and start again. Whether as a result of a divorce or breakup, the death of a spouse or the loss of a job, picking yourself up and starting again can be a painful experience. But, like the promise of a new year or the potential of a blank notebook, a fresh start can herald a positive new beginning. Here are six steps to help you start over.

1. Accept that changes need to be made

Facing up to what needs to change is the first step in starting over. Whether you’re stuck in a dead end job or are at risk of being burned out, unless you recognise the need for change, a brighter future will remain a dream.

2. Change your mind set

It’s a fact of life that many people fear change. In order to make the most of any fresh start, therefore, it’s important to recognise that starting over is about giving yourself a real chance at happiness. You may need to draw on a little bit of bravery in order to step out, try new things and meet new people but, at the very least you will learn the skills you need to tackle the next stage of your life. In the immortal words of Susan Jeffers, ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyway!’

3. Ask for help

If you’re one of those people who goes through life helping others, it may not occur to you to ask other people for help. But ask for help you must. Draw on family and friends, and seek professional advice depending on your situation.

4. Power Positive

At the start of any new beginning it’s important to ensure those people who you do choose to seek support from are of a positive mindset. Spending time with positive people will pay dividends, as their positivity will only rub off on you. Spending time with negative people, however, can drain your own reserves of positivity and allow room for questioning to creep in unchecked. Know that it’s OK to censor who you spend time with.

5. Play

Lynda Barry once wrote about the importance of play, not just in children, but in adults as well. If you’re afraid of change, it’s likely that your evening routine will involve a lot of sedentary behaviour (watching TV, sat on the sofa until it’s time to go to bed, for example), and very little ‘play’. You may even have stopped playing altogether. Barry believes that, by remembering how to play, it’s possible to tap into that imagination we had as kids, and positive change will come.

6. Make physical changes

Memories contained in a room, an item of clothing, can be hard to shake. Rearranging the furniture, bagging up painful memories and changing the colour of the walls can really help reinforce the positive change in your life. In the same way, making a slight adjustment to your appearance can also signal to others your commitment to change. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

Have you ever had to start again? How did you tackle it? Did you find spending time with positive people helped? Share your experiences below.

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to

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