Starting over can be overwhelming. The idea of a restart can bring thoughts of fear, regret, frustration, and feelings of wasted time and effort. However, starting over can also be a blessing in disguise. You already know the past and have learned from experience and mistakes to make you who you are today…your journey. And this journey is what provides you with the guidance, insight, and courage to make new decisions about your future from a new perspective.
“If I knew then…what I know now…”
Knowing what you know now is a completely different mindset from before. It’s hard to go back to not knowing something once it becomes part of your knowledge bank. You have grown, you have evolved, and you have confidence with experiences you have already been through. So there is less fear of the unknown and better decisions to be made.
Frozen in Fear…
Whether a restart is a new job, new career, new business, or new relationship the idea of change can leave many frozen in fear. Too often we talk ourselves out of things because of fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or fear of ridicule from our peers. The theory of social proof has many proven examples of people going along with the crowd just because everyone else is doing it…good or bad. Unfortunately, flying under the radar to blend in doesn’t move us forward.
“Feel the fear…and do it anyway.”
It takes courage, fearlessness, and self confidence to take that first step in a new and unknown direction. Fear provokes strong emotional responses and can dramatically affect a person’s ability to move on or move forward. Fortunately, we are in control of our thoughts and our thoughts affect our emotions, which can empower us or leave us fearful of making any decisions.
The 3 Steps: 1 – 2 – 3
There are 3 recommended steps to walk yourself through the process of embracing the fear and doing it anyway.
Step 1: Breathe
Step 1: Breathe…. It’s true, take a deep breath and clear your mind. Slow down your breath and calm your thoughts. We are what we think about. So if our mind is full of all the fears of “what if’s” our emotions are high and it causes anxiety. Deep breathing, (3 seconds in, 6 seconds out) is a good way to calm your thoughts and relax your mind.
Step 2: Visualize:
Step 2: Visualize: It’s proven, visualization is a technique that helps our brains to visualize a new future and begin seeing ourselves achieving the new outcome. According to research on using brain imagery in an article by Huffington Post…..
“Visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway — clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviors — that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.”
Step 3: Take action:
Step 3: Take action: Feel the fear, and do it anyway. Once you have visualized a new future, you can start making it a reality by actively moving in the direction to achieve your new goals. Even baby steps in a new direction will eventually get you there. The key is to make active decisions to bring your new desired future closer to you.
According to Frank Niles, PH.D. “Visualization does not guarantee success. It also does not replace hard work and practice. But when combined with diligent effort (and, I would add, a strong support network), it is a powerful way to achieve positive, behavioral change and create the life you desire.”