The Art of Starting Over

The shiny newness of January has worn off and here we are, in the dreariness of February, holding our dashed new year’s dreams and haggard hopes.

What do you do if you started this year holding on to hope, but are feeling like a failure?

Relax your shoulders and jaw. Take a deep breath. Smile, even just a little. And read on, Warrior.

first, Reframe Hope.

When we hope for a specific outcome, disappointment abounds. Life rarely works out exactly as we hope, plan, or work for. That doesn’t make you a failure! It makes you human.

But not getting what we hope for is zero reason to give up. Yes, disappointment is painful; and disappointment is an invitation to curiosity and ultimately transformation. In fact, as sucky as pain is, it is one of your primary transformation teachers. Running from disappointment or pain only short-circuits the possibility of transformation.

When you feel disappointed, dig a little deeper. What are you really disappointed about? What does the pain point to in your heart or expectations? Getting underneath the disappointment will give you access to reframe the pain and reclaim a truer hope.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Proverbs 13:12

Elevating from hope in an outcome to hope in God changes everything. God never disappoints because God is always working things together for our good. God always protects so the “thing” we’re disappointed about wasn’t “for” us, at least for right now. Reframing your hope in an outcome to hope in God opens up your imagination to see your disappointment from a different perspective. It allows you to see your “failure” in a new light. Reframing hope shifts your focus from “the thing” to THE ONE who will guide your steps.

Then, movement motivates momentum.

Movement begets movement, which increases motivation, and then momentum begets momentum.

Let’s say you started this year with a worthy goal that mattered to you. And you’ve already stalled out or quit. That’s really common, sister! (Read our article 4 Practices to Achieve Your Goals to see why and how to move forward!)

What’s important is not that you’ve stalled, it’s that you get back up and keep moving. Take a SMALL step today that’s aligned with who you want to become or what you want to achieve. If you had physical goal, put on your shoes and walk for 2 minutes. You’ll likely want to keep walking because you’ve started moving.

Movement will encourage you to keep moving forward instead of getting stuck in the cycle of self-sabotaging thoughts that you’re not as far as you thought you’d be at this point. Even a small step forward is motivating because it’s defying that stuck feeling you’re experiencing. When I move forward, I imagine saying “SCREW YOU” to that stuckness, which gives a good motivation boost, too. <wink, wink>

Motivation doesn’t last long but it can transition the movement into momentum. The snowball effect is real with momentum.

One question that guides me in moments like this is:

What can I do, such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

Finally, Fail Forward.

Allow failure to be your friend, Warrior! Here’s the truth about failure:

Instead of looking at failure as a final outcome, view it as a celebration. Failure is proof that you

  • are pursuing something MORE than what you have now

  • have stopped settling for less than what you know is possible—or healthy!

  • are doing new things

When was the last time you saw a baby learn to walk? It’s such a joyful process to watch her get up on her wobbly legs, take a step or two toward you, then fall down. Smiles and clapping abounds for that little one. And what do we do? Encourage her to get back up walk again.

You would NEVER tell that Baby Girl she’s a failure when she falls down.

You celebrate that she’s pursuing a new level of growth.

You cheer her on that she’s not content crawling anymore because you KNOW she’s capable of walking and running.

You clap that she’s practicing new things.

You are that Baby Girl!

The art of starting over is the journey of transformation. There are new mercies for you again today. Get back up again. We’re cheering for you.

We believe transformation happens best together. Our coaching groups are designed to help you achieve what matters most to you. However you want to grow this year, whatever goals you’ve got, our groups will help you get there.

Our process is focused on your whole life and leadership and will get you results where you never even expected it.

New Coaching Groups are forming now. Spots are limited AND filling up.

We’re professionals at helping you start over again.