Have you ever wanted to completely reinvent yourself, start over, and start living a completely different life? I mean, short of changing your name, you’d like to become someone else?
That was me 5 years ago. Here’s what happened:
April: I was going through a health issue which caused me to take a couple of weeks’ leave from work. Super difficult for me but also opened the door to new possibilities of freedom.
May: I went through a major breakup. Heartbreak of the century.
February-September: My body and health were going through major changes. I was training for my first marathon and running 30-40 miles a week on a consistent basis. Running and crying at the same time for much of it because of above heartbreak. I also started doing yoga regularly, getting massages once a month and reading more spiritual books.
July: I meet the love of my life, my now-husband.
(During July and December, my backbone starts growing. Between the death of a close family member, my heartbreak, meeting the love of my life and traveling together, training for a marathon, and stress at work, I not only realized but KNEW, deep down inside, that I’d have to change something about my life, or I would be miserable for a long time. Living the way I was just wasn’t enough. I fought many a battle with people who cared deeply for me because I wanted to quit and do my own thing, and they wanted me to be “safe.” Safe meaning: health insurance + steady paycheck).
September: I run my first marathon despite an injury at Mile 7 and realize that I’m stronger than I think. Ironically, I also cried during this run, but unlike the tears I shed during half of my training due to heartbreak, these were tears of determination. I trained so damn hard for almost a year…I was NOT going to let a little thing like an injury stop me from my victory. This was a huge case of mind over matter, because the very next day, I was up and about with no pain at all. I BELIEVED myself to be strong, to overcome and to thrive. And I did.
October: I join a female entrepreneur club. Just because. Just to see what that world was all about. I start making wild, amazing connections with other freethinking entrepreneurs who expose me to a world of possibilities.
(Between September and November, the economy collapses. Work starts letting people go, and the rest of us are left with taking over their duties. I start feeling a heaviness in my heart that feels suffocating. Can’t. do. this. anymore. becomes my daily, automatic mantra.)
December: “Can’t do this anymore” becomes reality and my last day is Christmas Eve. Turns out to be the best gift I have ever received. Although it was incredibly stressful, I did have savings to keep me going for the next year. The people who once fought for my “safety” now knew that this was the best decision I could have ever made, but most importantly, I no longer started caring what others thought because I knew what I was doing was saving my life.
As soon as New Year’s rolled around, I enrolled in a life coaching program as well as a personal training program. I also ramped up my freelance copywriting services to keep me afloat for the next couple of years and took on a job as a promoter for Maria Shriver’s Walk for Alzheimer’s.
Here are the lessons I learned:
1) Pressing restart on your life can be a long, slow process.
Most often, it’s not about waking up suddenly one morning, saying, “I quit!” It’s a realization that can take months or years in the making, one little happenstance at a time.
TIP: Keep your eyes open.The universe delivers messages to us all the time, whether they are minuscule or tremendous. Messages can come in the form of song. It can be something you hear over and over again in the media, your friends, or things you read. It could be that gut wrenching feeling you get every day as you step out of bed. My message started in April when I had to deal with a health issue that made me miss work for 2 weeks. It continued with my breakup and training.
2) There is always a solution.
Always. My loved ones were terrified that I was going to lose my health insurance. But the crazy thing was that I was staying in a job that stressed me out, caused health problems and in which I felt that my soul was slowly dying. What good is health insurance compared to those? When I quit my job, I signed up for my own health insurance and the process was simpler than I ever imagined. All that stress for nothing! Just remember: There is always a solution and don’t imagine the worst. When you imagine the worst things that can happen to you, it’s your brain just telling you lies. Why? Because they aren’t true. They haven’t happened yet, so how can they be true? It’s all in your imagination, just as living the life of your dreams starts with your imagination. Choose the happier imagination.
TIP: One of the best ways to keep things in perspective is to ask yourself, “Will anyone die from this? Will the world end?” The answer will usually be: Probably not.
3) Restarting your life is worth it.
Here’s the thing. So many people DON’T press restart on their lives because they are terrified. They listen to their bad, false imagination telling them all sorts of untruths and they stay stuck for years, sometimes for the rest of their lives. They would rather live, if you call it that, in hell than take the plunge and experience what could be heaven.
Starting over is rarely easy. You struggle with change (I don’t know anyone for which change is as simple as eating ice cream cake), you struggle with your emotions, your fears, your anger and your self-doubt. You struggle with OTHER peoples’ emotions and sometimes, negativity. Other people often don’t want us to change, because they think it’ll change our relationship with them. Fear is all around.
But you take one little step at a time. You seek advice from people who’ve been there, who’ve struggled, and who’ve persevered. You create an action plan. You journal. You seek daily bliss. You improve yourself every day. You make new friendships, with people who love and support you. You try new things that you never thought possible (me, a promoter for Maria Shriver?! Awesome job that changed my life)! You date people who are different from the ones who never made it into your future (This one is major: Your love partner should be someone you look up to and who also looks up to you, makes you want to be better, doesn’t hold you back or play games with your emotions. Someone who is authentically, 100% a good person that you think every person should have in their lives).
Then restarting becomes easier. It’s no longer a drastic change from your previous life…you’ve been easing into this new life. You continue to press restart everyday, but it begins to become more fun, more exciting and worth it.
TIP: Choose an area of your life you’d like to restart. It doesn’t have be your entire life, as my story was. It can be pressing restart on your health, your career or your love life. But here’s a warning: Oftentimes when you press restart on one area of life, you’ll end up pressing restart on other areas of your life as well. Health affects friendships, friendships affect romantic partnerships, business/career affects finances, mental bliss and spirituality. They are all connected.
If you haven’t yet, please download the free 2014 Blueprint: Create Your Most Irresistible Life Yet Workbook. Sign up above or to your right. I made it to help others press restart on any area of their lives.
When have you ever pressed restart on your life? I’d love to know. Please share your story below! Here’s to a fabulous new year, a new unwritten chapter in our books and an irresistible new life!