As you slowly read each of these words, focus on the feelings they evoke in your mind: begin again, start afresh, rebrand, re-design, re-invent yourself, create a new identity, shed your old self.
All these words suggest a new beginning and a fresh start.
The thought of starting over is refreshing. The prospect of a clean slate untainted by mistakes and letting the burdens of the past fall off your shoulders brings along with it hope and limitless possibilities. I think this is the reason new years gets all the hype it does.
There’s hope of a brighter and more fulfilling year ahead with no mistakes made yet. Everyone is running around saying ‘new year, new me’ with their resolutions and goals for the year pasted somewhere they can see every day. But soon enough, they slack off and the hope and excitement of a new year fades away.
This happens year after year, it’s a never-ending cycle and it leaves people disappointed in themselves. They are convinced they can’t change now, but they are capable of change soon. So they stop putting in effort and wait for soon to come (maybe new year) so they can change. But the thing is, soon doesn’t come and will not come till you make it.
Our perception of new beginnings is very limited. Waiting for the new year to come or a new job, or a new relationship or opportunity before we live life like we want to is limiting. We don’t realise that we need nothing else to start over but ourselves.
A painful truth is that a lot of us don’t like ourselves. We abhor the person we have become and the life we live. The things we spend our time doing are unfulfilling, we never challenge ourselves, complete what we start or keep promises to ourselves. Yet, we remain stuck in this unsatisfying life.
We do this because we forget we hold the power to begin again, to start over. We forget that we can create a new version of ourselves, a new identity. If you don’t like the life you are living, you have the power to create a new one while letting the old one go.
There aren’t a lot of things in our control, but those that are, we need to take full charge of them.
I have a friend who randomly says ‘rebranding!’ which means she is her ‘brand’ and she has decided to ‘rebrand’ herself. If she doesn’t like the way her life is, she changes it up. It gets me excited every time she says it because it reminds me I can do the same.
I didn’t think I could before. I thought that the person I had known all my life was the only person I could be. I used to think that if I stopped doing certain things while I began other things, people who ‘knew’ me would accuse me of trying to be something I am not or laugh at me.
But the thing is that people change and other people’s opinion of you is their business, not yours. You don’t have to worry about it or conform to it. Why should you?
I know it’s symbolic and you can if you want to, but don’t limit starting over to the new year. If you have to attribute starting over to a point in time because you are building towards it, they are other options : a new season, phase of the moon, month, week, day, hour, minute, literally anything. But starting over should not be limited to time, which is a human construct by the way. Start over anytime you want to!
Don’t hold on to that old self if you aren’t happy. The power to change lies in you. You just have to ask yourself what you want and what your ideal life is. And next, ask how you will get there and what you need to be that person.
So you must reflect on your life and identify what exactly it is you want to let go of and what you want to begin. Analyze what you spend your time thinking and doing and also the people you surround yourself with. Are they good for you? Do they make you feel fulfilled and happy? Or do they make you feel unsatisfied and horrible? Or make you happy for a short while, then leave you drained and depressed? (Like social media for me.)
When you decide what you don’t want, then you can decide on what you want your life to be filled with and start working on those. So many of us wished we read more books, spent less time on social media or less time watching TV, completed projects we started, stopped doubting ourselves and our abilities. There’s so much we want to do and when you begin again, it is the time to actively work towards those things by setting doable and realistic goals that help you make steps—no matter how small—towards the life you want each day.
Think of yourself as a nail file with multiple layers that you can peel away, the only difference is your layers never run out. So when you are tired, weary, unimpressed and uninterested at the person you’ve become and the life you live, slowly peel back that layer and reveal to the world another that does all the things you want it to and brings you joy.
Remember that you are capable of so much more than you think you are and when you need to switch things up at any point in time, just begin again.
Here is a song titled ‘Begin Again‘ by Purity Ring. Though it’s a love song, the message of starting over countless times resonates with me and maybe it will inspire you too. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay.