Start Over or Start Again?


The appeal of a new beginning to all of us is the opportunity for a “do over,” to wipe the virtual slate clean. But what often happens is quite the opposite. Recently I talked with a friend who is starting over. It’s a complete new start: a new career, a new town, a new perspective in life. My advice to him was simple: make sure you start over and not start again. I think a lot of people miss the point of the start over and find a way to repeat the same mistakes in a different environment, different business, or different relationship. We didn’t learn the lesson we should have learned, so instead of starting over, we start again. It’s just a matter of time before we find ourselves in the same predicament that caused us pain before.
start over

But with every start again, the price we pay gets higher. The second start again is often more expensive than the first.  We are older, more cynical, and often less energetic. And in the world of search engines and social networks, a complete fresh start is virtually impossible.

At one point we all have considered a fresh start. Maybe you’re thinking of a career change, ending a long-term relationship, or even both. But before you pull the plug and pay the price that your new beginning requires, you should do some soul searching. A sober look at how you got so far from where you wanted to be and your part in getting there will help you avoid the next chapter of your life look like the last one only with different characters.

Have you had a fresh start before? What have you learned from it?


  • Mark H

    I started a new career 10 years ago. I learned a few lessons along the way and tried to avoid some of the same mistakes, which is hard to do. Your post resonated with me. Thanks for writing it.

  • Lori S

    Good words. I started a new career 3 years ago, AND in mid-life. So it was important to re-assess everything in my life, not just work. Faith, family, friendships – all got more of my attention and willingness to make changes. I’m thankful for all of my career experiences and each one has taught me and shaped me, but each time I did just “start again.” This time was indeed “starting over,” and it has made all the difference.

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