The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Starting Over


Starting over is only fun if you intentionally chose to.  What I have learned is starting over is usually a result of a failure.  Something we envisioned didn’t work out as planned.

For some of us it was a fall off our career plan, being laid off, fired, from failing a final certification test or an interruption in the family dynamics that forced a change.  Life for everyone is filled with shattered plans. It is a written promise, you will get trials, will trip, fall, stumble and even get hurt. I wish I could say there is only one experience for each of us, however what I have experienced and learned from the “Most Successful” there are more failures, than successes on the road to the life we envision.  The key for success is to be a master of getting back up and trying again.  This is what separates the ugly of transition from the greatness released through transitions.

My daughter Anastasia is one of the most inspiring people I have met. She loves people, sees the best when everyone else gives up on them. She has the tenacity and determination to get back up far more often than most. I remember once watching her hit her head on the balance beam while doing a complex gymnastic move. As I heard her head smack the wood beam I expected tears, her running out of the room and quitting, probably because deep down that is what I knew I would have done. I remember going through many tubes of liquid skin, resurfacing her hands so she could tackle the uneven bars shortly after ripping through huge bloody blisters on her hands. Instead I watched her shake it off, hop back on the beam or the bars and go for it again and again.  Her passion for the sport drove her to do beyond the ugly.

At a young age, through gymnastics, a sport she loves to this day, she was shaped to get up, shake if off, and try again.  She approaches life so much differently than I do qualifying her to be a great teacher for me.  It’s not how many times we fall or fail that matters.  What matters is our last action was getting up and pushing through until the next fall.  Inching our way forward to our dreams and deepest desire.

The BAD:

When we get up we can’t always see clearly, we may repeat what caused us to fall.  We may react and choose the polar opposite for the next step instead of a minor tweak to the last step.   What I have learned is #1 Get up and #2 Take time to think.  Ask myself some really tough questions to understand my role in being where I am.  99% of the time my thinking is what got me here and to avoid repeating the same performance I decide to think differently.  Hopefully in a way that better serves me.   See the previous post for the 13 Questions I ask myself.  These questions help me learn and take responsibility for where I am and reconnect me to where I want to be, my best ME.


After we get past the hurt of our fall, we learn a better way to think, to be and different actions to take.  We discover the transition was a great interruption for us.  It wasn’t easy, however we become aware that before the transition we were not being our best and now we are better because of the transition.   I remember when I first got the call that I was no longer the VP of Worldwide Customer Services.  My EGO was incredibly bruised.  I had poured my heart and my soul into this company.  The choice was not made with me, however it was made for me. Deep down inside a voice inside was jumping up and down celebrating,  “Yeah, I am free at last, free to be intentionally ME.”

The next few days and weeks I was intensely confused.  I had attached my identity to my job and what work I did. I was Stuck and I was given a blank canvas.  I was excited with the opportunity to design my future and I was petrified.  I didn’t know where to start.  I had been a life long learner, however I had zero experience in starting over.

I interviewed for similar roles and I came to realize that if I chose that path I would do a disservice to the company and more importantly to myself.  I would have settled for less than God’s best I would have stayed handcuffed to the picture of success I adopted from the world, instead of grabbing tight to the Vision of my Ideal life, my life masterpiece.

Yes there is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with starting over.  Once I realized the Good always arrives, I am able to embrace ugly and the bad and dig for the good to gain.  Starting Over becomes a transition to a better me.

The real transition is a transition from where we thought we would be right now to where we are right now.  I wonder what got me here instead of there?   If you are not where you thought you would be at this stage in your life, ask yourself “What do I need to think differently to get me where I desire to be, because my current thinking landed me here?”