Beginning a new chapter - what type of new starter are you?
Dipping a Toe
Thanks to Patrick Madden for this image
How can you make the most of this new start and build a thriving life?
When you’ve moved to a new location, taken a career break, your children have flown, or your role as a carer has come to an end, how can you start again with confidence and intention that you can build a thriving life?
In any of these situations, you might find yourself asking: what am I going to do with this new freedom?
This is a clear milestone, and worth pausing for thought. How do you see this moment?
Is it a positive opportunity to design the next phase of your life to suit the person you are today?
Or a time when you’re feeling a little lost, unclear what you really want or how to make it happen?
It can be a heady feeling to be able to focus more on yourself, but with some well-framed questions, you can start to create a life that inspires you!
It’s a new start, yes
Some people find a blank sheet of paper daunting and so don’t take any action at all, instead just go through the motions, staying in well-worn tracks. To spur yourself into more conscious action, try these starter questions:
· Are you ready for a complete career change?
· Are you hungry to learn something new, pursue a fresh interest, or revive an old passion?
· Are you going to challenge yourself or go back to something familiar?
· Is it time for more than one change – work, home, how you work or from where?
If this is feeling too big and there are just too many choices, let’s re-frame it!
How about seeing this as a chance to experiment, try a few things with full permission to explore. And if you find you’re not suited to one or two things, that’s OK, you’ve discovered something useful. Carry on playing with ideas, interests, skills you love using – follow your intuition and treat it lightly.
What type of new starter are you?
Everyone is different, but faced with a blank slate, many people could be experiencing one or more of these sets of perceptions:
1. Feeling left behind, empty, directionless or lost > this is about PURPOSE
There are several things you can do to uncover a new focus for your energies. Think about times when you have been appreciated – what have people thanked you for? What do they say you have done for them? How have you made an impact on their lives? This is a good place to start because these are probably also your strengths.
What causes do you care deeply about? What injustice makes you blisteringly angry?
Follow these clues and dip a toe or two in the water. Could you volunteer, try something part-time or create something yourself?
2. Feeling completely stumped and at a loss > this is about INTERESTS & IDEAS
Perhaps you’ve lost touch with your own interests through lack of time.
Good news, it’s now time to play! Think back to what you enjoyed when you were 12, 21, 31….. How could you revive this interest?
What activities do you love to do when you’re on holiday? Could you do this in your home location?
What have you been promising yourself you’d love to do - when you have time! Permission granted to dust this one off and give it a try.
Remember how it feels to be ‘in flow’ – when you’re so fully in the zone that time just vanishes? You can download my free guide here if you’d like to discover what sets you alight.
It’s also about generating IDEAS.
Try this question: what do you LOVE doing? Start a list and keep adding to it. Dip into Pinterest for ideas until you have a big treasure trove to play with. Where are you going to start?
3. Asking yourself: What can I possibly have to offer? >> this is about CONFIDENCE & IMPOSTER SYNDROME
Now is the time to nurture your self-belief. Think of all your achievements over the years – which are you most proud of? Remember how that felt, connect with it. You can absolutely experience that sense of success again – finding the right project, work, activity or interest will provide all the motivation you need!
Absolutely everyone – including leaders of large organisations, countries, or sporting heroes – all experience the sense that they are about to be found out. That they’re not as good as people think they are. I remember working with a group of MBA students a few years ago and almost everyone in the room admitted to feeling an imposter – however successful they had been in their careers. This is a very common belief.
And as a belief it can be challenged and replaced. Start distancing yourself from that imposter self-talk and replace it with something more truthful – and kinder.
Identify all the skills you have and which ones you love using (your motivated skills) – think about all aspects of your life, not just paid employment. Looking at these skills will boost your confidence and when coupled with a cause or interest, will help you offer those skills for something that matters to you.
And don’t buy into the stories of being ‘too old’ or ‘too out of touch’ – these are complete fabrications and need challenging. They’re nothing more or less than stories in your head. Don’t listen. Find something you’d love to do and do it!
4. I wish I was 18 again >> this is about nostalgia
Remember the energy and optimism of youth? Sometimes fearless, sometimes bursting with enthusiasm? That person is still there inside – they just need liberating.
Your opportunity to start again now is in many ways better than being 18 – you have greater knowledge, experience, perhaps more money, greater wisdom. So I suggest turning around and looking forwards – what do you really want to create?
Give yourself some space to dream. How about creating a Vision Board? This will help focus and galvanize your plans, it will connect you to what matters, fascinates and excites you. You can download my Vision Board Guide here and request the follow-up Vision Board Explorer worksheet to start brining that vision to life.
What one thing are you going to start with?
Good luck and relish your freedom to explore, experiment and create something that is totally YOU.
I hope these ideas have stimulated your imagination and promoted some action. If you’d like someone to accompany you on this exciting next phase, take a look at these resources:
Clear you head
and claim your future
To make an empowered new start: INSPIRED - Starting Again With Confidence (an online course & self-guided retreat)
To explore a new career: Quickstep Career Change Programme
To break through a puzzle or make a choice: Career Clarity Call
To re-design your life: Freestyle61
You can learn to enjoy your new quest and start filling that blank slate with everything that energises, nourishes, fulfills and excites you.
And do let me know which idea you’re going to work on – sharing your good news is so inspiring for us all!