The Joy of Starting Over Later
In my line of work, I am exposed to a number of clients who must start over later in their lives. I can hear the fear in their voices as they explain that they must give up everything they know just to start anew. It can be difficult to reassure these guys at first, but by the end of our coaching session all that changes.
So what are they worried about? Well, for one thing they’ve been doing something for most of their lives and they think they have nothing to offer. Or they believe there’s no way they can learn something new at their age to start a new career. Most times out of not, they are dead wrong.
At that critical point in time, when we cover their work history, we find that yes, they’ve had way too much experience and have in fact learned other skills along the way. Take, for example, the client who cried in despair that she knew nothing but big box retail stores. After spending some time reviewing the skills she’s developed throughout her long career, we discover that she’s an expert at resumes and interviewing. So I look at her and say rather confidently: “Have you ever considered a career in human resources?” I can’t begin to describe in words that look of positive energy that passed over her face. Even her self-descriptive language changed.
Unfortunately, she’s not alone. I’ve come across too many people who trap themselves in such negative thinking. They believe their time is up, they’ve wasted their time doing the wrong thing, and there’s no hope that they will ever start over.
What most people from the older generations don’t know is that I’ve coached clients in their 20’s and 30’s who feel the same way. Oh, the many chances they’ve overlooked, the time they wasted in school studying the wrong major, and how it’s too late for them to change. They’re wrong as well as they realize when we’re done with our consultation.
Sticking to the familiar has many benefits. Most of all, repetitive tasks and responsibilities doesn’t require much thinking, and – gasp! – it doesn’t require change. That’s what most people fear at the latter years of their lives – change. They believe it’s too late to learn or to try something new – and they couldn’t be more wrong.
So the next time you need to make a change in your life, think of it as a positive opportunity. You get to use all you’ve ever learned along the way and contribute it to a new beginning. Imagine the idea of doing something new. It’s good for your heart, good for your soul, and good for your confidence.