Regardless of who you are, and regardless of what you’ve been through, starting over is inevitable whenever you’re on a path that might look good to others but is ultimately not right for you. Most people who want to change their lives face two extremes – either their families tell them to be more realistic (and stay where they’re at) or self-help gurus tell them that they can be whatever the hell they want to be if they work hard enough and self-help their way out of uncomfortable obstacles.
Neither of the two extremes are right. You cannot settle for less and live an entire life in either fear or indifference. However, you also cannot assume hard work and talent are enough to overcome all social and political barriers in place.
If you’re someone who constantly starts over in life, you might feel like you’re hopelessly lost, far behind everyone else, and destined to jump from dream to dream for the rest of your life. But when you give up on something, you’re questioning yourself, identifying what isn’t right for you, burning it, and rising from the ashes, ready to pursue something that’s closer to the heart of who you are.
Here are the things you know to be true if you’re constantly starting over in life:
1. All of your former life goals were influenced, in some way, by those outside of you.
Parents, teachers, friends, lifestyle bloggers, authors, celebrities, and influencers all tell you their opinions about living a good life and achieving success. So if you’re starting over a lot, you’re not failing in the way they think you’re failing. Rather, you’re letting go of what isn’t right for you and being brave for stepping off the paths that others paved for you.
2. You know what drudgery feels like and though you feel like a failure for giving up, you know your hard work would lead to failure anyway.
Some kinds of work feel like drudgery because they don’t come naturally to you. It is a lie that people can become good at anything as long as they put hard work into it and discipline themselves harshly enough. However, whipping yourself into becoming close to perfect at something you’re terrible at in order to attain monetary rewards and a good professional reputation will only make you feel like you’re committing a slow but steady suicide.
3. You also know what it’s like to feel passionate about something but not gaining the external results.
In the world of side hustles, it’s common for popular influencers to advocate allowing passion to lead the way and to do whatever feels good to you because that’s what will help you love the work enough to keep doing it. Although doing what you love makes the work less grueling, it’s important to understand the reality of things you’re passionate about –very few people make it to the top, while the rest keep scraping by, regardless of how hard most people work and how passionate they are. This is major reason why you have given up on trying to make your passions profitable and resign to keeping them as hobbies.
4. You understand that your attachment to your goals, not the failures themselves, was the root of suffering.
If you’ve battled against yourself in the pursuit of something you’ve always failed at and felt like a loser for not trying again, you know that the attachment of your goals is what’s causing you the most pain. You had an unhealthy fixation with forcing yourself to become more than what you are, only because you never felt like you were enough to begin with. But giving up made you realize that it’s best to walk away from what’s only hurting you.
5. You know what the depths of suffering are truly like because you’ve chased after things and never attained what came effortlessly to others.
If you were forced to study something you kept failing at, you probably hated yourself when everyone else did well and got the stable jobs your parents wanted you to get. If you listened to lifestyle gurus and self-help authors, you probably tried to create something borderline magical and it ended up failing to give you the overnight popularity you expected. If you applied to over a hundred jobs and got rejected from every single one, you probably deprived yourself because you thought you were stupid. If you worked a job that you weren’t a good fit for, then you know what it’s like to feel micromanaged and resentful of people at the top. And if you’ve ever suffered from bullying yourself to be “good enough” for people who still think you’re inadequate, you know that keeping up with this cycle of struggling will bring about these severe feelings of worthlessness. At the end of it all, you realize that letting go is the only solution that will keep you alive.
6. You never really wanted to work in fields that made “good money” or at a job that forces you to do what you aren’t good at.
All you wanted was something simpler and these guilt-tripping goals were just preventing you from seeing yourself clearly. You know that you don’t have to be the best and you don’t need to live like anyone else to prove that you are.
7. Whenever you start over, you ruthlessly cut back on your goals.
Your reason for being has evolved into something much humbler but more grounded in reality because you know what it’s like to suffer from trying to achieve too many dreams and hating yourself for failing at things you were never good at in the first place. Your major goal in life is to live in a way that frees you from false hopes, hollow dreams, and feelings of inferiority, so that you live completely at peace each day.