Starting life over after 40? Here are 12 life-changing tips for new beginnings, starting a new career, dating and so much more.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan, and sometimes we need to start fresh. Whether you’ve recently gotten divorced, are out of work, or just decided that you’ve had enough of the same routine, this article provides essential advice about starting over at 40 with nothing.
Any new beginning is bound to be difficult. It’s perfectly normal to feel lost or ashamed but you don’t have to feel like that for much longer. If you follow these 12 tips, things can improve from here on out, and believe it or not, you may begin to see your age as a gift.
1. Figure out what you want
This is your chance for a fresh start. It’s time to determine all the things that would make you happy and design your dream future.
Identifying what you didn’t like about your old job, relationship or lifestyle may come naturally to you, but the difficult part is figuring out what you actually do want.
Self-discovery is an essential part of starting over.
Over the next few months, spend some time thinking about what you love and establishing your passions. Indulge yourself, try new things, meet new people and determine what your ideal life would be. This is an essential foundation for creating a fulfilling and happy life.
What does happiness look like for you?
2. Enjoy your freedom
While starting over at 40 might be scary, it’s also liberating because you no longer have to live life by the rules.
Younger, more impressionable twenty-something-year-olds might have graduated college quickly, taken that job, and gotten married, despite not feeling fully convinced or committed.
Why do we do this? HuffPost states that one possibility is because we’re afraid of slowing down, being late, and falling behind our peers.
We’re all chasing financial stability, a long-term relationship, and happiness, however, we’re often willing to settle to achieve the illusion of these things.
The advantage of being 40 is that you no longer have to please people or adhere to societal norms or expectations. You are free to do what you are passionate about. This is your time to break free and live your life exactly the way you’ve always wanted to.
3. Plan, plan, plan
Daydreaming is loads of fun, but to achieve a better life, you’re going to need to figure out your goals and create a roadmap to attain them.
Now that you have a clear idea of what you are passionate about, you need to spend time researching the necessary steps to get there. Begin by identifying a course of action, accompanied by the potential challenges you will encounter.
Writing an actionable plan is the best way to make your dreams a possibility.
Forbes suggests breaking down your ambitions into monthly goals, accompanied by high-level strategies and tactics that can be applied each week. This method makes success feel attainable.
Remember that every path looks different. Some of you will need to get out there and make new friends or maybe start saving or looking for a new job. Whatever the goal is, this is your time to prepare and begin heading in the right direction.
4. Take it one day at a time
Starting over at 40 with nothing might feel overwhelming, and there might be pressure to make huge changes, really quickly. This can be scary territory and lead to some hasty decisions.
Stop rushing and pace yourself. While you might feel late to the game, you’re only 40. You still have plenty of time. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all you have to achieve. Instead, take small steps towards your goal every day.
Success is not meant to happen overnight. Keep focused on the big picture, and know that by taking one step every day you will eventually make big changes.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others
When starting over at 40, it’s natural to assume that we’re worse off than our peers. It may feel that all of your friends or family have their lives together, but it’s important to realize that the grass isn’t always greener.
We’re often quick to envy the stability of someone who has been working the same profession for their entire life or a couple that has been married for over 20 years. However, it’s essential to remember that stability does not equate to happiness.
There is not an individual person who is perfectly content with their lives, relationship, or bank account balance. So, why doesn’t everyone start over in their 40? Because it takes courage.
Many people don’t start over at 40, not because they aren’t feeling stuck, but because they lack the bravery to do so.
Forget what you think you know about the lives of others and instead focus on all the possibilities open to you.
6. Consistency is key
There’s no doubt about it, starting over is difficult. Building a new life for yourself won’t come easy, but it is possible through hard work and good habits.
There are 365 days in a year. If you start saving today, your money situation could be entirely different a year from now. This goes for anything you have set your sights on.
Starting is the most difficult part, but once you take a chance on yourself and keep it up, you will begin to see your life change. Stick to a routine and you will inevitably move towards your goals.
7. Know your skills
Starting over in your 40s might feel like an impossible task. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and allow all the challenges to discourage you from trying. You need to focus on what you do have: life experience.
It’s a known fact that everything is more difficult without experience. Every day you’ve spent living in your shoes, you’ve accumulated skills that someone in their 20s cannot have yet.
Don’t believe me?
Spend some time thinking of all the interpersonal skills you’ve accumulated by working in your career for over 15 years, or the emotional intelligence required to raise your kids. The younger generation may be tech-savvy, but they don’t have it all.
Your age is your hidden talent.
8. Embrace your fears
It’s never too late to chase your dreams, however, that doesn’t make the process any less scary.
From an early age, we envision in our head what our whole life will look like, and deviating from that stereotypical idea of happiness is frightening.
Being uncomfortable is part of the process. Your fears will help motivate and push you to achieve your goals.
Interestingly enough, Medium suggests that the uncertainty of attaining our goal is often the main barrier to achieving it. We’re often too afraid to fail to even try.
Once you let go of your fears of failure and disappointment and embrace your ambition, you will head straight for success.
9. Work on yourself
When we think of work, we often picture ourselves staying up preparing for big company meetings or perhaps dispensing a lot of energy on strenuous manual labor, but the most important work will happen within.
Starting over doesn’t only apply to your career or love, it also applies to your inner self.
It’s important to take the steps to accept and let go of everything and everyone that held you back. Forgiveness is an essential step to moving forward.
According to MayoClinic, holding on to resentment and grudges from previous relationships impacts your mental health and makes you more likely to bring that anger into future affairs.
Whatever rift happened to lead you here, it’s important to work through and accept all your emotions. Spend some time healing and letting go of the past. This will allow you to move forward in life content and with high self-esteem.
10. Give it all you’ve got
It’s easy to see all the odds stacked against you and focus on your inexperience in the field or your lack of technical skills. Instead, try concentrating on what you can do: work.
Everyone dreams, but not everyone is willing to put in the effort. If you want something, you need to hustle harder than everyone else.
When you do get there, it’ll be that much more satisfying because you’ll know you made it despite all the odds that were stacked against you.
Set your mind on what you want and go for it. It doesn’t matter where you started, all that matters is where you end up.
11. Don’t view your age as a barrier
Yes, you’re 40 but your life isn’t over just yet. You’re not even halfway there. Sure, you’re not as young as you used to be but who cares?
Famous entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk, advocates for the older generation to view business as an attainable and reasonable goal. He astutely reminds us that no one cares about your age but you.
In “A Note to My 50-Year-Old Self,” Vaynerchuk encourages people exactly in your situation to learn about technology and social media and stop counting themselves out. He reassures people in your shoes that life is long and you have lots of it left to live.
12. Don’t Quit
If you feel discouraged by the prospect of starting over at 40 with nothing, know that you’re not the first and not the last to do so.
Medium compiled a list of 52 late bloomers that made their legacy in their 40s. The list includes Giorgio Armani, Charles Darwin, Samuel L. Jackson, Julia Child, and so many others. These specific examples should empower you and push you to keep going.
It’s not always possible to get everything right the first time around, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying to get everything you’ve ever wanted.
Keep dreaming and never give up.
Can you really start your life at 40?
Yes, you can start over and yes, you can be successful. Age does not matter.
If there’s one takeaway from this article, it’s that while starting over will be difficult, it will also be worth it. Use these 12 life-changing tips to help reinvent yourself. Don’t let life pass you by.
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