Starting over is never easy. The situation you find yourself in may be keeping you from doing so, or you yourself may be consciously or unconsciously resisting the change. Whenever something ends, you’re immediately thrust into a state of uncertainty, and while it’s often heartbreaking to do so, you are almost forced to move on if you are to emotionally survive the ordeal.

As much as starting over can be frightening, it can also be the change you’ve been waiting for, which for the time being may be masked by disappointment, frustration, or grief. When one door shuts and you’re faced with an unfamiliar path, you should always remember that:

1. You are not the first one to go through this.
Whether you’re facing a professional or a personal tragedy, know that there are probably thousands like you around the world making the same journey. Yes, pain is relative and each experience is different, but the knowledge that you’re not the only person going through a transition can make you feel less alone.

2. Acceptance is the first step to recovery.
Sometimes, it can be hard to deal with having one chapter in your life end that you’re so tempted to deny that it just happened. Things like sudden breakups can blow through you like a whirlwind, leaving you reeling at its wake. But when the dust settles, it’s often better to accept that everything has an end, instead of raging against something that can never be. Gracefully accepting reality will help you heal and move on faster.

3. When accepting things is hard, throw something out…

…Or cut something off. Some women cut off their hair as a symbol of shedding their old life, while some throw out things that remind them of what they had to go through. Doing so is symbolic of letting go of the things that bind you to your past, and leaving them behind may help you move forward with less baggage to carry.

4. Jumping into the uncertain can be just what you need.
Starting over can mean huge changes in your routine and new unexpected adjustments to be made. These changes can be scary, but sometimes you just have to face them head-on. Take the plunge: Throw yourself into something new. Life has a way of shaking things up just when you’re about to get to complacent, and though certain transitions may be painful, in hindsight, they can also lead you to discover something great about yourself.


5. You should allow yourself to be happy.
The sadness, frustration, and regret can only propel you so far. At some point, you’ll need to let go of all these and open yourself up to the new possibilities that the world has been offering you. Girl, you deserve to be happy no matter what you think, so don’t ever feel guilty about feeling joy.

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