Nobody likes starting over. At least, I don’t know anyone who does. But sometimes life forces you to reboot, whether you want to or not.

Sure, there are those rare, crazy ones who love the thrill of a new venture. But if you’ve spent any time building anything, you know that uneasy feeling in your stomach when you have to begin again. It’s hard.

This is why so many people stay in jobs they hate or keep going back to the same old, unhealthy addictions that leave them broken. It’s easier that way.

But there’s something beautiful about starting over, something liberating about beginning again.

And I’d like to encourage you consider a fresh start in something.

Back to zero?

I just had a conversation with someone very close to me who is having to start something over. She’s worried that it means going back to zero. Not True.

When you start something new, you’re not really beginning completely fresh. Your past experiences, failures, and successes have all taught you something. More than you can imagine. And knowing what you know now means you aren’t starting over. You’re just beginning again.

That’s what I learned in this life, which was the result of leaving my past to begin a future. I had been living in a life going on 12 years. I wasn’t quitting and going back to the drawing board. Instead, I was building on a foundation.

I had spent 12 years learning who I was and finding me. When I started over, I feared I might be wasting my time or doing bad. But I was wrong.

All those years, I was practicing. Preparing. Waiting for my big moment, my happy time. Maybe you are, too.

Do something new, now

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Do you remember what it felt like? It was probably really  fun, possibly even thrilling. I bet it required some hard work, too.

Maybe it’s time to do that again. To take a risk. To break a rule. To start.

Maybe you’re in a time in which you feel like what you’re doing is all for nothing, that you’re doing all this work and nobody’s paying attention. But maybe that’s not the whole story.

Maybe you’re being prepared for a time that hasn’t come yet. If that’s the case, may I encourage you to do one thing?

Show up

Even when the reward isn’t there… show up.

Even when the critics tell you to quit… show up.

Even when you’re tired and tempted to throw in the towel… show up.

If this is a time of preparation for you (and not a time to start), do the work. Show up. Because what you are doing is sowing — that’s planting seeds, for you non-farmer folk — and though you may not reap the benefits from them for some time, the work you’re doing is not pointless.

Stay the course, be brave, and your rewards will come.

Chad Willis