Life Balance: Tips on Starting Over

Old typewriter with a paper saying goals
Credit: Marcus Winkler

Life Balance: Tips on Starting Over

How to Begin Again After Failure

by J.M. Troppello

I don’t like to fail. Yet, I know failure is part of life. No one is perfect. Just like me, you’ve made mistakes in life as well.

“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” – B.F. Skinner

I like that quote from B.F. Skinner. Sometimes when you make a mistake, it was the best you could do in the situation. The last sentence in that quote is the pivotal piece of advice. You can never stop trying. If you stop, then that’s the real mistake.

When you fail, it’s not always easy to start over. If you’re trying to begin again after failure, consider implementing the following tips into your life journey.

1. Acceptance

The first step in trying to start again is acceptance.

You need to accept that you failed. Admit that your venture was not a success and that you need to try again. According to 10 Surprising Facts About Failure by Dr. Guy Winch in Psychology Today, “Psychologically speaking, the most important thing to do after a failure is to understand its impact—how it affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.”

Accept the past, deal with the mistakes, and move on to a brighter future.

2. Mindset

Once you’ve accepted that you failed, you need to change your mindset.

“If you want to take the reins and control your life, it is important that you embrace the importance of having a strong positive mindset.” – John Franz

A positive mindset can help you in a variety of ways:

  • You can have a clear vision for your future.

  • It helps you streamline the goal creation process.

  • A positive mindset can help you make better decisions.

  • It can foster growth in your personal and professional relationships.

Focus on the positive things in your life. Take a realistic look at why you failed and how you didn’t meet your goals. Then cultivate a positive mindset that is geared toward making productive choices in your life—rather than living in stagnation due to negativity.

3. Action Plan

Create an action plan to help you increase the probability of success in your future endeavors. Consider using the following Seven Steps of Action Planning as defined by the Penn State Extension:

  • Identify the issue.

  • Accrue and evaluate data.

  • Prioritize the specific issues.

  • Create a goal/solution list.

  • Implement the action plan.

  • Evaluate the progress.

  • Use this plan for a new project.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker

4. Evaluation

Always end your process with evaluation. It’s important to identify things you did right and things you did wrong. If you never evaluate your life—both professionally and personally—you won’t have all the necessary information to make the crucial changes to succeed.

Evaluation can help increase your chances of success. It can open your eyes to see new ways of doing things so that you will fail less and succeed more.

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Again

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

Use the following steps: acceptance, mindset, action plan, and evaluation to change the trajectory of your personal and professional life. Embrace the wisdom of James Joyce that your mistakes can become learning experiences catapulting you toward success.

Article syndicated by Inspiration Realm on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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