A guide to reinventing yourself after 40

Life is an ever-evolving journey, and sometimes, starting over can be the key to unlocking a new chapter of happiness and fulfillment. Read on tips.

Shelley Audette Settles

7/28/20234 min read

Life is an ever-evolving journey, and sometimes, starting over can be the key to unlocking a new chapter of happiness and fulfillment. As a mindset coach working with women aged 40 and older, I've witnessed the incredible transformations that occur when individuals embrace change and bravely reinvent themselves… and you don’t even need to hit bottom to decide you want better.

Whether you are facing a major life transition, recovering from past wounds, or simply feeling stuck and unfulfilled, starting over can be a liberating and empowering experience. Today, I'm exploring specific tips to help you navigate this transformational journey and embrace the beauty and freedom of starting anew.

1. Embrace Self-Discovery

Take the time to reflect on who you are at your core, your passions, values, and aspirations. Delve into your interests, hobbies, and the things that light up your soul.

So many times, we let go or ‘bury’ our own desires and lose touch with the ‘things that light up our soul.’ Somehow, we think they're unimportant, yet letting them die contributes to our brokenness. These things bring us joy as an expression of who we are. Embracing self-discovery will enable you to create a solid foundation upon which to build your new path.

2. Set Clear Intentions and Goals

As you embrace the excitement (and the fear) of starting over, set clear intentions and goals for the future. Define what you want to achieve, both personally and professionally. Some find creating a vision board or journal helps them capture their aspirations. A vision board can help you keep the dream alive and help you visualize and direct your thoughts and energy toward your future self.

3. Jettison Past Baggage

This can be difficult for those who rehearse past hurts and for those who currently lack the self-awareness to realize how much they continue to live in the past. This is a crutch that keeps you lame. To truly start over or to heal it's essential to release the emotional baggage from the past that may be weighing you down. Address any unresolved issues, past wounds, or limiting beliefs that no longer serve you. Addressing these issues is a process.

Seek support from friends, family, or even a professional therapist or coach to help you navigate your journey. Letting go of the past not only opens space for new opportunities and growth, but it's essential for wounds to heal.

4. Embrace Change with Positivity

Change forced upon us can be reframed and accepted. Even the changes you initiate can be challenging. When you can maintain a positive mindset, you keep your energy healthy and momentum for attracting more of what you want. Indeed, developing a positive mindset is key for lasting positive transformation.

Welcome change as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Whenever negative thoughts arise, reframe them with positive affirmations. Surround yourself with a support network of positive and encouraging individuals who uplift and motivate you.

5. Cultivate Resilience and Adaptability

Starting over has its fair share of obstacles and uncertainties. You can cultivate resilience and adaptability to bounce back from setbacks and navigate uncharted territory. You do this in part by embracing the notion that setbacks are part of the process and see them as learning opportunities instead of failures.

Remember, there is no failure, only feedback! By cultivating resilience, you'll build the strength to face any challenges that come your way.

6. Embrace New Opportunities

Starting over presents a chance to explore new opportunities and experiences. Step out of your comfort zone and be open to try new things. Whether it's pursuing a new hobby, learning a skill, or embarking on a career change, embracing new opportunities broadens your horizons and enriches your life.

For now, it doesn’t matter if you ‘feel’ like getting out of your comfort zone. Your ‘comfort zone’ isn’t all that comfortable anyway, is it? But it IS familiar, which is why we return to old patterns.

It may be helpful to remember that what you see in your external world is only a reflection of yourself and your past thoughts. If that sounds hokey, consider that it takes a little over 8 minutes for the energy leaving the sun right now and four years for light reflected off the nearest star, Sirius, to reach the Earth. This means that when you look at Sirius, or feel the warmth of the sun, you are experiencing a reflection of past events.

In the same way, your circumstances reflect all your past decisions, thoughts, and emotions. What you see reflected ISN’T who you are now. That's why a report card or a bank statement doesn't show your current capabilities or resources. It reflects your past attitude about money and who you thought yourself to be. All that is subject to change!

7. Surround Yourself with Supportive Individuals

The journey of starting over can be more manageable and rewarding with the support of like-minded individuals. Surround yourself with friends, mentors, or a community of individuals who understand your aspirations and provide courage meant. Sharing your journey with others can inspire and motivate you to stay committed to your goals... And help them along their journey as well.

8. Celebrate Progress, Big and Small

Embracing change and starting over after 40 is a transformative journey that can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life. When you acknowledge your progress, it boosts your confidence and reinforces the belief that you are on the right path. Celebrating yourself also reminds you of the strength and resilience you possess to overcome challenges.

Truly, the ability to live intentionally as the person we choose to be is the biggest unheralded gift we all have hidden inside us. It takes courage to live your authentic truth and choose to rebuild, but the rewards far outweigh any struggle, and continue for the rest of your life.

Here's to the incredible woman you are becoming and the limitless possibilities that await you on your path of reinvention!