Mental Toughness: Starting Over


Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post. As always, it was a passionate, robust discussion. One of the great, yet under-used mental toughness tools is the concept of starting over in place of repairing, patching and improving in areas we’re dissatisfied in. Watch this short video I shot in Phoenix and I’ll look forward to your comments.   Steve Siebold  (1:48 )

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  1. JoAnn says:

    The answer is that we live in a fallen world. People have a free will and sometimes people make an evil choice so evil and horrific things happen as a result. God did not create us to be robots of goodness. Life here is tough. That is what makes a life for God and goodness meaningful. This too shall pass. God is in control and with his time table. Act now to stand up for goodness.

  2. Guy Smith says:

    Starting Over – Is it really such a big deal? In many minds it is, as having to “start over” is seen as having suffered a defeat. Those sage enough to know the difference between starting over and defeat are far more likely to learn from their mistakes and use the lessons learned not to tread the same path.


    Could “New Endeavor” could be a better term than “Starting Over”?

    Finish the following sentence: “I should have”. There can only be one finish to that sentence. I SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO SAY I SHOULD HAVE.” Look for ways to gain strength of character. Find ways to dream. Put that dream into reality. Einstein: “Imagination over knowledge…”

    Personnel directors of large corporations and government functions are cogniziant of the fact that to build effective operations, most personnel and specially new hires should endeavor to make goal changes within 5 years. That idea in the minds of employees should in itself enhance that person’s worth. Left alone, most people will fortify a paradeim causing blocks to changes and ingenuity.

    Instead of starting over, seek new endeavors even within current occupations and daily functions.

    Starting over to enhance a person’s worth should be akin to a dictate. We should look for the good in those who have failed. We should find ways to help them succeed to find a “new endeavor (start over).

    May be we should endeavor to start over.

  4. You always have great information to share Steve. I am definitely doing things over mentally and physically. I am focusing on losing weight now, and changing some of the mind sets that I have towards my business. God bless and keep you and keep up the great work that you do.

  5. Bryan Burke says:

    So many times we think of starting over as failing. That’s head trash! You don’t fail unless you let your weak mind allow you to give up. Starting over is having the ability to realize that you can do something better by clearing the slate, refocusing and applying lessons learned.

    I look back in my life and realize that if I had not started over on two different occasions, I would not have been as far along in my wealth building journey. There were other occasions where I tried to salvage a situation instead of starting over. As a result, the problem manifested into a completely different challenge that diverted my focus from what was important. Making the conscious decision to start over is not only smart but world class!

  6. Kudos Paulene and you open up my memory box of treasures. Shirley and I lived in PJ from fall of ’03 – returning to the states for December – and back early ’04 for a total of five months. We went when our company opened in Malaysia/Singapore for business.

    Ones thing that struck us from a business/wellness stand point – our company manufactures specific nutrition in targeted formulas – was that for example, in the STAR newspaper the in depth articles were superior to what we were reading in the states.

    BUT everything you posted brings back so many great memories – we traveled the entire country and took many trips to E. M’sia doing the same. We will return one day.

    We made friends and the multi ethnic culture, the food food food food will never be replaced back home – just amazing beyond words. And the heat – the outside misters – the challenging traffic jams getting into and out of KL – riding the MRT and LRT.

    I’m going to get out some pics now.


  7. paulene says:

    Dear Steve

    Thanks for the thoughts on starting over…….
    The only way I can equate “starting over”, in my life, would be when I came to multicultural Malaysia …..I remember thinking in the early years, why is everything I have learned up to this moment in time (I was 23years old then) not relevant in Malaysia ….I questioned myself…..was everything I was taught all those years in Ireland wrong….. ( I wasn’t wrong just had another way of thinking and executing my behavior) My cultural training in Ireland had to have a complete revamp….and yes I had to start all over again learning how to live in a very different cultural environment from my own. (Malaysians are more behavioral and collectivists, in the west we have a more cognitive and individualistic approach, )
    If you have never left the culture you were brought up in then you could not begin to imagine the change of mindset and mind opening needed to survive 37years in Malaysia……….I took on a whole new culture, (multicultures) language (learn malay) religion,(multi-religious faiths) food,(of every ethnic variety) dress codes,( of every culture) multi ethnic human interaction (on every human level possible) and this is just the tip of the iceberg….
    The nice thing is the weather in Malaysia its sunny forever, never saw snow or hailstones for 37years.
    I was a qualified nurse when I came to malaysia 37years ago and I re-educated myself to achieve a masters degree in human resource management and development in order to understand academically the cultural experience I lived, worked and married with 6 kids in tow.
    I have now been part of a successful family owned investment company with my husband for the last 25 years.
    I had the courage to start over again and I have no cause to regret it. It was tough mentally and physically and tested my endurance beyond my imagination but I have learned so much more about myself (my true self) and about Malaysians much more than they ever know themselves.
    You want to know about starting over……talk to me !!!!……

  8. This could be one of those dead end treads with little traffic. Why? Because most people don’t even start – they wake up to another status quo day. How can you consider starting over when you haven’t started?

    Another reason is that starting over isn’t the norm. The norm is falling back into the status quo pattern.



  9. Mike Jacobi says:

    starting over is a first class Mental Toughness tool, but with pitfalls. In a relationship, it takes two to start over. If the other person is unwilling to go along, it may end up in divorce, and this may not be the optimum solution.
    In business, starting over could also be used as a quick excuse for not really having the will power to overcome obstacles and use it as a justification for not pushing the old project to a conclusion.
    On the other hand, when you tried very hard and get no results, or when you have done an action for a very long time, then starting over is the best answer. I have started over several times in my life, often out of necessity to make a decent living. Not all restarts were successful, but then the did not last very long.
    As you know, I am in the middle of probably my biggest restart, by closing my restaurant and starting my speaker career.
    A restart is always a time of dramatic changes and many people shy away from that and are later surprised that they “comfortably arrived at death” (to quote the master).


    Keep starting over until you get it right. As you start over you will review details to notice the techniques that causes perfection.

    Start over when you find yourself 3 feet from the hole. Don’t give up on perfection by rationalizing that the ball was close enough.

    I learned that from General Curtice E. Lemay, Strategic Air Command. (Korean Police action 1950-1956. He revolutionized a great management style.

  11. Now isn’t abstract – beginning again is what happens every time we wake up. The choice is: begin again as always or new. New is without regard for the past – that’s why it’s called new.

    Yesterday’s accomplishments are boring and past anyway.

    New goals, new action, new drive, new motivation.

    Starting over is a vision of starting over.


  12. Avigdor says:

    What a wonderful reminder.
    Thank you Steve.

  13. London says:

    Is the world doing a do-over this December (According to the Mayan calendar)?

    Will the world see what leading with more feminine energy/collaboration vs masculine energy/competition?

    These terms are used loosely. Make it a great day my People!

  14. Patrick says:

    Great post Steve,
    You are a 100% right on this topic. Sometimes you just have to scrap what you are doing. Know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run. It’s even a law of nature. The big bang was a destruction that created this universe, and forests always come back stronger and healthier from a fire. Admit when you are wrong and move forward.

  15. jim Meader says:

    My wife and I have are always creating options which allows us to make the best decisions, generally. Scraping an idea or project has always been one of our options.

    We have found that a postmortem needs to be done on the failed project, so you can identify what was wrong with your last best idea, and then take responsibility for it. In this way the rest of your team can feel free to embrace the new idea and add new comments without fear or concern of upsetting the boss.

    One of the biggest factors is the economics, do you have enough budget to fund the do over or do you just scrap the idea until a later time when it can be fully funded which is required for success.

  16. Hugh Curlely says:

    Love your message, Steve.

    For your next video blog, could you tell us how to tell when to use persistence (we are only 3 feet from the gold) or a “do-over (this ain’t never gonna work)?

    Thank you,


  17. Carol says:

    Great idea Steve and exactly what I needed to hear. When I was younger it was not hard for me to say “Start Over.” Starting over gives you a fresh new look or idea about things. A new perspective or an objective view that allows you to come up with new ideas and creativity. Thank you!

  18. Marian/Leroy says:

    We enjoy a new car from the dealership, we are not buying other peoples problems and get to start a new.


  19. Bob Nicoll says:

    Great message Steve. Do over. Mulligan. As a child we show no hesitation for “doing over”. Millions who have played the game of golf have hit another shot when their first went astray.

    So why do we hesitate to start over — start from scratch — when we get thrown for a loop in business, or life in general?

    Starting from scratch is one of the most exciting places to be. It is the ultimate in creative thinking — a clean slate. Let the designing begin!

    Love the Do Over. Have been there several times and love it!!

  20. Christina says:

    I like it! It’s jet propulsion into the next phase. When possible,use it for little or big ideas
    in areas from relationships to cakes and cookies…. I often think “it was a big mistake” and keep on trying to make something work. What a time waster. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to “do it over” – start from scratch…just start again? 🙂 Thanks for this “tip” ! A great addition to my skill set.

    As always, it is being given the permission to do or the re awakening to an idea
    that one needs. Why flog something that’s already dead ?

    P.S. I watched “Rudy” – one of the great movies – never heard of it til I read(listened to) “177 Secrets of the Mentally Tough”

  21. Angela Naylor says:

    The concept of starting over as a mental toughness tool requires mankind to display one of the most hardest virtues of human nature and that is Faith. Not as a belief system but as an understanding of a scientific law of nature that explains, builds, and organizes the intelligence within every living thing of a sacred standard of a love for life that will cause humanity when starting over to adhere to this standard and live successfully by nature of its evolutionary process according to its inherent value and not his natural will.

  22. Chelsea says:

    I wish I can start all over again by de-programming my middle class thinking/thoughts that I have acquired and unlearnning all the middle class habits that limit myself.