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  • Kerri Cummings

Bow Down to the Start Over Queen

Greetings, kingdom. It is I, the Start Over Queen, here to bless your day with some more wild wisdom from the small, mindful corners of this blog.

Alright, I never said I was very eloquent, did I? Still, I truly AM the Start Over Queen. I’ve rebooted more times than my clunky old Dell laptop.

I used to really doubt myself for having to start over and over again in my life. And admittedly, sometimes I still feel that way. Yet, I mostly feel proud. I’m proud that I always had the courage to correct course if I felt like it wasn’t going well.

Let me rewind a bit for comprehension.

Ever since I was 8 years old I knew I wanted to be a musician, a pianist to be exact. That dream expanded into Broadway musicals, writing hit songs for well-known artists, and even just being a lounge lizard at hotel bars – you know the kind with a big tip glass on the mahogany grand? I’ll never forget the look on my parents’ faces (and the deafening silence) when I told them that THAT is what I wanted to do with my life. I did get into music school but ended up dropping out. I didn’t think I had what it takes.

So I changed my major to German. (I know what you’re thinking: WHAAAA?) I literally thought, “Well, what do I do NOW?” Music was all I ever wanted to do. And writing. So I thought, “I like to travel, and I was good at German in high school. Hey!! Great idea! I’ll just study German!” What a wonderful reason to study, right? After my studies led me to do a semester abroad in Germany, I ended up doing a Master’s in Business Administration, aka, Master’s in I-Don’t-Know-What-Else-To-Study.

From there I got right into the management consulting world where I lost track of time until about 7 years later when I realized I was in this life for all the wrong reasons. I had to change something. Again. So, I did. Some might say I was burnt out. Some might say I was crazy. I would say I was lost and unhappy.

I was worn out and worn down from committing every waking hour of my life towards being good at something that didn’t make me the least bit proud or happy.

So started my own business. Just like that I started a translation business from my dining room table. I started cold-calling companies and eventually landed fantastic clients, from ad agencies, to universities, to national newspapers and Fortune 500 companies. Again, I was successful. This time I had more fun, but this nagging feeling kept coming up that it just wasn’t “it”. So I went back to college and got my Master’s in clinical psychology (while still running my business and making babies, mind you.). It is then I started over – again – and founded the MINDBAR® where I help individuals and organizations get clear about what they want, what they do well, and help them achieve it and manage the stress and pressure of life and work at the same time. It is my thang, people. I luvvv it.

Ok, so we’re caught up now.

That is my story in a nutshell. I have started over so many times – I haven’t even included all the start-overs in this post, ya’ll!

You know how many people seem to have a straight path? It’s like their path is a straight line?

Well, mine looks more like a beeline or an unraveled ball of yarn.

And while I don’t assume that all those straightliners aren’t doing exactly what makes them happy, I do believe that many are just stuck on that line because they started it and don’t think they can change anything.

This is the thing: You CAN change it if you want to.

Do you feel like you’re in a hamster wheel? Do you work for the weekends? Is the first thing you think of when you alarm goes off something to the effect of “UGH”?

If so, let’s unpack that.

What is that feeling? Is it dread? Is it longing? What is keeping you from changing anything in your life? Do you fear change? Or do you simply feel like you don’t have time to pause long enough to think about it? How can you reset your life without blowing the entire thing up?

Here are some tips to help get you out of your rut and get you started on your reset:

1. Change up your routine. If you aren’t aware of what your routine even is, then spend the next week writing down, hour for hour, what you do. Then, go back and see if you can change one thing. Don’t go overboard. Just change something. Maybe it’s your drive to work, or what you eat for breakfast. Keep it small and simple.

2. Change the furniture around. You might need some “buy-in” from your spouse or partner but see if you can change the furniture in your living room or home office. Sometimes we need a literal change of perspective to give our brains a little jolt.

3. Set a daily goal. What is the most important goal for today? Spend a minute while drinking your morning coffee deciding on what goal you most want to accomplish today. And make sure you get that done. Again, it doesn’t have to be something big. In fact, it shouldn’t be big. Small and simple!

4. Ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do today that will move me towards my goal?” Then do it.

5. Do some visioning. I know this is classic, but you know in your first job interview when they asked, “where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?” How many of you have done this exercise lately?

6. Say “YES” to something you normally say “NO” to. Remember, keep it small and simple. Don’t overthink it. What would you say no to? For example, you might say no that one colleague who has asked you to lunch. You might feel uncomfortable with him or her. Say “YES” this time. Who knows what opportunity might come out of it?

7. Update your resumé but include activities you wouldn’t normally include in a business resumé. What are your strengths? How do you know that they are your strengths? Where do they show up in your daily life?

8. Journal about why you feel stuck and what you want to change.

9. What is holding you back? Write down– brainstorm – everything that you think might be holding you back from getting unstuck.

10. Meditate! You didn’t think I was going to leave that out, did you? ;-)

These are very small action steps you can start today to move towards changing your life. We often get stuck in our routines and our way of thinking about our life. Often, we just need to switch things up a little bit in order to get the juices flowing.

Now go do stuff!

The Start Over Queen commands you! That’ll be all. Shoo shoo.


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