Deb Sofield


If You’re Tired of Starting Over Quit Giving Up

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I love the quote, If you’re tired of starting over—quit giving up.

I am not sure who said it, but, wow, if there was ever a billboard that we should put up around the state, it’s this one. If you’re tired of starting over—quit giving up.

I hear people say all the time that they are tired of always having to start over, and so many times I want to ask the obvious question of why did you stop? Really, why did you stop your diet? Why did you stop going to school? Why did you stop being the loving partner or spouse? Why? Hello, it isn’t rocket science, because if you didn’t stop, you wouldn’t have to start over.

When I ask people why they constantly feel the need to start over, the answer usually is something benign like, well I got tired, or I didn’t feel loved, or I wanted to do something else.

I’m not here to judge your reasoning, really I’m not, but I’m curious why you think your lame excuses trump the great progress you were making at one time. I can assure you that getting re-started is going to be harder than it was when you started the first time. Why? Because now you know that you can quit, walk away, remove yourself and do the minimum and still get by, and, while that seemed like a good idea at the time, in the end you’ve really short-changed your life and opportunity, because now that you’ve stopped, getting started again is hard, since you now have to deal with the mess that you made. That is why so many people just constantly want to start over, because starting over appears to allow you to walk around the mess you made without ever having to do the hard work of cleaning up… or so it seems on the surface.

The real truth is, if you don’t clean up the mess you’ve made, whether that is dealing with the truth of your situation for your physical health or the reality of going back to school when you are older, while doable, it is hard, since life has other plans for your free time. You may have the raw emotional issues of a marriage that is broken or a friendship that has gone away, and the pieces are still all around, and someone has to pick them up or you’ll stumble over them again once you’ve gotten back on your feet.

Just because you or they walked away, it doesn’t mean that the broken pieces are going to magically sweep themselves up in a neat pile for the housekeeper to take out on Friday with the trash. Really? You don’t believe that lie, do you?

Let me break it to you straight, friend. The broken pieces are still there, whether you choose to see them or not, and good luck walking over broken glass in your bare feet. Even with a heart of stone, you will feel the pain of the brokenness, maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day, and you can mark today on your calendar that my message will come true before the end of time. And, on a personal note, I feel sorrow that my words will one day ring true for you.

Broken friendships, broken families, broken marriages; broken lives might be the saddest feelings in the world and, since I don’t know how it started, I really can’t tell you where you could have done something different to change the outcome, but you know. You knew when you started looking across the proverbial fence, thinking the grass was greener on the other side. Some of you knew when you allowed your thoughts and feelings for others to consume your mind (remember, the body will go where the mind has been), and some of you never started with the right mindset in the beginning, so leaving now is no big deal since you never really planned to stay. Too bad you didn’t tell the little ones that you were just a rolling stone.

Today I’m going to be an equal opportunity offender and talk to those who feel they have been cast aside.

I am very well aware that there may be two sides. Some of you were so consumed by your lives that you never saw it coming. You spent all your time working and doing what you thought was right (although I must admit, for many, I see that as an excuse, but not for all), and some of you were so complacent and boring that you stopped bringing anything to the table. Since this is a family-friendly radio station, I’m going to stop with that. You know what I mean. I’m not excusing it, but, truth be told, you’re not fun anymore, you don’t keep yourself up, you always worry about money so you never go anywhere (even free concerts). You rarely physically touch, and, frankly, you’re just not that interesting anymore. Please don’t hear that as judgment. I don’t know you (and I am sure some of you are saying that I just don’t understand), but before you get mad at me and turn off the radio, answer honestly, Do you think you lead a boring, average, lackluster life? Really? People are clamoring to be around you; your home is the cleanest, brightest, home-made cookies-roast beef-mac and cheese-house on the block; you are sought out to be at the party? Wow! I hope so, but for the rest of you, don’t be mad at me for stating the obvious.

Now, what really confounds me as an outside observer is this, many of you saw it coming but you didn’t have the guts to confront the situation. You sat by, hoping that by some miracle something would change or the desire would just somehow go away…and here you are picking up the pieces.

So let me remind you that if you’re tired of starting over—then quit giving up. Now let’s turn that phrase around and now let it mean that you need to quit giving up on yourself. If you are tired of starting over, then quit giving up on yourself.

Now, if the situation has passed and you find yourself alone, picking up the pieces, here’s what you do:

  • First of all, sweep all the broken pieces out the door. You didn’t make the mess but good-hearted you cleaned it up. Sweep it up and throw it out. It’s over.
  • So now you’ve got to start over, start over with you, the passionate, full, loving, kind, interesting you—the person you were before others blew out your light. Light it up again, and burn baby burn!
  • And with that light burning in you, learn to fight for what you want, what you believe in, what you know to be good and right and true. That means having the courage to stand up for yourself and your family and be strong enough to take to the end of the line, since you believe in you.

Ah, friend, stop crying over the broken pieces. Didn’t you throw those out already? You were supposed to. Stop taking the easy way out by sitting home alone and sad. Set your guard and stand your ground and fight—fight hard. Show the passion that once burned bright and stop giving up on you! Why? Because, if you’re tired of starting over, then let’s do something about it and quit giving up on you—amazing you, wonderful you, happy you, loving and kind you. Some of you need to re-learn to love you, and know that God loves you, and, although I’m just a voice on the radio, just know I love you, too.

Why? Because you are rock star amazing, and there is no one else like YOU, which is probably a good thing, because all that amazingness would be a lot of love and probably hard to handle.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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