How to Give Yourself a Second Chance

by Tess


It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change
or so in love with the old ways, but it’s
That place in between we fear…
It’s like being between trapezes. 
It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.
There is nothing to hold on to. ~ Marillyn Ferguson

Tragedy happens. A relationship ends. A child dies. A drunk driver kills. A job is lost. A new business closes. It hurts. Life is difficult.

Why not quit? Why try again? Because you can. No matter how difficult life becomes, always remember it’s never too late to try again. You can choose differently. You have that option.

Tips for a second chance:

Shift your perception. When you experience loss or failure it’s natural and good, to grieve.  Take the time you need to be sad, cry, feel your pain. When you’re finished grieving it’s time to shift your perception and make a plan to begin again. Every ending leads to a new beginning.

Start small. If you are overwhelmed, start with one small step, today. Dr. Martin Luther King advised, "Take the first step in faith." If you lost a job, update your resume. If you've ended a relationship, let go of the pain, if you have bad health, see a doctor.

Change the things you can. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Yes, that’s exactly where you need to begin.  How can you do things differently? Change your routine. Change your eating habits. Join a support group. Hire a coach. Make that phone call.

Become who you are. Start with a clean slate. Let go of anything that is no longer working in your life. Live your values. Do life your way. Stop seeking approval from others.

Focus. With your goal in mind, write down your three most important tasks every day. Put  all of your focus on these three things. When you are finished, do it again.

Embrace opportunity. Believe in possibilities. Keep an open mind. Practice saying “yes.” There has never been a better time to be alive.

Journal. Express your strong feelings, change your thinking, develop clarity, and come to new conclusions. 

Find a role model. Find others who have been through difficult times and have came out ahead. Model their behavior. Listen to podcasts, read books, find stories of others who have gone on to succeed.

Forgive yourself and others. Nobody is perfect. All things come to an end. Don’t compare your circumstances to others. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t beat others up. Use your energy to move on to new opportunities and better things.

Have a positive attitude. Read The Diary of Anne Frank or Mans Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. We can't control life. We can't prevent bad things from happening. Our power comes from how we react to what happens.  

You are worthy. Believe you are worthy and powerful. Listen to your heart. Open yourself to guidance, trust, and unconditional love, and acceptance.

New doors open in times of loss, crisis, and tragedy. In moments of darkness, remember that not only will the sun shine again, it will shine even brighter than before.

There's a crack in everything. That's how the  light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

Are you willing to give yourself a second chance?       

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Barba October 10, 2011 at 8:51 am

Forgiving yourself can be one of the hardest things to do. I think it’s because I feel like we are just letting ourselves off the hook, but the other choice would be to continue to live in self-created guilt.

I don’t know if you have ever seen/read Eat Pray Love, but this post made me think of that!

Great ideas Tess


Rob @notactuallyahero October 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Living life without regrets is more than just a cheesy cliche.

Accepting that nobody’s perfect, especially not yourself, is really the only way to get anything done in life. If you let your failures control you, it will overwhelm you eventually. We all fail more than we’d like to admit.
Rob @notactuallyahero´s last post…5 Ways to Procrastinate Properly


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

When it comes to perfection I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I’m ADHD so I miss details. I’ve learned not to beat myself up….just correct my errors as needed.
Thanks for being here today.


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:40 am

Yes we’re so hard on ourselves. Guilt is wasted energy. Yes I’ve seen the movie and I’ll take that as a compliment;)


John Sherry October 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Tess, a lovely vibe and caring energy to this post. We are forever being hard on ourselves and finding fault with what we do or what it leads to. Perhaps if we praticed more self-care and self-support we find ourselves making less mistakes because we would not artificially take wrong turns or go down roads we shouldn’t. As the song goes, “Take it easy on yourself”. We have to stop the fight with (our) life.
John Sherry´s last post…Winning At Sports Through Unsociable Practice


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:43 am

Self-care and self-support…it makes me think of the word self-honoring. Before each choice, I suggest we ask,”Does this choice honor me?” We’d have less to forgive ourselves for and more reasons to love ourselves!


Marya | Writing Happiness October 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Hi Marya. I believe we give ourselves a second chance every single time we begin a new day. To be more specific, I like to take a deep breath, and just start again. It’s that simple. Thanks for the inspiring post. :)
Marya | Writing Happiness´s last post…People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other People


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:44 am

Thanks Marya and yes a deep breathe and another opportunity to begin. Isn’t life grand? It’s that simple…love it.


Marya | Writing Happiness October 11, 2011 at 1:52 am

ok Hi TESS … (not me obviously)
I gave myself a second chance and corrected the salutation. Sheesh, to think I would have gotten that right …
Marya | Writing Happiness´s last post…People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other People


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

No problem! I didn’t mind at all;)


Aileen | Kaizen Vision October 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Tess, I love this!!!!! It may not always feel like there’s a window, or a doorway open – but we can find ways to move forward. If we wait for a second chance it may either be a long, long time or never… but if we chose to be resourcefulness and open minded we can find the courage to take the steps forward.

LOVE this post!!!
Aileen | Kaizen Vision´s last post…Take Control of Your Finances in 7 Kaizen Steps


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

Thanks! I’m all for moving forward. Courage to move forward and a little forgiveness, two wonderful gifts and we’re so deserving. Thanks for stopping by.


Suzie Cheel October 11, 2011 at 4:01 am

Just love this post Tess and it really speaks to me right now on my current healing journey where I am really having to let go of much that has been stopping me really living on purpose.
Love the Marilyn Ferguson quote, so true. love all the points you make, become who you are, journal and you are worthy so important
Thanks for your wisdom
Suzie Cheel´s last post…Self-Love Prescription #2


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Suzie,
I glad I could help you on your journey. Give yourself a hug from me today.


sheila October 11, 2011 at 4:45 am

The blanket in the dryer line…. WOW, what a great line!!!!!!!!!! Very well written and enjoyable post Tess!
sheila´s last post…“I AM” (Word of the Week: Positive Affirmation)


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Who can’t relate to Linus I still love those Peanuts characters. Thanks for stopping by today.


Tim Webster October 11, 2011 at 5:16 am

‘You can always quit, so why quit now?’

One of my most repeated lines (even though Google does not give me anyone to give credit to for the quote!)

Failure shows up all the time. I recently (just a few days ago) had a critical failure with a project I had been working on for 9+ months. For those 9-10 months, Future Wife had been asking how I would react to failure – she saw that I was putting a lot of effort into this project.

‘Well, if it fails it fails. Most people don’t even begin.’

Annnnddd it failed. She was more upset than I was.

Yea. Failure sucks, but that doesn’t mean I’m down and out. I’m actually in a better position after failing than I would be if I never began!

So, in my opinion, fail often. Fail spectacularly. Fail in ways others wouldn’t have even guessed.

Then, get back up, and put all that new knowledge to use! True failure only happens when one gives up on oneself.
Tim Webster´s last post…Under construction!


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I’m sorry your project failed. There is no guarantee in life. It’s a good thing we can get back up and begin again. I’m grateful for that. Love your quote!


Karen October 11, 2011 at 5:57 am

Powerful – great ideas – inspirational – well done.


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Thanks Karen!


Jen October 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

Tess, YES!

In my case, a 3rd or a 4th chance. I am a slow learner, not getting it right always for a while. That is why I am so happy that we have the choice to let go and start over.

But also what really is important for me to remember is I am exactly where I need to be today…in the present, while working toward bettering myself.

What a wonderful way for me to start my day, reading your post. Thanks Tess.
Jen´s last post…Den Chronicles on Mamalode


Tess October 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Freedom is taking as many chances as you want to get it right, Jen. Yes I’m where I need to be as well. Acceptance helps;)


Joe Wilner October 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hi Tess,
A wonderfully inspiring post! I have learned that change is inevitable and with this comes many life transitions. With every transition we have challenges, though we also have opportunity. It helps me to not get consumed with the challenges that I know are to come and to also shift my focus to the opportunities that will be available. This really helps me set clear goals, make decisions, and manage transitions.


Melody | Deliberate Receiving October 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Hi Tess,
I just had a conversations with my sister about this the other day. When a relationship ends or when someone dies, we have such a tendency to keep ourselves stuck in grief, way beyond what’s healthy. We tend to feel that if we allow ourselves to feel better, then we are dishonoring the memory of that person or relationship. If I really loved him, how can I possibly feel better, as if feeling horrible somehow honors their memory.

We’re allowed to feel any way we want to feel: good, bad, angry, happy. It’s all ok. And when something happens that knocks us for a loop, we are allowed to feel good again. We deserve it.

Thank you for this post.

Huge hugs,
Melody | Deliberate Receiving´s last post…Becoming a Money Magnet – How To Make Money Your Bitch


winsomebella October 13, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Funny how things work—just posted about my second chance and then I read your great post. Wish I’d had your techniques when I started my process but will keep them in mind the next go-round. Thanks.
winsomebella´s last post…Cashmere or Lace?


KenWert@MeanttobeHappy October 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

This is AWESOME Tess!

Loved every one of your tips. But oddly, the one that stands out the most to me (perhaps because it’s so rarely commented on compared to the other tips you gave), is journal writing. There is something profoundly therapeutic to writing down our thoughts and feelings.

So many walk through life carrying old burdens that weigh them down, that act to rob life of so much more joy and peace.

Thanks for all the great advice for getting out from under the smothering affect of the burdens we otherwise carry, Tess!
KenWert@MeanttobeHappy´s last post…51 Permissions Granted by Life


Tammy October 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Greta message that resonates not only in tragedy but also during times of burn-out.
Tammy´s last post…Awaken Your Inner-Nutella


Megan Bord October 20, 2011 at 4:47 am

Tess, another list that I love (with you, it’s easy!). Modeling after others has been a saving grace for me in some ways – or finding really good role models via podcasts, books, etc. When I don’t know “how” to do something, it helps to see how someone else who’s been successful tackled the same issue.

Forgiveness is also key. I found a subliminal track on forgiveness (set to ocean waves) that’s helped me in miraculous ways. It’s gotten down beneath the surface of my conscious mind and allowed me to forgive people I didn’t think I ever could. How do I know I’d forgiven them if they were subconsciously buried? Because I’d have dreams in which we made peace, and I’d wake up feeling light a burden had been removed from my shoulders, heart and head.

Loving you! And grateful for your guidance.


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