How To Start Over In Life At 50 and Find Your ‘Self’

How To Start Over In Life At 50

Learning how to start over n life at 50 is all about redefining your age, how you see yourself and what you think life is all about.

The age of 50 is generally considered your “mid life” and for most people a very significant milestone in their lives. If you want to know how to start over in life at 50 then I hope this blueprint will guide you.

Much of what I will lay out before you here is based on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book called The Shift.

I think it is one of the most empowering books for anyone who wants to make a seismic shift in their lives – especially at an age where you reflect on your life, your accomplishments and where you see yourself in the next 10 to 20 years..

The idea of starting over in life at 50 is also a bit of a misnomer.

You are never starting over.

Everything that you have done, everything that you have experienced and all the successes and failures of your life has brought you to this exact moment in time.

As long as you live in judgement or guilt of your past you can not truly move forward. Sometimes we cling on to a life we hate simply because it feels comfortable and we fear the unknown.

You have to let go of the ledge and trust that you can fly. Your past can either be an inspiration or a chain for your future. You decide.

Starting over at 50 is a great place to be. Having hindsight and life experience behind you is a huge asset.

Knowing what you do not want is as important as knowing what you do want. If you’ve been living a life that you now know is not in harmony with your highest ideals, then it is time to make a shift.

What Is The Shift?

Dr. Wayine Dyer’s book The Shift is largely based on some of Carl Jung’s writings towards the end of his life. Dr. Dyer starts the book with this powerful quote from Jung:

Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.

– Carl Gustav Jung

It is worth reading this few times to fully grasp the enormity of Jung’s statement. This shift is when we move from the morning of our lives into the afternoon of our lives.

Things aren’t just a bit different from the one to the other but it is often the opposite. Things that you “knew” was true becomes a lie. Your beliefs get turned upside down and in many ways you become a completely new person.

Jung also points out that we rarely have time to prepare for this. Most often circumstances and events lead (and sometimes push) us to a point where we suddenly realize that the morning of life is now over.

The foundation of this shift is a shift from ambition to meaning.

In the morning of life you were driven by ambition; by the pursuits of your ego to be important, significant and to conquer the word.

In the afternoon of life, as you shift from ambition to meaning your life takes on a more spiritual tine. The ego gets shifted aside as you start seeking things that are meaningful to your Self, to your loved ones and to the world.

When you start contemplating your life, your purpose and why you are here you can not help but to see beyond the needs of the ego.

What Sparks The Shift To Start Over at 50?

Turning 50 has great significance in our culture. It is generally considered your “mid life” and the significance of this birthday often cause people to take a closer look at their lives, what they have done and what they still want to do.

For many, 50 is an age where their kids are now grown up and the pressures of parenting young kids start to ease.

Often times people divorce at this age, some realize that they have been stuck ina job they hate because they only wanted to provide for their families. Many women are now free from raising their kids and can start a career.

While 50 is a significant age, Jung’s reference to the afternoon of life has nothing to do with age. You can make the shift at any time in your life.

For most people the shift is preceded by some sort of personal crises. A divorce, an illness, losing a job, a family tragedy, a death ec.

With a personal crisis we often get jolted out of sleepwalking through life. Life forces you to look in the mirror and reconnect with your soul and hear the call to find your purpose in life.

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

– J.K. Rowling

These epiphanies are called quantum moments and come from a book called Quantum Changes: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary lives (by Miller and C’de Baca).

The premise is that big changes happen in moments of clarity and insight. Quantum moments have the following 4 characteristics

  • It is vivid and intense: you know something is happening because it is unlike any other experience
  • It is benevolent: it feels blissful and serene
  • It is unexpected: it usually comes without warning or expectation
  • It is enduring: the memory stays with you forever

Many people report that during these quantum moments there is often an awareness of some presence. Call it God, or spirit or divine presence. You get a clear sense that you are not alone.

Many people had a quantum experience and only became aware of what it really was looking back. Maybe this now rings a bell for you?

So, what if you never had a quantum moment? Does this mean you are not ready for real change? Absolutely not.

In The Shift Dr. Wayne Dyer refers to a study that was done which is called “The Moment That Turns Your Values Upside Down” which losts people’s values before and after making “the shift” from a life of ambition to a life of meaning.

The Moment That Turns Your Values Upside Down

Whether you are starting over at 50 or 30 or 80, it really does not matter how old you are. Age is really irrelevant when you make the shift.

The shift usually coincides with your “timeline” in life. In this study that was done over decades it follows people over different periods of their life to see how their values change.

The results are incredibly interesting and very insightful. The results are grouped by men and women separately because women traditionally assumed the responsibility of primary carer for the family while men traditionally assumed the role of breadwinner.

Men: Before The ShiftMen: After The Shift
1.Wealth/making money1.Spirituality/relationship to God
2.Sense of adventure2.Personal peace
3.Sense of achievement3.Family
4.Personal pleasure4.God’s will
5.To be respected5.Honesty

For men the shift is dramatic. It goes from a purely egotistical drive for accumulating wealth to that of spirituality, inner peace and knowing God.

For women it changes from all her focus being on the family and the well-being of her children to a shift inside. Growing as a person and rediscovering her own self worth and finding happiness within herself.

Women: Before The ShiftWomen: After The Shift
1.Family1.Personal growth
2.Sense of independence2.Self esteem
3.Career3.Sense of spirituality
4.Fitting in4.Happiness
5.Being attractive5.Generosity

While the shift is not that dramatic in women as it is in men, drive within women to make the shift is often stronger. Most women sacrifice a lot when they become mothers. This in itself is a selfless act and consequently their lives are less dominated by the ego.

If you are ready to “start over”in your life then I am sure you can see yourself in these lists. Remember that you age has no bearing on when or how you make the shift.

Starting Over At 50 – Finding Your Purpose

The overriding concept behind making the shift from ambition to meaning is that you substitute a life driven by the ego to a life driven by purpose and your higher Self.

Starting over at 50 or 30 or 102 makes no real difference. Some people “start fresh” several times in their lifetime.

The ability to reinvent yourself and to reboot your life will fill you with a sense of enthusiasm and vigour. In fact, most people who are happy, healthy and prosperous well beyond the age of 60 are those who managed to reinvent themselves.

Being stuck in one career (that you dislike) for 50 years usually has only one outcome. Demotivated, depressed and uninspired at everything in life.

People who retire usually start to get old very quickly once they lose their sense of purpose that was attached to their job alone.

Having a sense of purpose is the key.

Dr. Wayne Dyer points out that quantum moments often jolt us into realizing and pursuing out life purpose.

When we are in the morning of life we tend to do what we think we are supposed to do. Have a career, have a family, make money, look after our kids.

These are all important but they never answer our higher calling. Why are you here and what have you come to learn and experience in this lifetime?

Your soul has a higher calling that goes well beyond all the mundane needs of life.

Having a purpose gives your life meaning and fills you with enthusiasm to live for more than just yourself and your own needs to accumulate stuff.

7 Tips For Starting Over At The Age Of 50

Learning how to start over in life at 50 is not like learning to drive as much as it is driving someone else’s car.

It will feel a bit different. Everything is slightly different but driving is driving. In many ways you need to learn how to break free from everything that is comfortable for you.

Learning how to start over in life at 50 is all about becoming comfortable with a lot of things that you feel uncomfortable with.

You may need to learn new things, try new things and confront things that you’ve always feared.

Here are 7 tips to help you navigate through this process of starting life over at the age of 50.

1. You Are Not Starting Over at 50

I’ve touched on this already but its worth clarifying it further. The very idea of “starting over” is depressing for most people.

It is impossible to start over at the age of 50. The only way to start over is when you are born. With 50 years of life experience you have a wealth of resources already just by virtue of your life experience.

Colonel Sanders started KFC at the age of 65. Sam Walton was 44 when he founded Walmart. Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T. Betty White was a failing actress until she broke through at the age of 51.

Starting fresh allows you to draw on your life experiences which gives you a huge advantage.

2. Let Go and Be Open To Anything

One definition of insanity is to keep doing what you’ve always done and expecting a different result. You can not keep doing what you’ve always done and expect a sea change.

It goes well beyond that because all real change starts with a change in your beliefs. As long as you hold on to anything that “was” you can not move on to something new and better.

Being open minded is so important when it comes to starting over at 50. Let go of every idea that you are attached to and be truly open minded.

Allow for anything and anyone to come into your life and guide you on your own path of change.

3. Address Your Limiting Beliefs

You can not start over in life at 50 if you live with the beliefs that created your life up to this point.

Remember what Jung said: what was true in the morning of your life has become a lie in the evening of your life.

Most of the time we are only held back in life by our own limiting beliefs. When you change your beliefs you often remove the limitations that are holding you back.

When you think of the reasons why you are not doing what you want or achieved what you wanted then it usually reveals your limiting beliefs.

Realize that these are only thoughts and you can change them.

4. Redefine Your Age

In his book, The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz talks about an idea he calls ‘Age Excusitis’. This idea summarises a common belief that people have that their age is limiting them.

Many young people feel like they can’t start a business or take a certain position because they are too young. Many older people argue the same limitation for being too old.

The reality is that there is no such thing as “the perfect age” to do anything. If you reach your 50th birthday without any majour illnesses then you can expect to live to 90.

Most professions will see people be productive until the age of 70. If you started working at the age of 20 you only worked for 30 years by age 50.

You have another 20 years left!

In less than 15 years, at the age of 35 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered most of Europe.

5. Stop Dreaming and Start Doing

One of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s most famous sayings is “Don’t die with your music still in you”. What is your music that is inside you?

We all have a dream, a desire, a yearning to live our truth. Only you know what it is. Most people suppress this for the sake of their duty in life.

We hear so many people say stuff like “one day I would…” Fear is often the main reason why we don’t pursue the things we desire deeply.

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

– Joseph Campbell

Behind these fears we often find our true selves and our highest callings. The veil of fear is often there by design to prompt us to become what we need to be to live our highest calling.

The only way to defeat this fear is to do it.

6. Ask For Guidance

If you really want to know the secret on how to start over in life at 50, then you need to learn how to tap into your own Divine guidance.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, we all have Divine guidance available to us. There’s no special technique or special religious practice needed to access this guidance.

You can do something as simple as closing your eyes every morning and asking for Divine guidance in helping you connect with your true passion and purpose.

Meditation is another powerful process for doing this and 10 to 20 minutes of meditation every day can help you reconnect with your higher Self and your true purpose in life.

7. Get Excited

Attitude is everything. If you want to know how to start over in life at 50 and live a life of passion and inspiration then you need to change your attitude.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

– Patanjali

This is an exciting opportunity; a privilege to start fresh. So many people are already dead inside their office cubicle at the age of 50.

When you are excited and enthusiastic about life, the universe opens up for you. Enthusiasm is like a key that opens doors that you never knew was there before.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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