Sometimes you just want to start over, but there is no reset button in life. At least, not a mechanical one you can hit when you want to make a big change.

And hand holding a pen over a blank notebook with the text "There Is No Reset Button In Life (But There Kind Of Is...)"

But as you well know, I’m all about second chances and fresh starts and blank pages. There are very few things you can do in this life that you can’t recover from, though there are a few things for sure.

And while you can never go back to the start or relive years you feel you’ve wasted, you can always change course and do something else. It’s hard to remember that, especially when your brain will throw every sunk cost fallacy at you and try to get you to stay the course. And sometimes that makes sense. But not as often as people would have you think.

The reset definition we’re working with today is the one where you make stuff new or put everything back at square one. You can do it with your creative work, your physical space, your mindset, or like, anything you want.

So maybe you’re onboard with hitting the reset button, but maybe you’re not. Let’s talk about why you may think there is no reset button in life.

Why You May Think There Is No Reset Button In Life

Okay. There is no actual button. So like, in a sense, there is no reset button life.

And you can never go back in time or take away the consequences of an action. You can’t change something that happened in the past, and you can’t ever undo harm you may have caused.

But you can start over in a lot of ways. And while starting over won’t give you back the time you already put into something, it will let you make progress in the direction you want to.

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When I was a kid, you weren’t allowed to quit stuff. Even if you hated it and the idea of doing the thing made your skin crawl. Adults told you that you’d come so far and if you didn’t do it, you’d miss it. This was used for sports or activities, and people acted like that was true.

But it’s not.

It’s a great way to get someone to keep doing something they hate because they may miss something…that they actively hate. It makes no sense. I think the logic was, “Oh, you hate this? Well you may hate not doing it too!”

And this “stay the course no matter what” notion has stuck with so many of us. We just keep doing the same thing over and over because we think we can’t do something else.

But for the record, you can quit that job. You can stop helping the person in your life who never thanks you for it. You get to completely reorganize and redecorate your space. You can try something new whenever you like.

Really, what I’m saying here is that the only thing holding you back in all of this is you. And sure. You may perceive doubling down and staying the course as somehow more virtuous than doing something new. But it’s all in your head. And if you’re actively unhappy, you’re only wasting your life.

Take a second chance if you want it.

You Get As Many Second Chances As You Want

But you gotta deserve them.

That isn’t to say that most of us don’t deserve them. Because we do. (Even if some outsider thinks you don’t.) If you’re going around, minding your own business and just want to make a change, you can. You don’t need permission or approval if it only affects you.

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And sometimes, you need a second chance, but you’ve got to make amends first. That’s fine. Do it. Sure, it’s a lot more work, but that fresh start isn’t going to create itself. You know, knock on the damn door and all that.

The thing people don’t think about is that there’s always a reset switch of some kind. It may be some work to get there or you may have to make apologies or loose ends may need to be tied up. But the reset switch is always there.

And that’s how you deserve those second chances. Sometimes, it’s as easy as changing course. And other times, you gotta let people know that you’re aware you fucked up and you will make it right. Then, and only then, does that reset switch appear.

Sure, the reset switch doesn’t take away the past. So you may be reminded of it over and over again.

So, not all starts are equally fresh. But you don’t have to keep going in the direction you were, and that’s the main thing.

But sometimes you need something big, and if all else fails, it may be time for a factory reset.

What Does a Factory Reset Do?

As with any electronic device, there’s always the factory reset option. And while you’re not an appliance or wifi-enabled creature, you are an electric bag of meat held up by a skeleton. So you get a factory reset too.

Please do not stick a pin in your earhole or anything like that, though. This isn’t how the factory reset works, though that’s the best way to reset your small electronics.

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The factory reset is often the nuclear option, so be advised that there aren’t a ton of situations where this is the best option. But it’s there when you need it.

Sometimes you have to quit your job in a dramatic fashion and burn all your bridges. Sometimes you have to pack it all up and start over somewhere else. Sometimes you just want to call it a day, cut your hair, and be a new person with a completely new career and hobbies.

I’m all for it.

When the second chance or the fresh start intention fails you, there’s the factory reset option. And once deployed, there’s no going back.

But that’s okay. We don’t regret the times we left something behind that was no longer serving us. We don’t entertain sunken cost fallacies. We don’t question what we know in our hearts.

Ready to Start Over?

Are you ready to get that fresh start? Sure, there is no reset button in life, but you don’t need a button, do you?

What’s your favorite way to start over? How do you factory reset? What’s your go-to reset switch?

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