Do We Really Get Second Chances?

Amanda McPherson

I’ve decided I am giving myself 200 more second chances. I should have it down by then!”

That was a Facebook post from one of my funny, thoughtful friends the other day. Her musings are often playfully poignant, but this particular post struck me as sheer brilliance.

How freeing would it be to feel like you have 200 second chances? What about 2,000 second chances? Or, wait, what if “second chances” were actually unquantifiable?

The truth is, they are. Each day, each minute…each breath gives us another chance.

So much of our mental anguish comes from worrying that there is some kind of limit to our “second chances.” We live in fear that if we choose the wrong path, we will be rendered unable to change our course. The fear of running out of chances can keep us stuck in our careers, our relationships and our personal growth. We have thoughts like:

If I choose the wrong career, I’ll be stuck in a job I hate.

I ate that entire pizza, so I’ll never be capable of making healthy decisions.

I chose to be in this relationship, so I have to stay.

I slept with him too soon and now he expects it; so I can’t say no.


You have not, and will not, run out of second chances. You get to change your mind, your behavior and your course at any time. It’s exhilarating and terrifying to accept this truth because it means you —and only you— have responsibility for your happiness. You can no longer blame your paralysis or your unhappiness on the boss, your significant other, or your “bad luck.”

If you’ve chosen a fork in the road that doesn’t feel right to you anymore, you get to stop, turn around and change your direction. If you’ve engaged in behavior that doesn’t feel congruent with your values, you don’t have to keep doing it. If a job or relationship no longer feels like the right fit for you, you get to re-evaluate and, yes, even leave.

When you believe that each and every moment offers you the opportunity to choose your behavior and feelings, you leave a victim mentality behind and embrace the joy and excitement of a powerful, creative mentality. You become the designer, architect and builder of an amazing life.

No, you won’t be perfect. Sure, you might make a mistake. And it won’t always be easy. But you’ll move forward with a calming understanding that you have an bottomless amount of do-overs (kind of like a basket of bottomless chips, but without the calories).

Girl, don’t limit yourself to second chances or even 200 chances. Live and love knowing that each and every moment offers you the chance to live your best life.

Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction. To inquire about individual coaching sessions, please email

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