Have you ever wanted to start over?
Yeah, me too. It’s kind of hypnotic isn’t it? You are drawn to it like blank notebooks and new calendars and new year resolutions. If you could just start over, it would be perfect wouldn’t it?
It’s a sweet lie, because nothing is ever perfect. It’s a damaging lie because it tells you if you can’t do it perfect, you might as well not do it at all.
If you find a path without obstacles, it’s probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
What happens when we give ourselves permission to start over, start tomorrow, start on Monday?
You are teaching yourself to quit. You are teaching yourself that you aren’t capable. You are teaching yourself that you can’t keep going. You are also teaching yourself that there are only two options: success or failure. When in fact there are a myriad of choices that you could be making.
Don’t start over, keep going.
You know what one of the most powerful forces on earth is? it’s not starting over, it’s not beginning, it’s compound interest. Invest in yourself, daily. There are no giant leaps forward, there are just a whole bunch of little decisions that you make every day. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to keep moving.
Do you see the compass? I got that to remind myself that if I’m running, I’m always headed in the right direction.
You don’t choose yourself once and have it be done. It’s a million moments, over and over.
Three things that happen when you don’t start over
The first thing that happens is you start re-wiring your brain to make that same choice in the future, make it easier and make it more quickly.
The second thing that happens is that you are teaching yourself to let go of notions of perfection, and ‘shoulds’, you start focusing on the best choice you can make that day. And sometimes the best choice you can make on that day might be to stay in bed with Tim Tams. But your act of self-nurture is not eroding your sense of self belief.
The third thing that happens is the magic part, really. You start to teach yourself that you are unstoppable and when you start to believe it, amazing things happen.
So you don’t need a do-over, or a blank slate or a fresh start
I like the idea of 10,000 hours. If you keep re-starting those 10,000 hours – where does that leave you? It leaves you with a whole lot more hours and a whole lot less faith in yourself and your ability to keep going.
If you do feel like starting over, why is that?
Really look at why that is. It might be because you don’t actually love what you are doing, or because it’s too much pressure or it’s not realistic. Create whitespace around what you are trying to achieve to take the stress out of it. I like to think of it as little pieces of time that buffers everything I do, so that when something unexpected happens it doesn’t negatively impact on anything else. As a result I don’t spend the bulk of my time, stressed about time. Give yourself permission to do less, but to keep doing it.
Choose your life, not some idea of what it should be.
If you think of how you want your life to look like, what is that? Examine if you want to do soemthing because you want it, or because it’s an idea of what you should want.
Live the healthiest life you can enjoy, not the healthiest life you can.
You’ve got this. All you have to do is keep going.