Most people don’t realize this but ... starting something is a skill.
It takes a certain type of bravery to start a business, a new way of thinking, a new relationship or even to begin to quit a bad behavior.
Some people are really good at starting things... others (cough, cough -me) let fear hold them back from
But even with those who are afraid to start, I propose to you today that starting something isn't the hardest thing to do.
Starting over, my friend is one of the toughest things to do...and then starting over after you've already started over? HA! That's where it really gets tough.
I think we all have experienced the “high” that comes with starting something.
This “high” happens when we envision the end result.
We think of the hot body after diet and exercise, or how amazing it will be to talk to people in a different language, or the many people we can help with a new business.
So we start. And we go hard. And it’s awesome... until its not.
We don't get to go to the gym because we didn't factor in how dead tired we would be after work
how a new episode of "This is Us" would take us away from our "learning a new language" study time
how our kids would need us to spend time helping them with homework so we forget to meal prep and end up eating pizza for breakfast and lunch (hey, don't judge me!)
So because we don't factor in these disruptions in our lives , (that are bound to happen) everything falls apart.
we hit the low — the discouragement that comes because we‘ve “failed”.
What if the disruption and falling off isn’t the problem?
What if the problem is in the hope that we’ll never have to get disrupted, that things will always go perfectly?
Let me ask you this:
How many times does life go perfectly according to how you planned it?
So why then do we expect that when we start something... nothing will go wrong?
What we need to do is get good at starting, then starting again. And again.
I propose that we should instead plan for the reality that something will go wrong when we start something and to not let that discourage us .
Friends, if we get it right ... this incredible skill of learning how to start over becomes a superpower;
and then when everyone else is wringing their hands about how much they suck at life, how difficult things are, how everything has fallen apart.... we’ll be good.
Because we learned how to just focus on starting again and letting go of all the stress that comes with failure.
LEARNING THE SUPERSKILL OF STARTING OVER
So how do we learn how to be okay with starting over again and again?
Here’s the method I recommend which was adapted from Leo Babuta‘s zenhabits.
1. NOTICE when you get disrupted. Was it when a friend texted you? Was it during a birthday party? Take it a step further and notice any tendency to be hard on yourself about failing because of the disruption.
2. SHAKE off that horrible feeling that tells you to give up and instead, tell yourself that life is uncontrollable like a river and you just have to flow with it
3. Shrugging off any past mistakes, focus on starting again. Just like before, focus on taking the tiniest step.
4. Lastly If there’s any learning to take from the previous attempt, adjust your method to account for whatever obstacles you faced.
For example: Sometimes it’s just a random life event (a family crisis or a loved one died), so you couldn't go to the gym and there was nothing you could learn from that —so you just have to start again.
Other times, there was an obstacle in the way that you can adjust for — maybe nights are too chaotic for writing your book, so you have to either wake up earlier or find a better time.
Maybe you need an accountability partner.
Maybe you need better reminders so you don't forget!
Either way, whatever the stumbling block, remember there is always a solution to the obstacles we face and someone has already figured it out!
Just do some research and adjust your method. That way you are constantly getting better and failing forward.
It’s that simple. Shrug off the disruption, flow with the changing circumstances, and simply start again. Adjust yourself if needed, but don’t stress out about having to start again.
You’ve got this. Again.
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