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How to Start Over

You Dropped the Ball

We've all been there - Sick and tired of being sick and tired, leaving work on Friday already dreading Monday morning, and enduring endless days doing a job we can't stand. We know that our level of success in life is directly correlated to our ability to perform, but sometimes we reach the breaking point and feel like we can't do it anymore.

It doesn't matter if we're trying to get fit, drop some weight, get a promotion, or start our own business. Eventually, we're going to want to throw in the towel, and some of us may actually throw in the towel! Whatever the reason - exhaustion, distractions, temporary insanity - we have to brush ourselves off and dig back into the grind and move toward the goals we want to accomplish. How can we do that though?

How To Start Over

Frequently, the most difficult part of starting over is the mental challenges. There might be fear that must be overcome because you ran into roadblocks you couldn't get around. There might be insecurity and a lack of confidence because of a mistake you made that messed things up. There might be confusion or a lack of clarity because you just don't know where to go from here.

There are a few steps that you can take to get the creative and inspired juices flowing again so you can start making progress.

Take Responsibility

First, you have to acknowledge that you dropped the ball in the first place. It doesn't do any good to sugar coat it, beat around the bush, or take the long way around the barn. Don't foist off responsibility to someone else, to your environment, or to some other excuse. Own up! I screwed up and ate three donuts when I really should have had a green smoothie and a workout. I got lazy and stopped working to sell my product/service to potential clients. I didn't feel up to attending that networking meeting so I stayed home and caught up on the latest Netflix release. Take responsibility, own the screw up, failure, and lack of progress and move on. There's nothing that can be done at this point so devote your energy to something that will actually have a result.

Self-Examination

The next step is to determine exactly why/how you dropped the ball in the first place. Was there a mistake made? Did you get distracted by something else and let your plans fall through? Did you get lazy?

Take plenty of time for self-examination. In order to successfully troubleshoot this situation, you have to determine the root cause of the setback. Just like a doctor has to determine exactly what's causing the problem with their patient rather than rushing to remedy the symptoms, you need to uncover the root issue.

For example, let's say you got caught up in the latest season of a TV show. You stopped doing your research or devoting time to your hustle. You started researching the show, following the actors/actresses on social media, watched the past episodes to refresh your memory, and binge watched the latest episodes. On the surface, this could simply be an obsession with a show, but it's very possible that there is a different issue at play here.

You could be:

  • Avoiding making a difficult decision because you are overwhelmed, scared, or insecure
  • Being lazy
  • Insecure about this opportunity and uncertain whether or not you want to move forward
  • Have the best intentions but be easily distracted
  • Feel overwhelmed and want some down time
  • Have a spouse, partner, kids, family, friends that is/are placing demands on your time that you feel obligated to honor

This list could go on and on. As you can probably see, it's important to determine your root cause for each hiccup you encounter because your resulting course of action can vary dramatically from scenario to scenario. Once you have completed your self-examination, determined the root cause, and faced it head on, you can move on.

Start with a Plan

Now that you have some insight regarding your current state of "hustle," you can begin the process of moving forward. You need to examine the reason you stumbled in the first place. That's your starting point, and you should know what it is if you've done the self-examination from above. If you are serious about becoming successful, it's vital that you recognize and remove the excuses you are susceptible to. So, start with the dropped ball. What caused it? How can it be avoided in the future? What actionable steps can you take to overcome the character trait associated with it?

Once done with that, revisit your original plan. Is it still solid and are you 100% comfortable with it? Consider having a mentor or trusted advisor review it and offer some brutal critique.

Now implement any updates you'd like to include. When creating plans for my personal life and the brands that I am working on growing, my goal is to implement or take one action a day that will move me closer to my goal. That might be a simple as putting together an outline for a blog post, or it could be as complex and time consuming as planning a photo shoot, getting models, hair & makeup, clothing, stylists, etc. If you aren't moving forward you are losing ground. Plan for something to be accomplished every single day.

Connect (or Disconnect) with Others

Next, find like minded individuals that can encourage and inspire you. Frequently, entrepreneurs lead a life that their significant others and their families can't understand. Their minds move in a different realm and the dreams they dream are so huge they overwhelm everyone around. This can be incredibly discouraging and can kill incredible businesses and dreams before they begin. One common approach that I've heard encourages visionaries to leave behind their friends and family's company in order to more frequently associate with like minded business people. While this is somewhat viable (depending on how much you want to sacrifice) and can certainly bring about results, I don't believe it's absolutely necessary. 

In order to go through life with your long-time friends and your family connections intact, you might have to train yourself to disregard parts of their speech and demeanor. If you have a mom, dad, or sibling that's injecting negativity into your hustle, I do believe that it's absolutely vital that you completely disregard their opinions and negativity.

(Disclaimer: If they are trying to offer counsel, don't discount that. There's wisdom in a multitude of counselors and listening to and evaluating advice is painless while potentially saving you from heartache or mistakes down the road.)

Put aside negative and disheartening talk, don't necessarily write off everyone that doesn't believe in you. Instead, find collaborators, mentors, and supporters that are going to critique you, challenge you, and inspire you to push beyond setbacks, rough days, and the occasional lack of motivation.

 

Embrace Conflict

Next you have to learn to embrace the difficulty and trials that you'll face as you fight to accomplish your dreams. Here's something that I do that helps when I'm struggling, imagine that your life is a story. It can be in whatever medium you prefer, film, audio, or written. Now, imagine that your story has no conflict. The hero finds a clearly labeled passage to the top of the tower, the princess immediately falls in love with him and the credits roll, the end. Boring, right? It's in the conflict that we align ourselves with the hero. We learn who he is, we see his determination, and we become his fans. We celebrate when he finally achieves his goal and that excitement lingers for a while after we're finished consuming the story.

Without conflict, the story is boring. When dealing with conflict ourselves, we must acknowledge that the conflict is what makes the reward so much sweeter. Embrace it and work through it. Your story will thank you!

Carry On!

There is a lot more that we can talk about (and we will), but these quick hits are a great start. Get to work on these and please don't hesitate to leave me a note in the comments below or to shoot me a message! I'm constantly looking to connect with people for learning, encouragement, and so I can be of help. I'd really recommend you sign up for my email list where I'll provide quick thoughts, exercises, and tips for daily growth on a semi-regular basis (I won't flood your inbox, I promise!). It also gives us a chance to communicate on a personal level as you can reply directly and get quick access to me.

Thanks for taking time to check everything out! I hope to connect with you soon.

Michael