That’s it, clean slate!
I’ve recently started back at the gym after a long break, and it got me thinking about how many times we say to ourselves “that’s it, clean slate I’m starting again”. Have you ever said this to yourself on a Monday morning? It’s a great ethic and a fabulous display of persistence but there is a more useful mindset persepctive to be had here.
Starting again implies that we didn’t finish something
It’s our mindset that we want to give attention to, to ensure there is no need to ‘start again’ in the future. In fact, ‘starting again’ implies that we didn’t finish something, we fell off the wagon, dropped a few balls or tripped up.
Consider for a minute something that you started, but something happened, and you got distracted, you had some apposing thoughts, and you ended up taking a different set of actions that took you down a totally different road to where you had intended to be.
This can happen with anything: We have a few months in business that aren’t as great as we hoped, slip back in sales, incoming business not as good as it has been previously. Didn’t manage to sustain the long-term desired fitness level. You may recognise this in a significant relationship or dating, how many times have you started and stopped dating because it hasn’t worked out for you. Or perhaps looking after your health and wellbeing and other areas of your life; you always had great intentions to fulfil on the outcome, but you just didn’t follow through long term.
You are never starting with a clean slate
Whenever there has been a hiatus in an area of your life, you are never starting with a Clean Slate, in fact you don’t want to. A Clean Slate implies that everything that has gone before is wiped out, as if it never happened. If you start with that mindset, you have a very high chance of needing to create another clean slate in the future, and we repeat the cycle.
Going back to the gym today I realised that my body knows exactly how to perform at a high level, it’s been extraordinarily fit and healthy for various athletic exertions in the past. (And I am certainly not a natural athlete, a mere novice who, from time to time likes to do a physical challenge). But because my body knows the ropes, it remembers what it’s done previously, my body can access this memory in every single cell which in turn speeds up my fitness process.
Now, let’s take this analogy into business, relationships, or to anything where you feel you want to ‘start again’. The important factor here is to know that whatever you have done in the past, you will have learnt some great lessons, achieved a measure of success, performed at a particular level, in fact whatever you did, you will have done to the best of your ability at the time. It is those thoughts and beliefs you want to use to create your mindset for sustained future success. A future that doesn’t hold the promise of another starting again and again and again. A mindset that gives you the leverage of consistency and reliability in knowing that you have all the resources to achieve exactly what you want.
So instead, try these simple steps to re-programme your mind to ensure sustainability for your future in any area of your life.
- Acknowledge previous achievements and success, look for the good in the previous experience and write it out on paper so you can see it.
- Know that you already have a good foundational experience on which to build success
- Give yourself permission to embody and become the person who achieves permanent success
- Recognise that you already have all the resources you need to achieve the results you desire.
- Hold yourself to a standard that will deliver the actions and results you want
- When you slip up, praise yourself for getting this far and gently pick yourself and get going again – remember there is no Starting Over no new race to run. Go back to no.1 and repeat.