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Have you ever done something, only to have to start over? It's frustrating. Hitting the reset button can fill you with dread.
Why isn't it exciting to start over or to have a new beginning? What makes a fresh slate so intimidating? You would think it would be enticing to start fresh, with only new possibilities ahead of you.
New beginnings are a mix of emotions. It's one part scary, unknown to one part exciting adventure. But when you've already started something once, and you have to go back and do it again, it's easy to be filled with dread, and even a sense of failure.
Why couldn't I have done this right the first time around?
Hitting the reset button can be a challenge. Just like a car that's sat outside too long, it often requires a jumpstart to get going again. The hardest part about the jump start? Getting some help and knowing what to do.
That Time I Hit the Reset Button
Not too long ago, a family member had a surprise for me. She drove into my driveway, knocked on the door, and announced, “It looks like Christmas in the back of my car.”
She wasn't lying. We unloaded box after box of fun treasures for me to sort through. Among them, was a Cricut. As a creator, my heart was about to explode. Oh, the possibilities! I could pop in a cartridge, load up some paper, hit a button, and this machine would move and cut and curve around and produce all kinds of cute little cut-outs. I didn't have to trace or pick up a pair of scissors. It was simply magic!
It was a week before I was able to sit down to play with my new toy. I had read the directions and watched a few YouTube videos. Clearly, I was ready to tackle it. (You know where this is going, right?)
For some reason, everything was coming out the wrong size. I just couldn't understand what was going wrong. As I surveyed the options, there was one button that kept catching my attention over and over. But I didn't want to see it. I wanted to ignore that pesky little reset button.
I had carefully picked out the sizes and I didn't know how to get back to some of the settings that I had put in there. To me, hitting the reset button represented everything coming out wrong and not matching up. I just stood there for a bit, not knowing if I should hit that blasted button or not. Would I have to program the entire machine? Or would it just take me back to the beginning with this cartridge?
I barely knew how to work the machine, so I really didn't want to start over with the few things I had figured out. The longer I stood there, the bigger that little reset button became. After trying everything I could think of, there was only one thing left to try: hitting that dastardly little button.
Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes and pressed that tiny key. Nothing blew up. No smoke. No noises. Just a cleared screen, ready for me to enter in the right options. Once I did hit the reset button, I wondered what had been so hard about it. I had been able to press every other button around it without flinching.
Why did I put off pressing a simple little button that gave me the gift of a fresh start? Why did I make things harder than they needed to be? I felt so silly.
That Other Time I Hit the Reset Button- One Week Later
I would love to tell you that this one experience helped me to see that I shouldn't be afraid of hitting the reset button in my own life when things just seemed locked up. But, when it comes to making changes, I can be a bit stubborn. Thankfully, life decided to give me another chance to pick up on this concept.
The next week, I crawled into bed and decided that instead of reading until I fell asleep, I was going to “be bad” and watch Hulu. I got settled under the covers, grabbed the remote, and turned off the light. But Hulu wouldn't load.
Really? I was nestled in just the right places in my bed and I did NOT want to get up to unplug things so they could reset. I didn't want to turn the light on, either. Laziness took over and I just read, vowing to try to figure it out in the morning.
But I forgot until the next night. Luckily, I wasn't under the covers yet, so I unplugged it and restarted it. Nope. It still wouldn't work.
Grr. Time to check Google.
Except, I didn't like what Google said I needed to do: hit the reset button. I did not want to have to enter in my email addresses and password again using a TV remote. I tried every other thing it said, except hitting the reset button.
Finally, after a week, I bit my tongue and hit the reset button. I was nervous. For real. But guess what? It worked, just like Google said it would. (Enter Tam kicking herself for being so stubborn.)
Why is it something as silly as watching TV and hitting the reset button, which at its worst requires nothing more than me entering in my email address and password, was holding me back?
Hitting the Reset Button Can Be Scary
Hitting the reset button can be a little unnerving, but there is freedom and happiness on the other side. As long as you resist taking the actions that will lead you where you want to be, you will feel stuck, frustrated, and even a bit hopeless.
As the year flies by, each month I reflect on the goals I had for the year and where I am currently. I vow to do things differently, yet I still feel like I'm in the same place.
If only I had started out the year on a better foot. I should have been more dedicated in January, instead of curling up under blankets because it was cold outside. Just think where I would be now.
It's easy to wonder if you'll be able to make progress.
It's easy to feel stuck, and to either not know what to do or to not want to do the thing to get you unstuck.
It's easy to feel like a failure.
It's hard to know how to choose happiness when it feels so overwhelming.
It can seem unnerving to start all over again, especially when your anxiety is spiking.
But the truth is, the blocks move out of the way when we do something different. The fresh start comes when we do something to clear the path. It's all about taking action.
Here's How You Can Hit the Reset Button
My trusted business coach, Alicia Forest, taught me a concept that has served me well: What would it take (or WWIT for short)?
Recently, as I was working through a situation, I broke it down into steps to help me get clear on where I needed to focus. So grab a sheet of paper, or do this exercise in your journal, to get clear on how you can hit the reset button.
What situation is making you want to hit the reset button?
It can be any situation- something within your thoughts or something you face at work, home, or anywhere else. You don't need to go into detail here. Just a few words or a short paragraph that describes the situation is enough.
What are the obstacles you are facing?
Often, the things standing in your way revolve around time, money, physical energy, resisting tempation, having help, fear, overwhelm, or knowing what to do. Jot down the things that are keeping you from succeeding, and feel free to add other blocks to these suggestions.
What would it take to overcome these barriers to success?
Now you are going to take each of those obstacles and you're going to focus on them. For instance, if you are working towards being in better health, one of your obstacles may be resisting the temptation of chocolate chip cookies. In this section, write down “Resisting Temptation” and write down where it's hard to resist chocolate chip cookies: home, work, samples in grocery stores, birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and any place else that comes to mind. What would it take to walk by the chocolate chip cookies in the grocery store? Or to resist grabbing one in the break room? Go through each obstacle that you listed above in #2. Write down any thoughts that come to mind. This could include things that you have tried doing, things you would like to do, reasons why that obstacle is present, etc.
What is it that only I can do? What do I need to delegate? What do I need help with?
This is the part where you reflect on the answers you've listed so far and you get clear on the blocks on another level.
- Things Only I Can Do
- Things I Need to Do
- Things I Want to Do
- Things I Don't Like to Do
- Things I Could Delegate
- Things I Could Decide Aren't Important Enough to Do
- Things I Need Answered
What are my next steps?
Get specific here on what you are going to try. Are you going to ask for help? Fabulous! Who are you going to ask? Are you going to delegate something? Great! When are you going to talk to them? Be detailed and give yourself some deadlines for taking action here. Do you need to let go of fear, or get the answer to one specific question? Maybe you need to ask someone for forgiveness, choose a healthier item on the menu, or go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Being specific in this part of the process actually makes it easier for you to do.
This may be the most important part of the process to hitting the reset button. Without it, you'll stay right where you are. If this is important to you, you will find a way. Get clear on what you have to lose by not hitting the reset button. That way, no matter what obstacle comes up, it will be easier to either find a way to stick to your goal, or you will find a way to adapt things for the time being. The more you find ways to take steps, the deeper your commitment grows, and the easier things start to become. This is when the magic starts happening and you feel the changes!
One word of caution: choose one thing to do differently at a time. Not 14. Just one. Otherwise, you may feel overwhelmed or like things aren't going to change. That's not what we're going for here.
And that's it! Six steps to hitting the reset button. You don't have to wait until the start of a new year, until you graduate, until you get a new job, or until your divorce is final to hit the reset button. You can hit it at any time, and with these insights, you'll be well on your way to success!