In the earlier chapters of my book, Relationship Remedies: Relating Better to Yourself and Others, I talk about the importance of drawing a line under everything that has happened so far so that you can move forward. In other words, starting with a clean sheet of paper is key for improving your relationship with yourself and/or others. After all, if you continue to carry:
• “baggage” from the old relationship experience into the new phase of your relationship,
• your old expectations of yourself and others,
• your old evaluations of yourself and others,
• your old beliefs that may not be serving you or your relationships well,
• your old attitudes and thought processes that have brought you to the current situation,
then you are never fully free to completely re-design your relationships or your life. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is absolutely vital as it gives you permission to start over.
There have been times where I have been playing a one-player game on the Xbox quite badly. When I try to salvage what feels like a losing game, I feel increasingly wound up, negative and stressed out. At this point, nothing releases more tension and re-sets my mind to positive than scrapping that game and starting afresh.
Sometimes you have to do the same thing in life. If you have a failing marriage and try to keep fixing the problems from the past whilst wearing the same irritated, upset, depressed goggles on, it can make it feel like a whirlwind of confusion that you can never get out of. You go round and round, you don’t resolve anything; you just fall ever so slightly more at the mercy of the whirlwind. However, when you decide the past is the past and that the rest of your relationship starts now, you give yourself and the other party involved (if relevant), permission to start over. The feelings that come with this permission you have given yourself to start with a blank sheet of paper are feelings of elation, feeling unburdened, and feeling optimistic. Clarity now makes a re-emergence.
I recently had this feeling of elation myself which only further confirms the power of what I “preach”, that what I talk about in my book and say to my coaching clients is something I can hand-on-heart say has worked for me, on more than one occasion!
I am incredibly optimistic and have a lot of self-belief, have great relationships, a great career, and so on, BUT I was feeling increasingly weighed down by the amount of thoughts I was carrying around. Whilst in session three of the Dreaming Room with Robbie Birchall and three other attendees, Robbie, the facilitator, made me realise that I was carrying a lot of thoughts and that I could simply release them and start again. One sentence from Robbie coupled with my self-awareness gave me permission to kick that heavy-laden basket of thoughts away, and start afresh.
In that moment, I could feel so much excitement bubbling up within. So much! I internally acknowledged the thoughts and feelings and steadied myself (to prevent any disruption to the others in the room) by gripping my chair. All I had done was embrace the blank sheet of paper. You too can embrace that blank sheet of paper for your life.
Whether you are:
• having relationship problems with your partner or family,
• experiencing anxiety, confidence or stress issues,
• have a workforce that isn’t doing things the way you have requested,
• have customer relationships that are affecting your profits,
• have problems communicating with your business partners or workforce,
a blank sheet of paper starts the beginning of the new chapter.
Let go of the unhelpful stuff that isn’t conducive to moving forward towards your personal or work goals. Give yourself and others permission to start over with a blank sheet of paper!