When You Have To Start Over

emotional management mind management starting over survival brain thought management Oct 13, 2022

It's one thing to start over for fun or on purpose and another when you have no choice but to start over. It just happened to me.  After spending tons of time and effort branding my latest projects and even paying legal fees to trademark and register my work, it turns out that the examiner in charge of my application declined my request.  The reason given was that the branding name I wanted sounded too much like another name already registered and could confuse consumers.  Are you kidding me?  Fine.

At first, I was pretty upset.  It means rebranding a whole lot of work, delays in getting my work out there and so on.  So, I gave myself a few minutes to sulk and vent to my beagle and then I sat down and pounded out this blog.

Why It Sucks To Start Over

It won't be easy because my brain is having to do some extra thinking now. It will have to make an effort to go beyond its normal state.  In order to create, to innovate, to see something in a different way, I know I have to step out of my automatic, easy way out thinking and figure out a new way that my brain has not met yet.

Human brains are designed to stay in their comfort zone. It makes it easier to look out for threats and respond accordingly when it is not working too hard on creating something new.  It would rather stay on automatic and keep doing what it already knows how to do well.    To make sure it stays in its comfort zone, it sets out to seek pleasure.  The real purpose is to make sure that we consume the nutrition and water we need to keep our bodies ticking and to seek shelter and clothing to keep us warm and cozy.  It's a survival mechanism.  Left unwatched, however, it can turn into a distraction.  Today, it looks like plopping onto the sofa with a snack and the TV remote.  It can be anything we do to take the sting out of a rough day. 

For me, it actually used to look like sulking followed by dining out and playing with my dogs.  That was the pleasure part.  Procrastination and a side of perfectionism took care of avoiding pain.  Doing what I had always done rounded out my survival triad.

Today, I know and understand this brain thing a whole lot better so I am on to it.  It is designed for survival so it will want to keep me in my comfort zone which is familiar and familiar feels safe. With this knowledge, I will still sulk but just a little bit.  It won't take me over and this is why it won't. 

Flipping the Script

To leverage my brain's survival mechanism, instead of sitting back and letting my automatic thoughts go to seeking pleasure to soften the blow of having to start over, I am going to consciously seek discomfort instead.  Instead of seeking pleasure with snacks or social media or online shopping or playing with my dogs,  I will go for the discomfort of sitting at my desk and knocking out the work it will take to rebrand.

Next up, instead of avoiding pain, I am going to allow it. The pain from the delay in rolling out my new projects and the pain of starting over are caused by my thoughts about it all.  I can recognize that it is my thoughts so I will give myself grace for being human and just allow the accompanying frustration to come up so I can ride it like a wave.   When I can connect my thoughts to how I feel and allow them, I am consciously in control of my brain.  I am letting it do its job until I am able to let go of the thoughts that cause frustration to come up.  By allowing my frustration, I am letting it go somewhere and cycle out of my system like it is supposed to; otherwise, it will stay stuck inside mid wave.  Resisting it will only lead to more frustration as it builds up with nowhere to go.

Alright, so I am seeking discomfort and allowing pain.  The third part of flipping the script has to do with making effort instead of conserving energy.  I like to remind my brain that there is no bear outside my door trying to get in. I do not need to conserve energy so I can run later if I have to escape.  Again, by seeing what my brain is doing, I can direct it to go the other way.  The more I take action, the more I can overcome my natural survival mechanism.  It means well and I am glad it is doing its job but I need it to do something else right now.

Here Is My Plan

Okay, now that I have done my thought work to adjust my mindset, it is time to set the plan into action.

First of all, I need to come up with a new name for my projects.  No problem.  No confusion.  Just clarity.

Next up, I will go through my many resources and tools in my programs to update the name.  This will take a while so I may hire an assistant or ship it out to someone to speed up the process and take care of it for me.  Maybe it won't be as hard as I am making it out to be and I'll do it myself.

Finally, I will take this opportunity to see what else I would like to change up while I am in the rebranding process.  My prediction is that I will make my it all better than it already was.  

So there.  I have chosen to see this potential setback as an opportunity to improve.  I cannot wait to get in there to make it happen.



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