Join Our Community

Are You Afraid Of Starting Over?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Are You Afraid Of Starting Over?

Why It's Actually As Easy As Child's Play
Michael  Neill
Michael Neill More by this author
Feb 19, 2017 at 08:00 AM

When I meet with someone who’s struggling with anything – a dilemma at work, a conflict at home, or even a struggle within themselves – there are two questions I am inevitably asking myself. The first is: "Do they know where their experience is coming from?" As I point out in my TEDx talk, Why Aren’t We Awesomer?, the mind works more like a projector than a camera and experience is only and always created from the inside-out. The second question is, "Do they know that they’re God?"

In this video clip, I explain what I mean by that simple but provocative question…

Like a child who gleefully creates and destroys animals and people and monsters and flowers every time they take their play dough out of its container, we’re free to change our mind and think differently about absolutely anything at absolutely any moment. All any of us are ever suffering from is our innocent misuse of the play dough of Thought. When we use it to create insecurity, worry, and fear, we live inside a cage with bars of our own making. 

I don’t always remember this, and there are certainly times when my reality becomes very ‘real’ to me and I feel the walls closing in on my self-created cage. But then a new thought comes along, and I’m once again reminded that I can roll up the bars of my cage into a lump of divinely neutral play dough, change my mind, and begin the game of creation all over again.


I expressed this idea in a seminar recently by making a drawing on a flip chart like this:

If I decide I don’t like the drawing, I can try to fix it like this:

But if I still don’t like it, then what? Perhaps I might add to it some more, like this:


At some point, I hit a point of diminishing returns, where my attempts to improve the drawing just obscure the original and make it harder and harder to see.

What’s the solution?

At any moment, we can turn the page on our past and begin again.

We can make a fresh start. We can move forward as if nothing had happened. We can make things as good as new.

We’re not our thoughts. We’re the infinite creative potential – as I explain in my book, The Space Within.


This is equally true in the realm of creativity. When I first began doing radio shows for Hay House Radio over 10 years ago, I thought we’d have a shelf life of about three months before my bag of tricks was empty and people (including me) would start losing interest. My first attempt at addressing this problem was to expand my bag of tricks and put more tools into my toolbox, and I began reading at an ever more voracious pace to keep my head continually filled with whatever was at the cutting edge of psycho-spiritual thought.

Before each show, I’d print off up to a dozen pages of tips and techniques so I had something to fall back on if not enough people phoned in for me to talk with. But then one week I got to the studio late and didn’t have time to print anything off for ‘just in case.’ For the first time, I’d forgotten my toolbox and didn’t have my bag of tricks with me. To my surprise, the show not only went well, it went considerably better than many of my prepared shows.

Here’s what I realized that day:

You don’t need a toolbox or a bag of tricks if you have access to a well.

Once you see that the infinite well of creativity (i.e., the deeper Mind) is always available to you, all you need to do is empty your mind, drop your bucket into that well, and see what comes up. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to drink it – you can dip your bucket back into the well as often as you like.

It takes a load off your mind when you don’t have to carry what you’ve done before around with you everywhere you go. And each time you get fresh new ideas from the creative well, you trust it a little bit more and you get more of a feel for letting things come to you in that way. It’s not only easier, it’s more fun, and it’s surprising how often what comes through is the perfect solution for the task at hand.

As I got more and more comfortable just showing up for each broadcast and being open to whatever showed up, I began to see that what was happening was completely in line with the nature of creativity. Form always comes out of the formless; everything is created from nothing.

So whether I was brainstorming possibilities, doing a show, or writing a book or article, the more willing I was to hang out in the unknown and show up with a clean slate, an empty bucket, and a blank piece of paper, the more likely it was that something fresh and new would come through me and out into the world.

If you’re willing to go back to the drawing board every single time, you know that things will never get dull.

You won’t get into a rut, or start dreading the fourth meeting of the day, because every single time you’re starting with a clean slate, an empty bucket, and a blank piece of paper.

To learn more, see my book: The Space Within.

About Author
Michael  Neill
Michael Neill is an internationally renowned transformative coach and the best-selling author of five books including The Inside-Out Revolution and Continue reading