Stop Trying Harder

I want to try to nip this one in the bud right away…

Stop trying harder!

There…did that work? If not, read on…

I wonder why so many of us keep trying harder? Is it because you really have a track record of succeeding by doing so? Is it because you have a faint memory of someone telling you to try harder? Or is it because you haven’t stopped to really see what’s going on?

Why I don’t like the Route of Trying Harder

When things are not going just the way you like it, it could be weight loss, dropping an addiction, working through anxiety, or even the rate at which you are achieving your goals, if you try harder you might just be:

  1. Trying to “fit a square peg into a round hole”.
  2. Repeating the same behavior over and over again without changing the result = insanity
  3. Protecting what you fear.
  4. Competitive.

For most of you, the first 2 points are self-explanatory. However, the third and fourth points are where everyone trips up. Let me explain.

Trying harder keeps the fear in the present so fear will be part of your experience as you try to attain your goal. Just imagine yourself for a moment…you’re saying to yourself, “ok, I’m not getting the results I want so I’ll just try harder”. Can you feel how your head goes down, you draw within yourself, you dig into your reserves and you might be able to hear that small voice within you that says, “I’m not sure I can do this.” Or “I’m doing the same thing but I just pray I’ll get a different result…maybe this time!.” Or “I’m not good enough!” The result is always a downward spiral.

Trying harder is also a competitive thought which can be limiting. Trying harder begs the question, “than what?” Than your last attempt? Than the other person?, and then you’ll only be better than their standard!

My advice:

Change the way you are looking at the problem.

As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem using the same level of thinking in which the problem was created.”

Here are some different perspectives that you could try:

  1. Ask yourself, what would your life be like if it wasn’t hard? I like this question because so many of you do not give yourself the chance to create solutions with ease and grace in mind. We have been sold the route of hard work and it’s not true. Now if some of you are shocked, just look at how stressed most of the population is.
  2. Inquire the belief – “I have to try harder in order to succeed!” Ask yourself, “is it true?” You MUST be completely honest with yourself. When you achieved goals in your life, was it really because you worked harder or because you found a solution that was in alignment with your goal and that solution was “smarter”?
  3. Write down 3 different ways that you could look at the problem. When we start to tap into our creative faculties, suddenly options, possibilities and potential begin to appear.

Try differently, try smarter, try by easing off a bit, but don’t spend your energy trying harder!

Just stop that!



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