This post first appeared on my Facebook feed on 12/6/19 and has been edited.
When was the last time you succeeded at a particular endeavor through sheer will and effort?
When was the last time you succeeded because of ‘trying’?
I often tell clients…
If you’re always ‘trying’ to do this or that, you’re more likely to fail, and not in a productive way. If something (or someone) is supposed to be good for you, why do you have to keep convincing yourself to do it?
If fitness is supposedly so good for you, why do you have to keep battling yourself to eat healthy and work out? Why do you have to keep telling yourself, “should, would, need to”? Why doesn’t it just happen naturally because you WANT to take care of yourself?
Isn’t this a bit ironic?
I believe one of the most important jobs as a coach is to find where someone’s actual motivation lies and how willing they are to push their ‘motivation’ a bit further. What I mean by ‘motivation’ is their ability to do something more difficult or different. Often times, difficulty means doing either more of what they’re currently doing, doing it more intensely, or putting more focus into it.
Different can mean switching gears and trying something else. Both will require elevated levels of motivation. And both requires the client to ‘try’.
I think the job of finding the balance of motivation is extremely important because most people aren’t sure of what truly motivates them and how to achieve something that’s worth achieving. They believe as long as they ‘try’, they’re doing the right thing. While this can be true in some ways, in other ways, it’s wishful thinking.
Generally, when someone tries and fails, they’ll feel pretty lousy. The time, energy, and money spent into an endeavor – potentially wasted. However, it’s not a question of whether someone tried or not; it’s a question of whether the ‘trying’ was genuine, meaningful, and deliberate.
If you tried to lose weight yet can’t clearly define why you want to lose weight beyond just getting into a bikini, then failing will have a significant negative impact on your mentality, and it may stick for a while.
If you tried to lose yet and justify your efforts with the philosophy of truly wanting to take better care of yourself, then failing will still hav ea negative impact on your mentality, but you’re more likely to see it as part of the process.
There’s ‘failing forward’, which is the process in which you fail successfully, and then there’s ‘failing backward’, which is failing and wasting your precious resources.
When you fail backward, you’ll feel guilty, ashamed, disappointed, and frustrated? Why do you have to feel these things when you’re trying to do good for yourself?
When you keep trying against what you REALLY want, which could be just sitting at home and getting fat, then you’re bound to fail backward.
If that’s the case, in the words of Charles Bukowski, “don’t try”. Instead of trying to do find something to do, let it find you.
At the end of the day, if you keep trying, maybe it’s not something you TRULY want?