How hard have you been trying?

The target seems to keep moving

There is no point in trying

If you think you have tried everything but nothing has worked, the one thing you probably haven’t tried is to let go of trying. It’s more difficult than you might think.

From childhood, well into adulthood, we are bombarded by messages about trying.

second chances are only for those who are not afraid to try again

try, try. try again

“If at first you don’t succeed”; If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again“So, try harder”; “Second chances are only for those who are not  afraid to try again”; “Try, try, try again”.  
We’ve all heard it many times and in many contexts and so it’s not surprising that, at some level,   most of us believe it.

But let’s think about it differently for a moment…  

 

What is the presupposition of the word ‘try’?
             “As long as you try your best, no-one can ask for more.”
             “Try not to…”
             “I’ll try.”

Don’t all these ‘trying’ phrases imply the likelihood of failure?

I suggest it’s time to let go of trying. Either do something or don’t do it. Trying; trying harder; and trying even harder will sap your energy and can lead to a sense of failure.

Maybe it’s true, maybe, in spite of everything we have been led to believe, there really is no point in trying.

What could you do instead?

Thoughts on Transformation

These are some thoughts I collected over a recent weekend workshop.  Most of them are my own (others are credited where possible but if I have failed to credit you, please let me know and I will correct the image).

 

Narrative thoughts

What I’m wondering is, would these thoughts mean anything to you if you weren’t part of the weekend experience?

  • A conversation can always make a difference.
  • What you see of me is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • What I see of you is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • When you’re looking for the best (in human beings), miraculously, that’s what shows up.
  • Every time I retell the story I notice something different.
  • A rippling moon looking up sees a sister riding the sky.
  • If I peeled my image off the mirror, what would I see?
  • And if I drop the future it shatters into a million sharpened futures.
  • I don’t know. You don’t know. We don’t know. Not knowing is a great place to start.
  • When I am upset about something, that’s not what I’m upset about.
  • Transformation lies in things we would rather avoid.
  • We are constituted in conversation.
  • I came from a nowhere that might have been somewhere and sometimes I glance back.
  • The completion of a story is the beginning of a story.
  • We all have a story, we are not our story and the story does not predict our future.

 Is there anything here that speaks to you and if so, what does it suggest?

If you’re curious I recommend you check the programme out. Here’s a link.

A Maze of Possible Pathways out of a Problem

At the heart of the maze lies a problem

Where do you start?

As soon as we try to find our way out of a difficult situation we discover that just thinking about it can become part of the problem.

How often have you felt overwhelmed or thought ‘I just don’t know where to start’?

Helping you sort this out can be part of the role of a coach…

It can help to identify which pathway you have been going down already in order to try something different.

While thinking through some recent conversations with clients I came up with this maze-like doodle, identifying typical strategies my recent clients have described as they began telling me their stories.

IMAG3683

 

As you read through the list of ‘ways of working it out’ you might recognise something that you have been trying. Better still, see if there is something here that you haven’t thought of because trying something different, something new, will give you the best chance of getting an unexpected result. It may not be the result you thought you were looking for, but it is likely to be a result that leaves you feeling more positive about the future.

 

What have you tried?

  • trying to solve the problem
  • trying harder
  • trying harder still
  • acceptance
  • avoidance
  • denial
  • hearing a message in the problem
  • seeing the problem as ‘ a part of myself with special needs’
  • talking to the problem
  • asking the problem what it thinks it’s doing for me

In future posts I will look at each of these pathways and invite you to contribute to my musings. Do you have an experience you would like to share; an observation on the list or a part of it; or an entirely different pathway to suggest?

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

  

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