Try Better, Not Harder

I read a post on Seth Godin’s blog a few days ago that’s stayed with me: Try Better. Maybe it’s not always about trying harder. Maybe if something isn’t working, forcing it isn’t the answer. I think the momentum or commitment or whatever it is that had me going has run out, or at least faded. I’ve fallen off exercising and posting everyday, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep trying these things anymore.

I think “failing” at something can be a seductive trap to just throw in the towel and say, fuck it, I knew I couldn’t do it. What we don’t realize, and maybe this is a willful kind of ignorance, is that one mistake doesn’t erase all the progress we’ve made. But bullying or shaming ourselves into constantly trying harder isn’t going to bring about the desired results either.

So, let’s try better. Truth be told, I’ve felt like a lot of my posts have feel forced because I committed to writing something everyday. If something didn’t come up naturally, I’d badger myself into trying harder. “You said you were gonna write something everyday. There you go foregoing your commitments as usual.” Or the more psychologically pernicious voice would come and try to coax me into writing something by using my fear of failure against me: “Are you so scared of failing that you can’t even put a few mental ramblings down? It’s okay, just get something down. You just need to try…harder.”

Trying better means taking the time to look at what’s going on with sober eyes. Accepting that something may not be working; that this “thing” that we want, may not be what we need. A whole new approach may need to be created…and it may actually end up being harder, but if we try better, it might not feel so tough.

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