Whatever we’re doing in life, most of the time, we just want to feel happier. Whether it’s getting the bigger house, the better job or the perfect relationship, we want to feel happy.
Yet how many of us have fallen into the trap of trying, over and over again, to make something work?
Whether it’s a relationship, a project, a job interview or even assembling flat-pack furniture, we fall back on the old proverb:
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”
There are two problems here:
- Going Slightly Mad
They say that doing the same thing over and over again, whilst expecting different results, is the one of the first signs of insanity.
For most of us, “try, try, try again” involves just that…
- “Trying” Gets Us Off The Hook
When we use the word “try” – either out loud or in our heads – we’re giving ourselves unconscious permission to fail.
Think about it:
“I’ll try to get that done by Tuesday.” Will it happen?
“I’ll try harder to get it right next time.” Will it be different?
What Not To Do
This isn’t the time to give up or admit defeat. Just because your current approach hasn’t been working doesn’t mean there isn’t one that will bring the results you’re hoping for.
It’s also not about focussing on what’s been going wrong or worrying about it. It has been said that worrying is just a great way of creating a future you don’t really want…
What You Can Do Instead
Do something different. If what you’re doing isn’t working, play with another approach. Look back to similar situations in the past where you have made it work and see whether there are ideas you could apply now.
Focus on on what you want instead, rather than where you are now. Start telling a different story. Breaking the cycle could turn things around.
And instead of the word “try“, how about more positive phrases like “I will…” or “I can…” or – if you’re not quite sure – “I hope…”
Above all, if you don’t think you can, you can’t and you won’t.
If it’s worth doing, then “trying” is less likely to get you there. How about rewriting the old proverb:
“If at first you don’t succeed, change what you’re doing.“
Instead of trying too hard, over and over again, how about tweaking your strategy and watching how fast you get to where you want to be going? Are you ready to feel happier, now?