Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you try you never quite seem to get where it is that you want to go? It might be in work, it might be in one of your relationships, it might be with your health, or your fitness or something like that. I decided to focus on this today because this has been one of my greatest challenges in life. I have always been somebody who likes to do something and do it really, really well. One of the first memories I have of this was on my first pony club camp. I won all the rosettes, and they weren’t all for doing anything amazing.They were for simple things like making sure that your pony is groomed well. I would get there before everybody else and I would spend hours grooming my pony to make sure that it was spotless. I didn’t do it to be better than other people it was because I just loved doing it.
It is just in who I am to give my all. Sometimes it has served me and other times not so much. At the pony club camp for instance I didn't actually get first place on the last day because, as the organisers told me, that they felt so embarrassed for giving me first place throughout the weekend that they felt like they needed to give someone else a chance. My excelling was uncomfortable to them.
I also took part in a sponsored walk around my school when I was about 6. I really loved it, talking to all the other people and marching along, (I have always been a bit of a natter box). I don’t remember being aware of where I was compared to other people in the number of laps I had done but apparently I was in the lead for my age. My mother was a teacher at the school and through embarrassment of having me be win the sponsored walk for my age group she actually told another kid to go around a couple of times so that he would beat me.
I have also experienced this when I was setting up my business here in the UK. I knew I had a time line to get everything up and going and I felt this pressure so I tried really hard. When nothing seemed to work as fast as I wanted it to I just tried even harder. As you can imagine this led to quite a bit of stress. It was only when I took a step back and started to act from a different place that I started to move forwards.
I share these stories because trying hard meets with resistance even if my trying hard was not motivated by trying to get a certain result. It is also an energetic resistance. For example in a very basic form - if you push someone they tend to push back and resist. Life is the same.
As I got older and wiser (hopefully) I realised that quite often putting that kind of effort in was actually quite exhausting especially when there was push back from life to the direction I was trying to go in. As life got more full with children, a career, social life and close relationships putting lots of effort into all these areas became impossible. When I was a young child or even when I was a teenager or in my early 20s there's only me to look after and focus on and then trying hard was not too self defeating. As my life filled up it became a behaviour that set me back more than it took me forwards and at times I became overwhelmed, exhausted, irritable and so on. The more I felt my self lag and falter the more I would make myself wrong and the more I would try even harder until I just couldn’t. I have often seen this in my friends and clients as well where trying harder and harder causes immense amounts of stress and exhaustion.
Life was not meant to be like this and if we are not carful this continued stress can harm us physically. I have experienced this recently just through the circumstances of moving to a new country. Since we moved to the UK we have moved 4 times in as many years there has also been the stress of ensuring my children are as unaffected by these moves as possible so that their schooling wouldn’t suffer and a number of other circumstances. As I said I have a tendency to try too hard. So when my fitness wasn’t what it was normally (as I had not had time to go running) I pushed myself to get back on track. I had certain expectations of what I thought I should be able to do and I thought I could just force myself to meet them. Unfortunately I learnt the hard way that force is not the answer - and I gave myself exercise induced asthma. I later learnt that this is brought on when someone is stressed and then on top of the external stress they push their body really hard and cause it even more stress. It is the body’s way of saying STOP!
What I am going to share with you today is that whilst my propensity is to come from a place of trying really, really hard I have learnt that a balance of both allowing and doing achieves the best results for me and for everything and everyone around me. Especially if my actions come from a place of inspiration (and I’ll go into inspiration next week).
For this to happen you will need to make space for inspiration to come and then take action from this inspiration. When you are able to do this then there is very little effort and trying and the results are not bound by normal linear constraints.
For instance in my coaching business when I was moving to the UK I didn’t know how I was going to make contacts and create a net work. Instead of trying really hard and becoming pushy I just shared what I was doing with people I knew. It was through this sharing in a non expectant way that a colleague of mine in Hong Kong introduced me to someone he knew who had just moved back to Bath. This person just happened to be a director of Bath Bridge who run a talent program for young leaders. I have now been working with them for more than 3 years. I could never have made this happen through effort it was only by following inspiration and acting out of curiosity that this came about.
Looking at trying too hard energetically - to make an effort you have to have reserves of energy to do the thing that you want to do. If you are constantly exerting effort and you’re not replenishing yourself then you will have no reserves to be able to make the effort with. When you are running on empty is when you are susceptible to stress and this can lead to breakdowns both mentally physically.
This is why I think it's so incredibly important to have balance between doing and allowing. One of my trainers once explained it to me in this way - it is like trying to catch a bar of soap in the shower. If you go and grab at it constantly it is very tricky. The more you grab at it and attack it the more it slips out of your hands and shoots away. However of you reaching for it and scooping it up by allowing it to fall into your hand then it is easy, (and for those of you who nowadays only use shower gel, get a bar of soap and try and chase it around a bathtub when it's wet). Life is very much like this. We do need to take action but as I have said the action needs to come from inspiration we need to be inspired to take the action that we take. And for that we need to be able to allow space and allow peace and quiet and allow ourselves to connect with Source.
I would like to put it to you that there's two ways to achieve anything
Because our life is so much about doing we still have to find things to do when we are being quiet things that numb us to the expectation of doing. Just observe when you next watch too much TV, reading too many novels or eating too much and ask yourself why am I doing this? Is it to numb life? I would like to suggest that part of the reason that we do these things is because we're uncomfortable just sitting and being, daydreaming, pondering and being in that kind of open present space. That this has been made wrong in the world and we're not comfortable just sitting with ourselves because it has been so engrained in us that we have to be doing. And yet when I think of the most amazingly creative people that have had huge breakthroughs people like Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci they were known to have these moments of reflection. Albert Einstein used thought experiments and he also used to play the violin. I deeply believe that it is in this space that he learnt to disassociate and just be present with himself . And I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get his greatest insights in those moments of complete presence.
I don't believe that hard work and effort ever really got you what you truly want. I think we normally resort to hard work and effort because we think that's what we should be doing not because it is what we really want to be doing. And that if we actually create space in our lives space to be to be truly present with ourselves that we'll learn to listen to ourselves and receive inspiration and then our actions and the guidance that we get in life will be so much more profound. That the space between what we want achieve and achieving it will reduce so phenomenally that we wont be able to believe how easy life could really truly be. I don't profess to say that I've mastered this but I've seen it so often in my life that I know that it is true. As I said my wiring is to try too hard so this is something that I am very familiar with and it is something that I am constantly learning. I have been listening to a lot of Abraham Hicks recently and one of the things that I really love that they say is that - your soul your Source knows everything that you are wanting to achieve and if only you would relax and enjoy life it would unfold so much easier.
The thing that I am focusing on the moment is relief because if I could let go of all the things that I think I need to do and should do and have to do have. I would have such a huge sense of relief. In focusing on relief I feel that my vibration rises and once I am focused on relief then I can focus on gratitude and then I can focus on joy and bliss. And bliss is the most natural state for us all to be in. If we let go of all the should’s, shouldn’t’s, must’s, mustn’t's and all of the noise in our heads what we are left with is bliss.
It is funny I had created a YouTube video and a podcast on this topic but it was only when I was writing this blog that I noticed a very subtle difference in the examples I gave at the beginning. When I was a child I had not expected or wanted to come first I put the effort in because I loved what I was doing. There was no stress in the effort I was putting in. I picked up on the adults discomfort and I assumed it was mine but in writing this I see it never was. I wasn’t grooming my pony to get rosettes and I wasn’t walking so far to come first. I thought because the adults were uncomfortable I had done something wrong but I now see this was not the case. The real problem in trying too hard is not in the amount of effort you put in but in WHY you are doing it. If you are dong it for an out come and because you think you should or must then there is resistance. If you are doing it because of the love of it then there is no resistance! And this is where inspiration comes in because inspiration comes from a place of alignment with yourself and the things you love.
I hope in my very roundabout way you've enjoyed today's blog. Your comments and interaction is very valued by me. I also have lots of other resources and if you’re interested you can find them on my website which is listed in the first comment below. And if you would like to step more fully into living a conscious self aware life I also offer coaching. You can send me a message through the contact tab on my website and we can set up a free chemistry call.
So much love from me to you