“I’m trying to try—I just can’t right now.”
When I was younger, I had this issue. Sometimes—seemingly out of nowhere—I just couldn’t try anymore. I would suddenly stop being social. Or playing well in soccer. Or caring much about schoolwork.
I would just lose motivation. And it was nearly impossible to explain to anyone else.
“Just try harder,” everyone told me.
And I did. I was honestly trying to try. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t get myself to do more.
I thought that I was fucked up. I thought that I was self-sabotaging. I thought that it was some big problem inside of me.
When I came into the world of entrepreneurship, we had all types of terms to describe this phenomenon—“blocks,” and “resistance,” and “Upper Limit Problems,” and just good old “self-sabotage.”
And I tried everything—everything—to get to the root of it. To know why I sometimes just froze up. Or why I never really felt happy in certain situations. Or why I was struggling to understand who I am. Or why I was beating my brain trying to figure out how to make it work in this world.
I’ve read dozens of books. And I’ve taken courses and masterminds. And I’ve worked with energy healers.
And I thought I just needed to try harder. I just need to “bust through those blocks” and “move through the resistance” and “push through the fear” and all of the other, more sophisticated ways to try harder.
So I did. I tried really, really hard. I tried everything. I followed the formulas. I learned the methodologies. I did the affirmations. I put myself in uncomfortable situations.
But the harder it tried, the harder it was to try.
I felt frustrated and unmotivated and exhausted. And I didn’t understand why everything seemed to work out for everyone else but me. I only felt more ashamed. And I felt a little bit like I had to become a different person—change myself to match someone else’s formulas—to be successful.
And it never got to the root of the problem. Even when I made a lot of money at my public relations firm, I still didn’t understand why some days I just couldn’t try. Why sometimes my mood would drop. Why sometimes I’d feel upset and not know why.
Trying harder never, ever got to the root of the problem. No matter what I did. It just made me more frustrated and unmotivated.
I thought I was looking for results my whole life. Like making a certain amount of money or having a certain relationship or living in a certain home would suddenly “fix” me. I wanted to be saved.
So I followed the formulas and models, convinced that life would be different at a certain income level. But none of it ever got to the root problem.
Because I wasn’t looking for results; I was really looking for understanding. I was looking for me.
When I first began understanding my own work—discovering my Brand Energies in the Sacred Circle—I cried. Because these weren’t things I had to try to become. They weren’t even things I had to achieve.
They were who I was. In every single moment of my life. And they explained EVERYTHING to me. Every single moment of my life made sense.
Why that worked when this didn’t. Why I couldn’t try here but could there. Why that felt so shameful. Why this felt so purposeful.
All of it. It was like a map to myself.
And I felt a lot of grief. Total sadness that I had spent a lifetime berating myself into trying harder without ever even understanding the problem.
That I just pushed myself to do more, be more, bust through those blocks, stop self-sabotaging. Like I was just a machine. Like I was illogical and broken and wrong. Like my fucked up patterns made no sense.
I pushed myself. I did more. Even the meditation or yoga was never really about the present moment. It was about doing something to fix me. To ultimately get better results.
Because I thought I could love myself more when I hit some accomplishments or goals. But I couldn’t love myself as I was right here and now.
Let me be clear—I do the work that I do today, in large part, for younger Mike. Because I spent years shaming and punishing myself for not being able to try. For struggling and striving to “bust through those blocks.” For trying my hardest and still never getting to the root of the problem.
In my experience, trying harder will NEVER get us what we really want. Because, at best, it’ll give us some results with a healthy dose of shame. And, as worst, it will make us feel more fucked up and broken without results.
And, either way, we’re still tying everything to results in our lives. To loving ourselves conditionally.
What I really wanted—all I ever really wanted, without knowing it—is understanding. Discovery. To know myself without a doubt. To be aware in every moment exactly why I feel what I do. Exactly what will be easy and naturally successful for me. And exactly what won’t.
Today, I can tell you with absolute certainty that results that come from that place are an effortless expression of who you are, rather than a condition for your happiness.
As we often say in the work, “You never have to try to be yourself. If you’re trying, it means you’re being someone else.
Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try, it never gets to the root of the problem?
What would it feel like to never have to try again? To live a live that’s just you?
Let us know in the comments or over in the Sacred Branding™ Facebook group, where we’ll all be supporting each other.
Sending you lots of love.