Some people talk or think about trying harder when they haven’t succeeded. It’s common to think in terms of “I’ll try harder next time.”

But what if the word try fires off unhelpful connections in the brain? What if the word try unconsciously plants the suggestion of futility or failure? Usually, when I think of trying to do something, I think of trying and not doing it. If the unconscious mind automatically associates trying with not succeeding, then it’s going to create that reality for me.

There’s a big difference between trying and doing. How many times have you heard yourself say “I’ll try and make it” and you already know you’ve got no intention of making it. How many times have you heard someone else say, “okay, I’ll try to be there” and, as soon as you hear that little word try, you know they’re not going to be there. Try is permission to not do. It’s like an excuse. Trying suggests good intention but lack of outcome.

And, what about the word harder? If something becomes harder for me. it becomes less likely that I can succeed. When we think about something being hard work, it can seem daunting, difficult or tricky. If the unconscious mind automatically associates harder with difficulty, then it’s going to create a harder reality.

Often trying harder just means putting more energy into not accomplishing the thing you want to accomplish. And, it means doing the same thing again and again without the results you want. If what you’ve been trying hasn’t been working for you and hasn’t been getting you the results you wanted, then it’s time to do something differently.

The difference between try and do is enormous. One of Yoda's most famous quotes is: "Do or do not. There is no try."

Notice the difference in meaning between:

a) “I’ll try and get there on time” and
b) “I’ll be there on time”.

When I hear the first, I hear an excuse to not be there on time. When I hear the second, I hear commitment and authority. I trust it.

When we say we’re going to do something, our brain is more likely to believe it and help us create the reality and the results we want. When we say we’re going to try doing something, the brain already knows we don’t have to bother. It’s the difference between inaction and action.

To achieve success in anything, it’s important to enlist the support of the unconscious part of our brain (remember, that’s the part that’s responsible for 90% of what we do, think and feel). And, we do this by becoming more conscious about the language we’re using to ourselves.

So, not only do we need to forget about trying if we want to commit and succeed, we also have to ditch what hasn’t been working and do something differently. If something hasn’t been working, we need to learn from that and change what we do.

Trying harder is a waste of energy but doing differently is more energy efficient and paves the way for success.

You already know what it’s like to be successful at something. What was it you did differently to achieve that success?

I did it with stopping drinking… Instead of trying to stop again and failing again, I did something differently. I did the audios in the programme and learnt to sit still with myself and to start to build a better relationship with myself. This was doing something, it was different and new and it worked. It had a ripple effect on my whole life. In building a better relationship with myself I eliminated the need to reach for alcohol. My confidence rose, I had more energy, I was more productive, my relationships improved, I became fitter and healthier, etc...

All because I did one small thing differently - sitting down and just breathing and being still for 15 minutes every day.

Can you think of times when you've done something differently and it's made a significant change in your life? Can you think of one small change you can do that would make stopping drinking or staying sober easier for you?

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