A Pink Dog
Have you had the experience of trying hard for something, and it seems that the harder you try the more you can’t? I know this happens so often in my life. When I find myself trying hard, I know that I am forgetting a few basic principles of the subconscious mind.
One of these principles is, the harder you try to do something, the less chance you have of doing it. This is called the Law of Reverse Effect. Try is actually a negative word to the subconscious mind. This was something I learned in my hypnosis training 18 years ago. When the subconscious mind hears the word try, it actually interprets it as “do not” or “cannot.” When you are “trying” to do something the subconscious knows you are trying, because this is the language you are using when you speak and think about what you want to accomplish. The deeper mind will work against your “trying” efforts. This is because when you use the word try you are invoking your imagination and the imagination will always win over the intellect. For example, if I say to you, “try not to think about a pink dog.”… What just happened? You could not help it, you thought about a pink dog.
It is also important to understand that there really is no failure. If you set out to “try” something and it does not go as planned then you may see it as a failure on your part. Failure is a word with a negative connotation. If we fail then we have not reached a certain goal. If we look at it as failure, and we believe it to be a failure, there is a high probability that the next thought is, “I am a failure.” This can become a belief system, or it may have already been a belief you held about yourself and is now reinforced by this experience of not being successful in some area of your life for this goal you wanted to reach.
We must be in flow. We must allow life to show us the way and to show up for us. As much as we may want to, we cannot force life into a certain direction. When we do attempt to force life, we create our own stress. Instead, I invite you to follow the path life is giving you. Yet, we find ourselves many times not even realizing the path is there or that, in fact, we are already on the path. Instead we are frustrated because it feels as if that things are not going our way, that we quite literally are lost and have no idea what to do now. This happens because we have entered the path “trying” as opposed to entering the path being open to receiving feedback.
As we enter this new path to feedback the ego will roar.
It will want to fight your growth and your becoming. The ego does not want to “try,” the ego does not want to let go of the old in order to embrace the new.
This is because the ego believes it is keeping you safe in the old by not venturing into something new. Here is my question to you, what if this belief is false?
What if keeping the old does not keep you safe but instead keeps you stuck. This is exactly how try works against you and with your ego. The ego will not want to change so it holds onto the negative language of the word try, which sets us up to not accomplish.
Are you ready to explore why you are stuck?
Are you ready to look at your belief systems?
Are you ready to question yourself?
Most of all, are you ready to break free from the trappings of your ego?
To break free from the belief if I stay where I am, then I am safe.
To break free from the pain that keeps you small.
When you allow the waves of life to break over you, on the other side of the waves, is the calm ocean.
There is no going around a wave, is there?
We cannot swim around it, hide from it or avoid it.
We have 3 choices:
- Allow it to take you down
- Allow it to break over you and stand tall while it breaks
- You don’t enter the water at all
Which one of these choices offers you the opportunity to grow?
Yes! You choose the crashing wave, you choose to go through, you choose you! You are choosing at that moment to grow and heal. Not to try to grow and heal but to enter in, to do the work and to come out on the other side. You are committing to you.
The light is on the other side of the pain, on the other side of the wave. In order to find the light, the healing and growth, we must go through. When we go through, we tell the ego that we are done trying, that we are done with the old belief systems. That we are done playing small. We are done being in pain.
You are ready to embrace your authentic self.
Pause. Take a breath.
I want to offer you a reframe. Instead of using the word failure, use the word feedback. When we take the word failure and replace it with the word feedback, there is a shift. What if there was no failure, but instead you viewed each opportunity as feedback to you and for you. Feedback for your learning and as a way to refocus and redirect your efforts toward your goal and intentions.
Putting both of these concepts together looks like this. I am doing my best to accomplish a goal with the intention of a successful outcome. If the outcome does not go as planned, I will accept the feedback and use it as a catalyst to help me work toward the goal in a new way. I can adjust the goal to be in better alignment with what I wish to achieve. In doing so, I have not failed. I instead have set out to embark on working toward an outcome based on my intentions. Can you feel the difference between this and trying? This reframe is empowering, confidence building and supportive of you. This offers flexibility and kindness to the self as you venture down the desired path.
Embark on the journey through the crashing wave. Take it in. Do not tell yourself what you need to try to do. Just do it. Do the thing, take action, make the commitment. Use action words with yourself like I am going to, my intention is, I am moving forward.
The language must change. Here is how to change your language and inner voice. I am going to eat healthy. Or my intention is to eat healthy snacks and healthy meals. I will exercise in the morning. I will take a walk; I will do yoga. As the famous ad says, “just do it!” Find a way to do it, get rid of try. Step into your power. Own your thoughts, own your actions. Allow for feedback. Learn about yourself. Grow, be, and achieve.
Accept what is. This is perfect as it is. Appreciate the present moment. See that it is this way for right now and know it will change and shift as you flow with it. Acknowledge each experience.
Step forward, embrace the waves. You are able and capable. Be clear with your words and your intentions. You will shift, your ego will move to the side. It will have no choice as you will no longer be trying, you will be doing and being.
Janet is a licensed clinical social worker, hypnotherapist and conscious parenting coach. If you want to read and learn more sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org.