Trying too hard has been such a theme in my first 30 years. I’ve gotten tons and tons better but it would just sort of stop in one area of my life and stay present in another.
Trying too hard to be perfect.
Trying too hard to be nice.
Trying too hard to be organized.
Trying too hard to look pretty and polished.
Trying too hard to be something (everything) I’m not.
There is much to be said for self-improvement. In fact, it’s basically my favorite pastime. However, the feeling that I need to change in order to feel better about myself or more worthy of my dreams I’m trying to manifest is completely insane. That’s what trying too hard has done for me. It was almost always never about growing and chasing my goals. It was almost always about striving for perfection so the world would think I was good enough. It was never for the sake of having fun and being myself.
The act of trying is really an act of doing nothing but spinning my wheels. Stuck in the mud, trying to run away and gain some traction. It was usually something I had to force myself to do and something I did not really enjoy. I would even try to like whatever I was forcing myself to do!
I lost all the magic, all the spontaneity, all the fun.
Now, there is a time and place for planning and pushing myself. There’s even an instance or two when I need to force myself to do something, but that only works when the end goal I dream of requires consistent action.
I swear I won’t always use running as a life metaphor but it just works, okay?
Case in point: I’m running a marathon this November (115 days to go!) and there are some days I reallllly don’t want to get out and run my miles even though my training plan says so. This is when I let my (old friend) rigidness come out and show me who’s boss. I need this run or else I’m going to regret it on race day. This run makes me stronger and more prepared. This run gets me closer to my dream of crossing “Run a marathon” off my bucket list. It’s those literal steps that are taking me where I want to go.
That, to me, is not trying too hard. It’s just fighting for my goals.
I’ve been really into surrendering lately and that’s what kicking this habit of trying too hard means to me. Surrender has been quite the trendy word but, man is it a tough one to actual practice. I’ve never noticed just how tight my grip on the world is until I started to let go.
What a work in progress I am. Aren’t we all?
P.S. I like fun things too. It’s not all a lot of words and thinking and pondering life’s purpose up here…aka in my head.