Stop Trying So Hard

posted in: Musings | 3

Your Turn Challenge Day 5: What advice would you give for getting unstuck?

No matter what I did, it didn’t work. I was trying so hard. Just like I had my entire life, the more I try, the better I do, the more successful I am. This time though, the more I tried, the worse it got. I had escaped my job climbing the corporate ladder for a life of entrepreneurship. I thought I had great ideas, but nothing seemed to work. My significant other didn’t love me anymore and I was crushed. I had been spending so much time trying to start a business that does good while trying to make a relationship work that I had lost touch with all my friends. I was alone. I was that guy who got good grades all through school and now I was an utter failure in real life. I was so down on myself, I was paralyzed. I didn’t see how this one could turn around. I wasn’t myself anymore, I had lost sight of his essence.

I was stuck, unlike ever before.

I was desperate for something, anything. I needed to shake this. I knew I had to do something a little radical to get out of this vicious cycle.

I love backpacking. The liberation of being on the open road, exploring newfound lands. When I travel, I’m meeting new people who don’t project preconceived notions of who I used to be. It’s a place where I get to be who I want to be, when I want to be. That’s why I love it so much. It’s me. I thought, if I go travel, then maybe I’ll see my essence again and come back.

The universe took my desperation as a prayer and she gave me a gift. By chance, I stumbled upon Under30Experiences and their inaugural trip to Costa Rica. The trip was five days and I stayed after for a month so I could travel just for the sake travel.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I stopped trying. I just let myself go. I went back to my habit of travel that feeds my soul. My childlike curiosity and explorer mode took over. Costa Rica is such a beautiful country. I was a kid in a candy store.

When I stopped trying, space opened. The physical space from all my problems helped. Mental space cleared away the old and rejuvenated my heart. I learned about eco-tourism and holistic living. This spurred a flurry of ideas of how I could create the change I was trying so hard to create with my previous endeavors. It all fit so perfectly. I could use my business skills to fuel my passion for travel and experiences. How did I not see this before? It was so obvious. I stopped trying so hard, there was less noise of what kept me stuck. The next steps became clear.

I started walking. I let myself go. I continued going with the flow and not trying. At some points, I had to try not to try. That got a little weird. Its been swell though. It doesn’t have to be so hard. I don’t have to prove something all the time. I don’t need to try so hard at everything. When I’m in that space of effortlessness, I create the most excellent things I’ve ever attempted.

I keep going. Two years later, I’m still sliding on the same butter that got me unstuck.

Stop trying so hard.

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