“I’m trying this new diet and…”
I hear this all the time. Even more so here in Boulder, the city where world-class athletes mingle with the common folk and an outsider would never be able to tell which is which.
When I overheard this person briefly mention they were trying a new diet, it reminded me of the experiments I’ve done in fitness and nutrition. What I realized was this:
You will almost never get the results you want from “trying,” but you will from steadfast commitment.
Trying isn’t “bad.” In fact, if you want solely to experiment with experiencing things for yourself, trying is a great way to do this quickly and easily.
But that’s the thing that people don’t always realize. “Trying” doesn’t actually reflect the results you can get with a full commitment.
In terms of dieting, certain diets, if you try them for a week, you can lose five pounds. But you’ll gain it back when you stop. It’s only after the second week of trudging through low energy levels because your body is fighting its desire to go into fat-burning survival mode that you actually begin burning fat and not just cut water weight. And if you’ve ever done one of these ketogenic diets with intense cardio, you know it’s a full-on commitment and not something you just “try.”
“Trying” also extends into relationships. I see and hear women in relationships that it’s obvious they’re “trying on”…for three years. Or they’re with someone they know doesn’t (and probably won’t) fill their hearts as deeply with love as they know it could be…so they keep “trying.” Or they allow their lives to be run by people who make them feel bad, or insecure, or unloved, so they “try” new ways of communicating in the hopes they or their situation will change. Or they “try” certain moods and feelings and ways of being that feel good in the moment, but not in the long-term.
There’s a saying that “the map is not the territory.” Trying can give you a taste of what the map looks like, but you should never confuse it for the territory of deep and full commitment.
If you want to make trying useful for your personal growth, keep in mind that you are only getting a small taste of what it means to commit…with your work, relationships, loving well, living more fully in your feminine, etc. If you want to “try” a new diet, or “try” something from a new book you just read, or “try” a new kind of yoga, etc, do so in the context of it leading into a deeper commitment.
If you’ve decided that learning be another way would be the best thing you can do to live from your fullest expression, look into it, then “try” some things out, then use your experiences to choose a direction of commitment. Then commit. Fully.
The Antidote to “Trying”
The antidote to trying – the antidote to the trap of believing you’re making progress without steadfast commitment – is a deep and full commitment with your entire being.
If you look around at the women you know, it’s easy to see how they fit into two groups: those who are “trying” hard, and those who are committed to their personal growth as women.
Those who are “trying” are looking for quick fixes, trendy ideas, and fads. But the real challenge is when they believe the exceptional results that others get are the norm or are easy. Surely, at the very least, women who do this won’t achieve consistent results.
But when you commit to self-mastery and personal growth and living as your fullest and deepest expression of Love, you will have been committed for a longer period of time, you will have produced change that you and/or others can see, and you will have also “tried” a lot. Your knowledge of yourself and others will come from your own experiences, not how you “think” or “feel” things work based on something from last week’s magazine or a blog post (including this one) or this thing you tried one day way back when. And you certainly won’t confuse your trying with your commitment.
“Trying” can be part of a steadfast commitment, but only when you have first chosen and declared your commitment. If you want to fully commit to your personal growth, these are the three core steps I’ve found over the years to work best. Don’t take my word for it, though. Try it out (as a part of your larger commitment) and find what works for you.
- 1) Find your style of personal growth: Which experts, messages, and practices resonate most with you? Do you prefer more tangible and “proven” ways of self-analysis, like Myers-Briggs? Or do you prefer a more intuitive way of self-analysis, like with the Enneagram? Do you find it easier to think through changes, or feel through them? Do you learn best by reading? Or listening? Or experiencing?
- 2) Try some things out that fall in line with your style: Get a feel for which experts and methods really do work best for you. Which ones come easily to you? Which ones feel great to do and set you on the path of the results you’re looking for?
- 3) Commit to the path: Once you’ve found your style and methods, practice them regularly, no less than daily. Do this until you’ve achieved your desired way of being. Decide you’re going to commit to it for a week, then a month, then a year. Once you have, decide if it’s important that you set specific new goals (in fitness, for example), or if it’s more important that you continue the practice of maintaining this way of being (peaceful, calm, loving, etc).
Choosing to commit isn’t hard, but holding the commitment can be. What I’ve found is that when you’re most in alignment with your deepest and truest nature, your commitments will come from a place of ease and power rather than challenge and difficulty.
You can do it. I see profound changes happening every day with women. And the common thread with all of them is their commitment to live as the deepest and fullest expressions of who they are.
Image Credit: nelomijangos