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Let’s stop trying hard

As the year winds to an end I wanted to say hello again.

One thing I’ve been thinking about this year is the difference between “trying hard” and “working hard.”

Once I heard a parent say about his kid, “She’s not trying hard enough at soccer.” At a party the kid told me, “I’m more of an indoor cat. I wish I could do choir instead of soccer.” It wasn’t that she didn’t want to work hard, it’s that she was trying (“not hard enough”) at something that wasn’t her Native Genius.

I noticed many times this year when I was relating to myself the same way this parent related to his kid. There’s the whispering voice in the back of my head saying, “If you just try harder, this will turn out OK.” I’m suggesting to myself that I’m being lazy.

On the contrary, I’m trying my ass off on something that’s not my Native Genius. This is because I feel “not enough” and the more I “try hard” the more “not enough” I feel. I’m grinding and overcompensating for feeling “not enough.” When I’m in that state, I’ve abandoned my true self — how I’m wired — my Native Genius.

“Working hard” without the “trying hard” feels different. I love helping members of a group learn from each other. I’m mindful and diligent about this. I put effort into it because I love doing it and it creates magical moments in our workshops. I’m using my Native Genius. My effort is not fueled by “not enough-ness.” It’s fueled by curiosity and my eyes lighting up. I’m “working hard,” not “trying hard.”

Here’s to being the “indoor cats” we are, with less “trying hard” to be something else. 


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