After providing over 15,000 hours in session and speaking, I recognize that… “You’re much stronger and more empowered than you think you are…”
When TRYING is Just an Excuse
Discover spiritual and emotional triggers that are holding you back.
I know you’re trying. But are you really? Do you repeat the phrase when in fact it’s become an excuse? Maybe you don’t even know that you have a trigger? Or that you repeatedly use the phrase. Self sabotaging yourself with negative habits though unconscious triggers is so frustrating. To make a change use a positive trigger.
Learn how to undo, “I’m trying” and replace it with empowering action.
We can’t change what we don’t see and sometimes we are crippling ourselves with triggers that take us in the opposite way.
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Episode 048 of True Connections with Weston Jolly
Transcription: When Trying is Just An Excuse
All the time I hear the same words… again and again… I’m trying. Hey, listen it would be unfair for me not to include myself here. I’ve said these words lots of times too, you know, in this kind of voice; I’m trying (defensively) or I’m trying (anger) or maybe in tears; I’m trying (pleading) Truth is trying isn’t enough.
If you’re looking to make a change trying for the sake of trying isn’t enough. This is what I’m talking about… I’m trying to go to the gym but I just can’t seem to make it. I’m keep trying to get a new job but I haven’t written my resume⍘ Or I’m trying to change my diet but I keep eating things that aren’t good for me. I’m trying to write a book, meet new people, date, save regularly or get more clients. We’ve all said things like this.
Confronting the reality that trying by itself isn’t enough it’s the same as, I know… I KNOW! If you hear the phrase I’m trying it’s almost always used as an excuse. There are times of exception and I will talk about this too so you know the difference. But trying for the sake of trying can be a never ending excuse.
Today, I want to talk about phrases like I’m trying, and I welcome you to see them as triggers to your not doing something that you actually want to do. Ultimately, I want you to spot any such triggers so you can actually move forward as you desire. Specifically, not trying for trying sake but empowering yourself.
Whenever you hear the words I’m trying…
I want there to be a bell that goes off in your head. A bell like this I want you to really to get this and I’m totally serious about you hearing the bell every time you hear the phrase; I’m trying. Okay, here we go.
Let’s talk about weight for a minute. I know a lot of people who really struggle with their weight. Let’s say that weight loss was as simple as; eating right, exercising and visualization your new body. I don’t know many people that don’t know these elementary things to do to change their weight. And if you’re in that category, you may be frustrated and internally saying to yourself, I already know this!
Hey, I thought that bell in your head was supposed to go off only when you hear me or yourself say; I’m trying. Well, I lied. I want the bell to go off every time you hear an excuse to something that you really want to change. Saying, I know in this context is just just like saying I’m trying . I already told you there are exceptions to this but like I’ve said before I’ll deal with those in a minute. In this moment, we’re looking to call out any triggers, thus the association of the bell sound every time you hear; I’m trying or any other kind of excuse. Do you get it? Good, let’s proceed.
Let’s stop and eat some pizza.
Americans eat 100 acres of pizza every day. And 94% of us eat Pizza regularly. So how does this affect your eating habits? I know for me, I’m trying not to eat so much pizza. Oops, I meant to say I’m not eating pizza any more. I don’t. It’s done.
Naw, this isn’t true but I have changed the kind of pizza I eat. You might not even recognize them as pizza. But then again maybe you would because we make our pizzas on round organic pizza wraps and then we spread our homemade oil-free organic pizza sauce, and some lightly braised mushrooms, green and red peppers. Then we add lightly steamed asparagus, diced raw onion and when it comes out I put avocado on top. Our eight inch mini-pizzas are put in a convection oven instead of using a broiler. I especially like to put crushed red pepper and a little Himalayan sea salt on top as my final toppings.
If you’re suddenly finding yourself hungry then you’ve done exactly what I expected you to do. You see all I did was set use some emotionally based words to describe something that might trigger you. Your thinking about food that usually comes with a desire to eat.
The word trigger is important.
So let me define it. A trigger is when you respond to something physically and emotionally. Many people don’t know this, but you can definitely have spiritual triggers too.
So, what exactly is a trigger? Well, let’s define a trigger as something that starts an action. Imagine a whole bunch of dominoes (See video) and something is said, heard, smelled or felt that pushes that first domino over and then there’s a whole bunch of dominoes that start falling after the first “trigger” domino was pushed. Triggers are exciting but what do they have to do with our topic that I’m trying?
I’m glad you’ve asked. I’m trying… is often used as an excuse and in lots of cases it’s used as a defensive or posturing trigger to prevent real change. For example, if I’m teaching a class and I’ve assigned homework and a student doesn’t hand in their homework but says, they’re trying, this may or may not be true. Because there’s a space for doubt, as to what was really attempted and what wasn’t, I’m trying can get locked in as a trigger.
In essence, I’m trying becomes an excuse for not having done anything. Or maybe half-hearted trying.
I’ll really try is translated as no action…
Now’s the time to get this part of the way. Really trying is putting effort into the change. Measured effort. If someone is trying to do their homework, as a teacher, we are going to look for any efforts that a student is making. Writing and erasing shows some kind of work. Extra pages whereby the student is working making written attempts to construct a solution to the problem. An incomplete homework page that’s perfectly clean may demonstrate total lack of effort.
Let me talk about weight loss again, as an example. Someone who already knows that they have to eat differently, exercise and visualize may not be trying at all. I’m not a judge, and I really don’t want to be anyway, but let’s be truthful. I want you to honor that any language like I’m trying may be trigger for not really. If you’re going to make a change it has to be done with conscious effort.
I’d prefer you put your focus on your commitment to making the change.
If you’re thinking I’m talking about the three ways to decrease your weight, I’d prefer you put your focus on your commitment to making the change. Any change. We have to loose the phrase I’m trying from our vocabulary. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that we’ve really committed ourselves by saying that we’re tying when in fact we’re not.
The phrase I’m trying is a trigger that I want you to recognize. That’s why you keep hearing that bell. I want you to recognize that phrase in this moment and forever more. Let’s create a derivative of the phrase, I’m going to try . Nope, that’s not any better than I’m trying .
I tell everyone this, if you and I are going to go to Las Vegas for a trip we’re either going or we’re not. I’ll try and come isn’t a real answer. There’s no energy of commitment. If you say, I’m all in, followed by, what weekend are we going? This is a much different kind of energy. This makes sense doesn’t?
Let’s pretend you and I are high school students taking a class together. The teacher announces at the end of the period that we all have a big examination on Friday. The bell rings and you and I are walking down the hall and you ask me, “Are you going to study for the biology test?” I respond, “I’ll try but I’ve got work and other homework to get done too.”
All of this is, I’m going to try, is a trigger or a code for; not really, no, or probably not.
It doesn’t matter what you’re wanting to accomplish, trying in this kind of energy will never work. This is why we want to call out the trigger, I’m trying , I’m going to try , hopefully , when I have time , sometime , etc.
Let’s talk more about how all this trigger stuff works. My dad is an alcoholic and he drank beer. Lots and lots of it. Still to this day, whenever I hear any aluminum can pop open I shudder. Not once in my upbringing did I consciously think of the sound of an aluminum beer can opening as trigger. It became an associated sound, after hearing the trigger thousands and thousands of times.
I didn’t realize I had this trigger until much much later in life when I once noticed my nerves bristle at the popping sound when I was at a picnic. At the lake, a soda can was opened and the sound felt like it was another beer being opened. Weird right? I wasn’t making the sound but I still had the reaction.
Can I share something with you? This sound, while currently not one of my favorite sounds, has been recategorized as background noise. It’s no longer the trigger that it once was. It doesn’t initiate the tripping of the first domino to start a chain reaction.
Here’s another trigger of a different kind. If I feel someone is asking me a question, with the intent to use the information against me, I’m triggered. I immediately want to know why the person is asking the question. It’s a defensive response. It comes from being asked questions by a parent who used the information against me.
In the beginning I was naive to such questions being asked of me but after numerous questions of this kind, I recognized a pattern and a trigger was created when certain questions were asked. This is especially true with teachers, other person’s of authority and also someone conducting an interview.
Do you see where I’m going with all this?
How can I be properly interviewed when if I’m hosting a defensive posturing or trigger that I’m going to get hurt by someone asking a question? Hearing the trigger, I’m going to try is something you’re going to start hearing outside this podcast. You may start to hear your own words, I’ll get to it when I can and you might become especially sensitive to others using the phrase – I’ll try . This is very desired.
Becoming aware of any self sabotaging trigger is important. Maybe I should have said this in the beginning by triggers also trigger responses. What we’re wanting to do here is to trigger or cue the right kind of responses. Clearly, I’m not triggered the way I was once when someone asks me a question. Without awareness I’m limited to reacting to questions as if they’re personal attacks and my response would be to protect myself.
The last several examples I have highlighted several undesired triggers. However, triggers can work both ways. To incorporate a positive trigger we can’t limit ourselves to trying. We have to take a desire and create a new habit and perhaps using a new trigger to accomplish the new task.
Here’s one I’m working on now.
I could say, I’m trying but I’m hoping that you getting tired of hearing that cue (laughter). The new habit I’m wanting to make is taking my own bags to the store so I’m no longer using paper or plastic bags. My problem is obvious, I’m used to taking bags out of the store -I’ve been doing that all my life. The issue is taking bags into the store when I’m conditioned to only take bags out.
This morning it happened again. I went to the store to buy some fruit. I forgot to take any cloth bag with me, and again for the zillionth time, I didn’t remember anything until I am standing at the check out stand and the grocer says; “Plastic or paper?” Well, in terms of my time line to make a change you’d think that I’ve never tried to remember to take bags into the store before.
Since we’re being totally candid here, I’ve been trying for about three months to take cloth bags into the store and I’ve only accomplished it once or twice. Pretty embarrassing I think for all that supposed effort. And I could say I’m trying and I am but the point is my desired change of habit isn’t working. Trying or not I have to do something different.
I’m trying is an excuse and I don’t yet have any change in my behavior.
What if I used a different trigger before going into the store?
What do you think I could use as a trigger to remind myself to take bags into the store? Let me tell you what I have tried. I’ve placed bags by the door as I exit the house. I’ve placed bags in the car. I’ve placed bags on the front seat and still I seem to be oblivious to take the bags inside.
Back to you, what things do you think I could do to trigger my new desired behavior? Got any ideas? Well, I’d love to hear them. I’m serous. You write me if you have some great ideas for a new trigger to take bags into the store.
I did come across something that I really liked and I want to share it. Oftentimes, I write down a grocery list using my phone so I don’t forget the things I’m supposed to purchase. What if I put a picture of one of my recyclable bags as an image on the top of my grocery list? This would allow me to see the bag and to visually cue myself to take the bags into the store. I think it’s going to work.
This morning my list was so short, I only needed to get three items so I didn’t use my IPhone grocery list and again I forget to take the bags. I’m serious, if you have some ideas how to trigger me into taking bags into the store contact me! This way we can all make the change to stop using paper and plastic bags. Doesn’t this sound good to you?
Let’s dig a little deeper.
What if you discover that you have an emotional trigger to someone yelling. It may be based upon the idea that one of your parents yelled or even screamed while you grew up. Perhaps you have a trigger here? Let’s see. Are you ready for a little experiment?
I’m so FREAKING mad that it’s raining today! I’m all dressed up, I don’t have an umbrella, I took time to fix my hair and now I’m going to look like crap. I washed the car yesterday and now it too is going to get dirty and I’m just so tired of all this RAIN!
How’d you do? I was yelling right? Anything trigger in you? In the example, perhaps you wanted to try and make me feel better? Maybe you wanted to tell me how wonderful the rain is. How the rain is needed. Most importantly, is discovering hoe you felt as I yelled.
Let’s try another one.
“I’m so made at you! You told me that you were going to mail out our rent check and you didn’t. How can I count on you if you said you’re going to do something and now you didn’t do it. Do I have to do everything myself? We’re going to be late and you know our landlord he’s going to charge us a late fee and that’s another $100 that we could have used on other things. I’m just so mad at you for not handing this stupid little thing. It really feels like you don’t care.”
How are you doing now? Any difference between the first example of me yelling abstracting at the rain versus yelling at you? Did any triggers come to the surface? If so, this is really a good thing. We can’t make a change standing at the check out stand when being asked, “Do you want paper or plastic?” We have to make a change before the triggered moment.
This is exactly what I mean when we catch ourselves saying, I’m trying . This method isn’t going to work. Discovering your trigger and making a new trigger will make that change. Putting a picture of a recycled bag on my grocery list is going to work, and with your ingenuity, you’re going to send me some more of your other ideas so that I institute my desired change.
In the beginning, I mentioned you can have spiritual triggers too.
Yes, they’re just as easy to see if you’re open to the process. For example, I once sat in a dry steam sauna and within three minutes of sitting in the steam I stormed out the door as if I’d been in there for hours trapped. Being in a tight space, filled with steam (which kind of looks like smoke) triggered a sensation of me being burnt in a past life.
When I first experienced it, I couldn’t figure out the problem. I grew up in Arizona, triple digit heat, so sweating profusely wasn’t anything new. Sure, humidity that was a different variable but with some serious spiritual digging did I find that I was still hosting a old trigger from a previous life experience. It was cool, odd, and at the same time in needed to wonderful undone. I could tell that I’m trying but that will never work.
In conclusion, using phrases like; I’m trying, I’ll get to it when I can or even, Can’t you see I’m trying? these are all excuses for something that’s not working. If we’re going to make a change we need to be definite. Yes, there’s going to be effort, but the difference is measured ultimately in the change. Regardless of a trigger coming from an emotion, physical or even spiritual places they can be changed by using new triggers.
Becoming aware of your triggers will go a long way to releasing you into a state of balance. Creating from this place is much more effective than fruitless attempts at trying. Give it a whirl. Put your positive triggers into action and see what kinds of changes that you start making.
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