10/09/2014 05:56 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

Stuck? Don't 'Try Harder'...Do This Instead

What's worse than feeling stuck in life and you aren't sure where to turn?

Having someone tell you to "try harder".

I cringe every time I hear those words. For some reason it sends the message that you just aren't doing enough to make it (whatever it seems to be at the moment) happen. It also suggests that if you are giving your all, it just isn't good enough.

I've never been the type of person that believes in 'trying harder' or pushing through the pain. I'm not going to tell anyone to power through the tough stuff and to work harder to make life great.


Because honestly, it's not helpful and I don't believe your dreams & desires come true with blood, sweat, and tears (at least it doesn't have to be that way). And unlike sport coaches or the hard and fast hustlers of the world, when things get tough, I'm not going to tell you to simply "try harder".

I actually suggest the opposite.

Instead of pushing and fighting for what to do next, what if you were able to take a step back and simply allow the next step to come to you? What if you could relax, regroup, and trust that you don't have to fight, claw, and force the answers to come. What if right here, right now, you didn't have to do anything?

What if they could simply flow?

It's not the most conventional suggestion for making things happen, I know. And it might go against everything you have ever been taught.

In school we are taught that if our grades aren't high enough or if we aren't doing well enough in a particular area, then we must try harder. But what happens when you are giving your all and you still feel stuck? What then?

Trying too hard pushes the thing you want to achieve, further away. By forcing it and trying desperately to make it work, you cut off the flow of inspiration and energy. You allow frustration to settle in and when that happens, the fight gets harder.

Take writer's block for instance. For those of you who have ever experienced the Achilles heal of writing, you know the more you try to force your words to flow, the harder it gets. But, when you are able to step away, change your focus, get some fresh air, and then come back to it, it seems as if the clouds part and the heavenly writing angels sing. Your thoughts turn into beautiful words that when weaved together create a tapestry of creative-awesomeness.

I believe the sweet spot for living an amazing life is in your inspiration.

The answer lies in letting go of the reins and creating the space for your next step to appear.

Not sure how to do that?

Instead of trying harder, try this instead...

• Change your focus to something else.
• Sing, dance, or listen to music.
• Read a good book, go for a run, or do some yoga.
• Meditate, have coffee with your friends, or write in your journal.
• Laugh, smile, or do something nice for someone else.
• Take a hot shower, get a massage, or go for a walk.
• Enjoy some time in nature, breathe deeply, and remember that everything is working out for you even if in that moment it doesn't feel like it.
• Enjoy the journey. It's so easy to get caught up in the decisions, steps, and plans we have in life, but in the grand scheme of things, the juice is in the journey. Enjoy it!

So the next time you find yourself stuck and unsure of what to do next, simply stop and breathe. Instead of trying harder, let go of the need to do anything for a bit and watch as the next step almost magically appears. I promise it always does.