Today I heard the saying “Trying is lying!"
It made me reflect back to earlier this year when I was lying in my hospital bed with two broken legs, a broken hip and a broken pelvis, injuries I had sustained in a motorcycle accident. After the surgeons had put my body back together, I was moved to a rehabilitation hospital, where I spent the next 4 ½ months learning how to walk again. This was an amazing facility designed to assist patients (many worse off than me), in adjusting to their new limitations. The goal was to assist us in finding strategies that were designed to help us continue to live a life worth living, despite these challenges.
Since I had sustained extensive orthopedic injuries, I required intensive physiotherapy.
Each morning, patients were expected to get dressed and wear their street clothes to physiotherapy, even though most of them would spend the remainder of their day in bed. It was part of the psychology to help us realize that we were not “sick:" but learning how to function again and look after ourselves.
The first time I went to physio, my physiotherapist Derek, asked me to move my leg. Now if you know me, (or are coached by me) you will know that a common theme I espouse is that of “I can’t}". “I can’t" and its cousin “I give up!" are two phrases that are not allowed in my vocabulary, and if I have any influence over you, it’s not allowed in yours’ either…smile!.
I looked down at my leg and counted myself lucky as I looked around the room at the other patients. They all seemed to be using a mixture of medieval looking contraptions that contorted their bodies in a way that I was sure was designed to increase pain and agony. I just had to move my leg.
I told my leg to move in the direction that Derek had just asked but it stayed put. “Wait a minute", I said to myself and I tried again, but it just wouldn’t move. I tried concentrating harder, and even spoke the words aloud, but it still wouldn’t change position. Frustrated now, I glared at this appendage that was betraying me, and found myself alternating between cajoling and cussing- all internal conversations of course. No amount of asking was making my leg budge! Derek my physiotherapist came by and with his hands on his hips and a smirk on his face said “come on Frankie, MOVE IT!" “You can do it!" Visibly upset now with tears of anger and discouragement streaming down my face, I cried out, “I‘m trying", CAN’T YOU SEE THAT? “Well actually no, I can’t" he said gently, “because I don’t see your leg moving. "
It was then that I had an epiphany, Trying is not good enough. Trying is actually NOT Doing! It is still “I can’t" or “I won’t". Another realization came to me as well, and that was I had a commitment, but it wasn’t to what I thought.
I was committed to NOT moving my leg. For whatever reason, perhaps it was fear of pain, or maybe of finding out that I may never be able to move it, I just didn’t want to do it. I am sure the “why" of it matter doesn’t matter as much as asking the Powerful Question, “So what are you going to do about it?"
When I came to terms with that revelation, I knew I had a decision to make right then and there. Either I could continue to pretend to “try" and not move my leg, or I could be a Doer.
We have already established that I am not a quitter, I don’t believe in I can’t and I knew I hadn’t survived the night of my accident to fail in my recovery, so there was only one option left, and that was to DO!! But what about that commitment, what was I to do with that?
That commitment was NOT serving me. I knew that, because I WANTED to walk again and making my leg to move, was the first step to that goal. So I took a deep breath, told myself one more time “you can do it" and looked down at my leg and said “move damn it".
Well son of a gun, didn’t it just move a couple of inches! I was ecstatic!
Now to be honest, it didn’t move far, but it did move. This was enough to prove to me it could be done.
Not only did I know that my leg was going to work again, I also knew what a powerful being lived inside me! This is not only true of me, but it is also true of you!
Each of us has the power to overcome the things we are committed to whether it be fear of flying or poor body image. No matter how long you have been living you’re your commitment, you can change the terms anytime you want.
I invite you to look inside at some of the commitments that have not been serving you, and see if you are ready to change your perspective on any of them.
Now that you understand the difference between trying and doing, literally in the blink of an eye, you will be able to recognize your commitments and know how to change them. Just imagine the freedom of being able to DO anything you want.
The next time you hear yourself say I am trying, remember, to tell yourself you are lying!
If you want to stay committed to something then commit to being the best you can be! Thomas Merton said, “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little. "
An exercise to bring this point home is to sit in a chair and drop a pencil on the floor. Now then I want you to TRY to pick the pencil up. Did you pick the pencil up? You Did? Well then put it back because you weren‘t trying. Try again. Now I want you to TRY to pick the pencil up. Did you pick it up? NO? Then you weren’t trying. You see you can either be committed to picking the pencil up and do, or be committed to leaving the pencil on the floor and not do, but you can’t TRY to pick the pencil up!
Frankie Picasso, CPC LMT , is an Executive Business and Vision Coach and a Motivational Speaker, who loves to help people find their passion, path and purpose in Life. She has worked with both public and private sector organizations in the area of organizational wellness, alternative dispute resolution, sales and marketing, customer service and quality planning. The name of her company is Conversation with My Shoes and to find out more about her coaching, her speaking engagements , and her community involvement, please visit her website at http://www.conversationwithmyshoes.com