Posted by Lisa Stevens on
Have you ever felt like you were trying to do something...like trying really hard? And someone comes along and says "Just try harder". I mean, do they even realize how hard you were trying in the first place? Am I even capable of pushing myself to try any harder?
I suppose it really comes down to what exactly we are talking about. Because trying harder can be a valid encouragement...but so often I find it is not used as encouragement but as disappointment on the other persons behalf.
Sometimes, trying harder is just not possible....or no matter how I try, it really will make no difference. Here is an example: I am 5'2" tall....if I am "trying" to reach something on a shelf and I cannot...no amount of stretching will help me reach, no amount of trying is going to make my legs grow taller or my arms to lengthen....so someone saying "Just try harder", is them not understanding the situation...or not caring how that statement will feel to me...who is already trying the hardest I can...but also knowing that no amount of trying will, in essence, make any difference. Now, in that situation, if the person said "Here is a chair or a ladder, use these tools to try harder..." that makes sense, because a chair, a ladder or even a boost up WILL in fact help me reach what I am trying to.
Obviously I am not talking here about something as simple as reaching for something....but I hope everyone can take that analogy and move it to other situations. For instance, being happy....can I really just try harder and expect that to work? Can I try harder to be more organized? Will that work? What about trying harder to not care about what people think? Or the opposite may possibly be true as well....is it easy/possible to just try harder to care for someone?
I think, for sure, we can all agree that with many of these situations, there are opportunities to grow and learn new skills....but rarely does it have to do with "trying harder"....unless you are trying harder with new tools to get there.
Next time someone is sharing their situation, remember that unless you care enough to be part of the solution (helping with more than "Just try harder"), then maybe keep your false encouragement to yourself.
After I finished this blog up (or so I thought), I got thinking about it...and it is not always someone else telling us to try harder....sometimes it is ourselves telling us all we gotta do is try harder. Do we think this will work any better? hahahaha So, keep in mind, that without new skills and tools, there are any number of issues that cannot be resolved by just trying harder, even if we so desperately want them to.
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