Are You Unknowingly Trying to Force Success (And Burning Out in the Process)?

Have you been trying really hard to succeed in finding and following your passion—in making your dreams a reality?

How’s that working for you?

Are you tired, frustrated, and ready to give up?

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a struggle. The bad news is that you might do it anyway, because you believe it is the only way.

Progress will happen at whatever speed it happens. When you try to push, you struggle, you suffer, and it slows everything down.

When you allow things to take their time, you get into the flow, and you enjoy the present moment.

There is no rush.

There is no hurry.

So you might as well enjoy what’s here and now.

Why We Try to Force Success

Everyone around us puts a high value on achievement and success.

We learn from an early age that we have to do, and the more we do, the better things get, or at least so we’re told, but have you taken a look around lately?

It’s all about doing.

And it isn’t making anyone happy.

It isn’t through force that you will succeed and enjoy life, but in allowing life to unfold in the way it does, while staying present.

This doesn’t mean that you become passive a observer, it just means that you stop resisting, forcing, and struggling.

You stop suffering.

It’s the equivalent of surfing on a wave and trying to stop it from hitting the shore.

One makes sense, while the other is utter lunacy.

A Short Story

Now, don’t get me wrong. I struggle, but not as much as I used to.

When I began, I wanted so badly to succeed online. As I kept going, I discovered that relaxing and following my heart was what truly brought me joy.

When you get into the flow, things happen without effort. You’ll fall into fear just like before, but that’s okay. It’s a part of the game.

When you stop forcing, life’s good.

This means allowing life to unfold and being curious as to what comes next.

How to Stop the Madness

The best way to stop the struggle is to develop trust in yourself.

And you do that one step at a time.

This could mean trusting your intuition, instincts, or unconscious. It doesn’t matter what label you put on it, because to me they all lead to the same place.

Most things never go as planned, because they just happen. People try to resist this fact, because they want certainty, but that’s just because they haven’t yet realized that certainty is not what they want.

The sooner you can let go of certainty and just allow life to unfold, the more you will enjoy life.

It is not something in the future that will bring you happiness, but this very moment. Take a deep breath, and notice the power that is already inside you.

It is always there, and will always be there, because it is you.

You are that which is aware of the struggle, the fears, and the thoughts in your mind.

You can do anything.

You can be(come) anyone.

But it all starts here and now.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Henri,
    Now why does reading this make me feel so calm!? Perhaps because this is exactly where I am right now!? ;-)
    I just officially launched my book after 16 months of love! There is a certain [read: avalanche] of feelings that come at such a time, which I’ve addressed over the wonderful weekend that followed the launch!
    This post is a gift as are all your wonderful articles!
    Lori

  2. Just had a huge setback in my online business. Google suddenly deranked most of my sites and I lost a significant amount of traffic.

    At first I was panicking and was trying to force a solution, that got me no-where. After reading your article I now know I need to be letting the dust settle, relaxing, staying calm and figuring out a long-term solution. Thanks Henri.

  3. Freaky timing, Henri. Yesterday I was writing in my journal, clarifying my dreams for the next few years and mapping out a plan…then ten minutes later I got that usual overwhelmed feeling, wondering how in heck I was going to “get all THAT done”, it was just too much and I have boys to raise and home to take care of and elderly parents to help care for and HOW WAS I GOING TO DO THIS!!!!!!! This is a pattern with me, of overwhelming myself mentally and getting so weighed down by it all. Fortunately this time, I sat down to write again and realized I don’t have to know “how”, I don’t need to figure out how to make it all work – I just need to take one step, then another step, then another step, without imposing schedules or deadlines or requiring that it all look a certain way….as long as I can see my dreams there ahead for me, my heart and Life will get me there, and I’m deciding to just keep sailing, letting the wind carry me there as it will, which will probably be different than the way I might have chosen but will be wonderful nonetheless. It’s good to know what you want, it’s good to set an intention to make it happen, and to begin walking, and to keep going….but just like you said, we have to stop forcing, resisting, or struggling, because that is exactly where the suffering is. And happiness is right here, right now, in this moment, and nowhere else. Thank you for the article, it was a great confirmation of a wonderful truth!

    • That’s a profound realization, Kathie. And it will keep you going no matter what you do, so keep rocking (one step at a time)! ;)

  4. This was extremely timely for me also. I left my job to start my own website and have suddenly gone into I do not have the talent, I will never get this off the ground, who am I kidding. I now have the patience to keep on keeping on, thank you. You have also inspired me to post my first comment ever. So far I have just been in the background observing.

    • Hey Priska,

      I’m glad you decided to leave a comment. The beginning is the toughest part. But just like you’ve realized, you can do it, even when your mind tells you that you can’t!

    • Priska, been there, still doing that :) I want to do web development and routinely have crises of confidence just like you did: “there’s no way I can possibly compete, I’m not good enough, this is ridiculous…” Priska, you CAN. Don’t pay much attention to the panicky/discouraging thoughts; I read once that thoughts like those are a natural self-preservation reaction, an attempt to protect us from risk and the unknown…just tell them not to worry, you know you can do this and they can relax. And keep going. There’s a place for you out there that is shaped to fit you and you only, and you’ll find it!

  5. Hey Henri, what’s up man!

    I’ve been thinking about all this quite a bit lately, and my main realisation is that even though I have this urge to materialise all these good ideas and projects I have in mind for my blog/online business, I’d rather take more time to do so, but enjoy the process.

    As Gary V points out in Crush It, the most fun part of a project is that early phase when you’re working in the shadows and building something you believe in, something you know will make your life, and other people’s lives, better.

    But the part of your piece that really enlightened me is that idea that trying twice as hard will not yield twice the results. As a former high-level swimmer, this reminds me of training for butterfly: when you try too hard, you’re just trashing the water, fighting against it. Achieving success is much the same. Just like swimming butterfly, it’s about flowing, being present, and keeping the right pace. It’s more fun that way, and the results are better. Win-win :)

    • Hey Phil!

      Your swimming butterfly analogy is right on the mark. When you flow and stay in the present moment, it’s as if the things you want to materialise become preferences instead of intense have-to’s.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)