Perhaps your boss has given you a project to do and you just can't seem to complete it to her satisfaction? Or you're a blogger and your posts don't seem to resonate with your audience? Maybe you're trying to make a curry dish that your partner likes but no matter how many recipes you try, they never have the right flavor?
Trying and trying and trying can sometimes feel like…bashing your head against the proverbial wall. Eventually you just end up with a headache and a bruise.
Sometimes the answer is try and try again. But more often than not, the answer is to stop doing it someone else's way and START DOING IT YOUR WAY.
Let me give you an example: I've always been a good essay writer, getting straight A's throughout school. Yet I never did it "the right way." Teachers told me that I needed to create an outline first. I needed to craft a thesis, at least 3 ideas for paragraphs, then the conclusion. Well, outlines don't usually work for me. I have always written by just sitting down and writing. I just let the words flow. In school, this meant I took less time to write than most other students and still did well. Now, I'm not telling you this to brag. I'm telling you because I wrote essays MY WAY and it worked. If I had tried to do it the teachers' way, I would have gotten frustrated, spent twice the amount of time writing, and still ended up just doing it my way in the end.
Here's another example. Jordana Jaffe is an entrepreneur who hates networking. (I get that; so do I!) A big ah-ha moment came for her when she decided to stop forcing herself to go to these events, and to find a way to network that worked for her. So she created a super active and engaging Facebook group for women who wanted to network while staying home in their pajamas. She did it her way, and it worked.
So what's your way?
When you spend so much time following someone else's directions or watching to see how others accomplish a task, you might find it difficult to even know what your way is anymore. It can feel overwhelming to wade through all the various possibilities to find what is JUST RIGHT FOR YOU. So here are three things you can do that will help you get back to doing things your way:
- Look to your childhood for clues. What did you LOVE doing as a child? What were you really good at? Write down a list of what you loved and what you were good at, and see if you can apply those to what you're working on now. Remember that you don't have to force your adult self into a mold that isn't in alignment with who you are.
- Ask for guidance from your subconscious. Your subconscious is much more helpful than you may give it credit for. Say something along the lines of, "I'd like to ask my subconscious to help me understand how I can accomplish X in a way that feels fluid, easy, and in alignment with my greatest good; in other words, how can I do this MY WAY?" Then take a long walk, meditate, or listen to a guided meditation like this one.
- Take a break. While we all know we need to distance ourselves sometimes in order to solve a problem, it can be difficult to mentally step away. So take a break and do something that gets you out of your own head and is FUN. Adding more fun into your day gets your brain working in new and exciting ways.
Have a story of a time when you stopped doing things according to someone else's rules and started following your own guidance? Share it in the comments below.