How many times in life do we feel or say, “I’ve tried everything”?
Have we though? Or is this the voice of our internal dialogue once again telling us things that are not true? The following is a story from a fitness program I work with, but has great application in any area of life including recovery, business, marriage, relationships, schooling…
Motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins once told the story of a man at a seminar who was extremely frustrated with his lack of results in marketing his company. The befuddled businessman said that he had tried everything but nothing worked. Here is the exchange that went on between the two of them:
Robbins: “You’ve tried EVERYTHING???”
Attendee: “Yes, I’ve tried absolutely everything!”
Robbins: “Tell me the last HUNDRED things you tried,”
Attendee: ” I haven’t tried a hundred things.”
Robbins: “OK, then just tell me the last FIFTY things you tried.”
Attendee: “I haven’t tried fifty things.”
Robbins: “Alright then tell me the last DOZEN things you tried.”
Attendee: (getting somewhat embarrassed) “Well, I haven’t tried a dozen things.”
Robbins: “I thought you said you tried EVERYTHING! So tell me then, how many things have you tried?”
Attendee: (Shrinking back into his seat), “Two or three.”
Obviously the man got the message loud and clear (Hopefully you did too).
Why do we fall for this? Is our subconscious panicking? Are we unknowingly looking for an excuse to quit or rationalize failure? Are we lazy? Are we simply lost in self-deception?
I have fallen into this trap. For this very reason, I seek out outside voices, both written and spoken, to challenge my inaccurate internal dialogue.