When You Have Tried Everything

Help! I have tried everything!

I was speaking with someone who I’ll call Steve this week about his marriage. He told me has tried everything to change his marriage.  He said, “I’ve been in therapy for years, I’ve read hundreds of self-help books, I have watched videos on You Tube, read blogs, everything. Nothing seems to be working.  He asked me, “Why am I not happy yet? Why isn’t my marriage getting better?I have tried everything.”

Here is the answer:

When we start to look for answers in the self -help realm, we consume all the information we can find. We start talking about, looking things up, seeking answers. We want a quick fix and there are so many of them available to us. So when we see things like “10 steps to fix your marriage”, “5 ways to know if it is over”, “3 ways to find love today” we read as much as we can, thinking we are being proactive. We are learning, and we are getting more information but it is not creating the change we hope to see.

Therapy can often have the same effect. Maybe you go the therapist’s office each week and you talk. You feel a little bit better, and there are some productive things that happen, but for the most part , you’re telling your story over and over. You keep that story active in your present experience and relive that pain each time. Even when it was something from years and years ago. Again, you are discovering some things, and getting some more knowledge, but it isn’t being applied.

Think of it this way.  Let’s say I want to lose weight. I start looking for information about weight loss and find books, articles, videos, and checklists, and I start reading them. When I am done reading all the stuff I have found, I am  going to know a little more about weight loss than I did. I’m going to be a little bit smarter and more informed, but in the end, I am not going to be 10 pounds lighter until I start really incorporating what  I learned into my life.

Nothing happens until you incorporate it into your life. Simply reading it, seeing it, hearing it, knowing it, does not change it. When I am working with my coaching clients, they learn a lot of new tools that help create and sustain emotionally healthy, connected relationships. Just sharing those tools with them does not change their marriage. Giving them the information doesn’t transform their relationship. They have to start incorporating those tools into their lives and their relationships. They have to use them to create new habits and new ways of being. Once they do this, that’s when things start to change.

So if you feel like you’ve tried everything and it’s still not working for you, it’s time to start applying what it is that you’re learning.