The Cycles (Part Four)
“Nine” Part Series
The Next Cycle: The Try-Hard Cycle
Now let’s take a look at “The Try-Hard Cycle.” This next cycle is where many try-hard people have learned to function. They look so good on the outside because they have learned how to try really hard through self-effort.
Take John for example, the youth pastor at a local church. On the outside, he appeared to be the ultimate youth leader to parents and teens alike. He “loved the Lord,” he did daily devotions with his wife, was available to the youth at a moment’s notice, was a musician and a worshiper, loved to have fun, and he was a desired speaker at youth events. He looked really good! He was trying really hard. Unfortunately, he was motivated by his own insecurity to be accepted by others. He struggled with pornography, and at times would drink to drunkenness. Sadly, John looked real good on the outside and received positive comments from church leaders and parents, but all the accolades could not help him. All the positive comments went into his mind where he would tell himself, “If they really knew me, they would never say such positive comments about me. They would fire me as the youth pastor!”
Unfortunately, self-effort fails as an adequate source of inner peace and value and is no better than negative self-effort at removing shame. The goal is not to move from the Give-Up Cycle to The Try-Hard Cycle. Trying harder is not the way to break out of the Give-Up Cycle. We will discuss how to break out of both The Give-Up Cycle and The Try-Hard Cycle in our next illustration.
Notice what flows out of their mind and has the immediate appearance of good. When a person responds differently to the shaming messages that have barraged the shame grid and the mind, positive behaviors can now burst on the scene. Hurray! Finally, good and positive behaviors are happening! But, remember, it is possible to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons.
Let’s break this down. You appear to have rejected the shaming messages that have penetrated your mind. You quickly leave the prosecutor position to become the defense attorney, determined to prove your innocence. But rejecting these messages and defending yourself against them shows that the shame messages have had their effect. Your response may be different but the shaming wound has penetrated your thoughts and is simply producing positive behaviors for all the wrong reasons.
You make a serious decision. You are really tired of feeling bad, so you come to a different conclusion. You decide that your performance can prove that you are okay. The situation is now hopeful, and you are going to establish, once and for all, that you are a capable, determined, and powerful person. So you try harder, believing this will work!
Look for The Cycles (Part Five) post tomorrow.