Dr. Robert Kornfeld

     We all have traits, habits, issues, relationships and circumstances that we are not happy about. Right? It would be hard to believe anyone who states that they are happy with everything about themself and everything in their life. Life is a series of events, experiences and challenges that mold us and program us into the person we have become. Some good and some not so good. The not so good, we call baggage. It weighs you down. You drag it with you everywhere. As adults, we have the capacity and ability to make a choice. We can choose to remain victimized by our childhood sub-conscious programming and nothing changes, nothing improves. We remain stuck and frustrated and unhappy. Or, we can decide that we want to change something about ourselves, our habits, our circumstances and then put a plan in motion to make that happen. Is this resonating with you? Have you ever tried to change something you weren’t happy about?

     I have been a doctor for nearly 40 years. My specialty is podiatric medicine and surgery but many years ago I sub-specialized my practice to focus on chronic foot and ankle pain. Helping those patients who did not heal successfully in spite of many attempts with a traditional medical approach. Needless to say, this population is a very irritated and hyper-sensitive one. They grow to become victimized by their pain. They have to change their lifestyle to accommodate to the pain. They have to give things up and adopt new habits. They feel controlled by their pain.

     Working with this population of patients has taught me many things, not only about what medical approach to take, but also what approach to take to motivate them to change. Pain is not just a physical entity. It becomes an emotional one as well. It wreaks havoc on vitality and self-esteem. Because of my own personal journey and my years in medical practice, I have spent a lot of time getting to know my patients. I not only treat them; I talk to them. I listen to them. In all of these years, I’ve honed my medical skills, but also became a coach to many of my patients as I saw them struggling with lots of issues in their lives. Pain (whether physical or emotional) has a way of opening people up to anyone who will listen and I listen intently and carefully. That lead me to become a life coach.

     For many years, it was so common for me to make recommendations to my patients in terms of things they themselves could change that would be of great benefit to my medical protocol, just to hear them say, “I’ll try”. And herein lies the problem. “I’ll try”. I used to believe it meant they would put effort forth. But I understand it to mean something totally different now.

     What does it mean to “try”? Merriam-Webster defines the word try in the following way: as a verb: to make an attempt – as a noun: an experimental trial. If someone is dedicated to accomplishing change, is success imminent if we “make an attempt” or “perform an experiment”? I say unequivocally NO!! To try means to leave FAILURE AS AN OPTION! It is, in truth, a half-assed way to go about change. Failure may be a temporary outcome, but it should NOT be an option. Any time you say “I’ll try”, what you are, in fact, saying is “I don’t think I can be successful”. If failure is an option, you likely won’t succeed because you won’t hold yourself accountable if at first you don’t succeed. You’ll likely give up and say, “Well at least I tried”. We only take this approach when we don’t think we have what it takes to create change. Either we don’t trust ourselves to fully commit or we don’t believe in ourselves and our ability to change. And guess what? That, in and of itself, is a very BIG reason to want to change!!

     In my experience as a coach, I have found it extremely important to help my clients remove the word “try” from their vocabulary. You can’t try to do something – if you are 100% committed to success, then you just have to DO IT!!! It may take many attempts, it may require a change of direction or plan along the way, but if you just do it, you will succeed. Case in point: it took Thomas Edison over 400 attempts to create the electric light bulb. But he eventually succeeded. If he decided, the first time around, to “try” to invent the light bulb, he would have given up after the first failure. For him, failure was not an option. He made a 100% commitment to do it. And he did it!

    It is no different working on yourself or your circumstances. When you fully commit to doing it instead of trying to do it, you will likely be successful and your life will change for the better. We all have a story that we tell ourselves. It is the same story we tell others in words or actions, whether we realize it or not. The more you repeat the story, the more deeply entrenched it becomes. Do you want to change your story? Do you want to be happier, healthier, more successful, feel more love, or just plain like yourself? Then stop trying. You may need a good coach to get there, but YOU are the one that has to just DO IT!!!!

Dr. Robert Kornfeld is a life coach and holistic podiatrist based in NYC and Long Island. He is the Founder of Change Your Story Coaching (www.changeyourstorycoaching.com) and assists people on their journey to making their dream life happen. Sign up for his email list and get all of his timely and informative articles in your inbox. Are you ready to change your story? Change your life? Contact him today. For coaching, he can be contacted at [email protected]. He also practices functional medicine for chronic foot and ankle pain at The Chronic Foot Pain Center in NYC and Port Washington, L.I. (www.drrobertkornfeld.com). For foot and ankle medical problems, he can be contacted at [email protected].