If You Do More of the Same Thing, Don't Expect Different Results

If You Do More of the Same Thing, Don't Expect Different Results

Last update: 26 January, 2017

At some point, that strategy, resource or solution that you’re applying now to that problem or difficulty helped you obtain good results. At that time, when you were lost, desolate and had almost no resources to follow, it appeared out of nowhere, you applied and it worked. So you’ve decided to use it again for this problem, but now it seems that the results are not as successful.

It is true that many problems can be solved with the same strategies that have already given you good results. Thus, in many cases, repeating the procedure that took us out of a complicated situation is a smart way to proceed.

As long as we do not do it automatically and expect it to work. As long as we know how to stop in time and seek an alternative when we observe that it does not work. So, in this article, I propose a different view in order to observe your problems. You decide if you will keep doing more of the same thing or will try different things.

“We raise the dust first and then we complain about not being able to see.”


You’re the most skilled in your problem

There is no greater expert in a problem than the very person it belongs to. Does it sounds strange to you or perhaps this is very fitting? The person who has a problem is the greatest expert in it because they are usually the ones who have experienced this difficulty or discomfort the longest. Even the person has sometimes inadvertently maintained the situation through their attempts with ineffective solutions, with the purpose of making the unpleasant experience or results disappear sooner.

You are the greatest expert of your problem, the person who knows most about it, even though perhaps not you have not realized it.


Sometimes, we are “trapped” in attempts from past solutions that may have been effective, but in other situations, even though we think they are similar, are not as successful. The point is that we do not realize it and we get stuck there.

We do it by systematically repeating what we believe may be effective, but it is useless to solve the problem in its current form. We are immersed in a vicious circle difficult to break.

I suggest you observe the problem as if you were in a relationship with it. When there are difficulties or arguments what do you usually do to get different results? Keep acting the same way or try to reach an agreement or negotiation with your partner? Normally, the choice is final. What does this agreement usually imply? A change… Make an agreement with your problem!

Thus, if you stop for a moment and reflect on what happens, you will be able to identify what you’ve been trying for so long and have yet to solve anything. Therefore, instead of keeping it, you can modify or discard it.

Do something different and experiment

Try relating to your problem. I mean observing and analyzing how you act. You will find yourself on many occasions trapped in the same hole generated by always doing the same thing. For example, if you have a problem and you’re always complaining, do you think it will solve anything ? Do you not think there are several alternatives to always focus on it?

By doing more of the same, you shouldn’t expect different results. Turn it around. Wouldn’t it be better to opt for doing something different? Think about it… Or do you expect that complaining that things are not as they should be will magically change the situation? When you make a cake and it burns, are you going to keep putting it at the same temperature the next time?

“If what you do doesn’t work, don’t think you’re incapable, simply try to do something different and see what happens.”

-Giorgo Nardone-

If you are applying strategies that do not work for you, go out and look for others that do. Do something different and see what happens! Don’t kid yourself. Sometimes doing more of the same thing doesn’t produce the change we want, but rather it makes what we thought was a solution, the real problem.

For example, when we are not able to sleep and instead of relaxing our attention, we focus on shouting for the sleep to come, we are doing the opposite of what is recommended: relaxing and distracting our minds with stimuli that do not trigger our sympathetic nervous system. So, if we apply this solution again and again, we will scare away the sleep for the rest of the night: just the opposite of what we intended. This also happens when we anticipate a state of anxiety.

Even in relationships, it is more common than we think: she wants to know her partner’s opinion but doesn’t ask because she’s trying to make it an act that comes from him, and he doesn’t say it because he thinks she’s upset…Both believe that they are implementing the most appropriate reaction to what happened, but all they’re doing is increasing the tension while creating an even bigger problem.

Relate with your problem in another way

We have already said it: doing more of the same thing doesn’t lead us to different results…O pen other doors, learn other possibilities and other points of view, be more aware, take risks, become familiar with the sensations you experience.

Change your relationship with the problem and the appropriate actions appear.


As Von Foerster would say, “If you want to see, learn to act.” If you expect something different, do something different and see what happens. You alone are the engine of your experience, the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.