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Stop trying – start doing

This week I would encourage you to pay attention to how often you use the word ‘try’. Because the word ‘try’ has a built in exit strategy. That you’ll try to achieve something, but it does not mean that you actually have to do it.

Think about it. How believable is the following sentence: ‘I’ll try to go to the gym this week‘ or ‘I’ll try and finish this by Friday’. Or even more common with people who want to travel ‘I’m going to try and save up money so I can travel soon‘. Wether we like it or not, the language that we use affects ur ability to make things happen.

For any Star Wars fans out there, it’s just like Yoda put it. ”Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” 

To ‘try’ and do something means that it does not have your highest priority. To try and eat healthy, try and do your best, try to go to the gym or try and find a new job. Why not replace the ‘try’ with ‘I want to’ or ‘I will’ instead? How much more powerful is it to say ‘I will do my best‘. It shows your commitment to the task, despite the outcome.

Using the word ‘try’ is not only about our priorities, but also about managing other people’s expectations. Sometimes it feels better to say that we’ll try and stop by someone’s party rather than saying that we can’t make it this time.

If your friends wants you to join them on a trip and you can’t join them this time, be honest to both your friends and yourself and say it the way it really is. ‘I can’t afford this trip right now, but I will start saving so that I can come on the trip next summer instead‘. This does your mind a favour (telling yourself that saving for this is important) and it’s honest to your friends (so that they don’t wait around and miss out because you are trying to save up the money last minute). Which ultimately means that you don’t have to feel bad and corner yourself in a situation where you are trying to do something that is not your number 1 priority right now.

I rarely use the word ‘try’ these days, but I still sometimes slip and do out of old habits. But I also know that dreams are built on doing things rather than trying to do them. And by being clear with ourselves on the things we are not doing we are creating a world that’s a bit more honest and transparent. That’s a pretty good thing I reckon.