I’ve been “trying” to achieve a goal for the past twelve months. That one word trying is where the problems begun.
Trying assumes you have no certainty, confidence, strategy or belief in what the hell you’re doing. If I want to achieve a goal, then I’ve got to get off my ass and do something about it. It’s so easy to lie to ourselves and drown in a pool of negative emotions.
My definition of trying is to give something a go without any passion or certainty around the outcome. Trying, to me, is about telling people you did something so you can look good without really achieving anything at all.
Like nearly every person on the planet, I have a dream and I want to achieve it. I want to reach my own version of success. The trouble is that trying won’t get any of us there.
The word “trying” is closely followed by the words “giving up.”
Next time you think of a goal, think to yourself “do I want to take action or not take action?” That question will get you a lot further in business and in life than the word trying ever will.
Here’s why you need to eliminate trying:
1. Trying equals indecision
I meet people all the time that can’t decide. Deciding is hard work so of course, we avoid it. That’s why we fall into the trap of trying. When we can’t make up our mind, we start trying to achieve goals in the hope that maybe that will move us into either a yes or a no about that goal.
Trying is a way for us to dabble, but we all know that mastery is where it’s at. I met this dude who pitched my his startup (nothing wrong with that.) The only problem was that for the next six months he pitched me six more startups.
I told him to stop trying and stop being indecisive. I told him to make a decision about the startup he wants to do and then just go do it. I told him that if he doesn’t love what this startup does, then he’ll keep trying to convince himself of the lie that the money and success will be worth it.
Guess what? The money and success will never happen if you try. And even if you get the success, it won’t keep you motivated. Again, my advice is simply do or not do.
2. Telling someone you will try is like slapping them in the face
Trying is flat out rude. If I ask you to come to my wedding and you say, “I’ll try” you’re basically telling me my wedding is not important. Telling someone you will try is sending the message that you’ll accept the invitation for now unless something more interesting, critical, joyous, inviting, happy, worthy etc, comes up.
In fact, telling someone you will try is like slapping them in the face and telling them they are worthless. Do you like slapping people in the face?
3. Trying gives you an excuse
Excuses are like cocaine: they motivate us until the point where we realize we’ve lost our mind and we’ve been lying to ourselves. None of us want to be coke addicts so let’s think differently. People that take action, with a sense of purpose, don’t give you excuses about how they tried and it didn’t work. Here are some common excuses I hear:
– I tried but it’s not my time
– I tried but I don’t have enough money
– I tried but he or she just doesn’t like me
– I tried but X event got in my way
If you were told that you were having your first child next week would you make excuses about how you’re not ready? No, you wouldn’t. You would be so excited that you would go out there and do what had to be done. You wouldn’t have time for excuses because there was something more important called “your baby” on the way.
Here is how you overcome the above excuses that lead to the dark place called trying:
– It’s never a good time to do anything pal
– Define enough money. Maybe you are blowing money on useless crap hence the shortage
– How do you know he or she doesn’t like you? Maybe you haven’t demonstrated who you are. Or maybe you need to take more action and see someone else
– Events are always going to get in your way. Assume distractions, detours and catastrophes are going to occur
Rather than try and then use it as an excuse, replace this way of thinking with doing instead. Trying is an excuse for not giving it your all.
“Trying is giving you an excuse before you’ve even started so you can blame the failure on something other than you”
You’re in control and you’ll determine the outcome and the meaning that is derived from that outcome. Once you start speaking about action and stop speaking about trying, people will back you more and you’ll find success is easier than you think.
4. Say no, then you won’t need to try
Half the reason you get stuck trying all the time is because you keep saying yes. If someone asks you to do something and it doesn’t make you say HELL YES then say a big fat no. Don’t get emotional, don’t feel regretful, just say no.
I’ve found that when I have to go into a state of trying it’s because the task was something I should never have begun in the first place. We need to be inspired to do our best work. Doing work with a sense of passion lights us up and makes us achieve more than we thought was possible.
The fewer things you say yes to that don’t align with your goals, the more you get to avoid the awful feeling of “having to try.”
Who wants to try for the hell of it? I sure as hell don’t. I want to be full of energy and change the world. This bold plan can’t be achieved through trying. I can either change the world or I can’t.
There’s no middle ground. I decide. I make the decisions around here. I am good enough not to try and to do instead.
5. Trying makes no sense
Imagine you are going to bungee jump for the first time in your life and the instructor says to you “I’ll try and make sure you survive.” You wouldn’t be too happy with this response.
Imagine you are having heart surgery and the doctor says, “I’ll try and fix your heart, but who knows.”
Is that a surgeon that you wouldn’t want to punch in the face and ask him why he’s not giving it his all?
These scenarios show us that trying is not acceptable. Why should trying not be acceptable when it’s life or death, but be acceptable in everything else we do in life?
You can’t get away with trying. Trying is showing the world that you don’t care and you’ll see how you feel on the day and maybe give a rats about whatever action you’ve been asked to take. Success is about getting serious. Success is about being committed and not settling for second best.
Hold yourself to a higher standard. Commit to taking real action not half-assed, I’ll see how I go on the day BS. Take action or don’t take action. Forget trying.
6. Trying shows a lack of confidence
Confidence comes from being decisive and being able to cut off from all other options and go with your gut.
People who are not confident sit on the fence and think about things until their brain talks them out of it. Your brain can convince you to give up if you give it enough time. Show some confidence, take a risk and commit. Confidence is sexy whereas trying is ugly.