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The word try is guaranteed failure.

How often do you use the word try? I bet you more than you can count on both hands in just one day. Listen to the next time you hear yourself say I will try. Think about it – does it draw you towards your goal or does it move you away from the very thing that you want to do?

Just the other day I bumped into a friend at the shopping center and we chatted on the spot for a few minutes or so. As we were hugging each other goodbye, the words came rolling out of my mouth – we should try to catch up more often – and her response was for sure. Ouch… that wasn’t very promising. What did that tell me? The message for me was that somewhere deep down inside my mind, I had no intention of catching up with this individual. However, when I paused and took a moment to reflect, I realised that we had grown in different directions. We had grown apart and our values were no longer aligned.

Then it made me think about how often I use the word try and in what circumstances. When I really think about it, how many times have I said to myself or out loud – I will try to do aerial yoga this week – and never get there? No wonder… I am moving away from the very thing that I want to do. Or do I? That’s the hint right there. Why don’t I want to do aerial yoga? Maybe it’s because the last time I did it I really hurt myself.

Words Have Power

You see, the word to try means that you attempt or endeavour to do a task. Not very motivating, right? Words are powerful vessels. They can inspire or destroy. The words we use give us strong clues about our beliefs and what’s going on in our unconscious mind. There is a lot of meaning behind and beneath the words and phrases we use. And… when you think about it, using the word try is often a safeguard of insuring ourselves against the bad feelings we associate with failure, meaning we may say something like: I said I would try, I didn’t say I was going to do it, right?

Let’s play this out. Hold a pen in your left hand. Now, with your right hand, try to pick up the pen from your left hand. What happened? Correct! You picked up your pen. There is no try, there is only do. When we use the word try, we can expect or assume failure. Powerful stuff, without a doubt. So why do we do it?

Beware of What You Tell Yourself

The words we think and the words we use out loud affect our emotions, our moods. Language shapes the way we think. You see, the words that we repeat over and over again with enough feeling or emotion will fuel the words. In turn, they will either draw us away or towards an action. The words we use to label an event will determine to a great extent how we behave. This is why it is of great importance to speak impeccably – to be conscious of our words to create the change we want to be.

It’s essential to realise that our unconscious mind believes whatever we are told – whether we say we are selfish, or naughty, or lazy, or beautiful, or clever, or kind.

Words can be emotional triggers from our past experiences too. For example, let’s take a person who has a memory bank full of idyllic childhood moments spent at the beach. The association with the word beach will be much more positive than it is likely to be for someone who got badly stung by a jellyfish or lost in crowd or pulled under by a big wave at the beach.

Words also carry energy. Even though the spoken word is gone in a moment, the energy of words can linger indefinitely.

Words can be enlightening. They can make us feel sad, they can make us feel happy and they can make us feel empowered. Words can inspire or deflate.

And, most of the time, we’re pretty careful about the words we choose to say to other people. After all, we want people to like us, so we are polite and considerate (usually).

Your Words Matter

Sadly, we do not tend to extend this courtesy to ourselves. Instead, our self-talk is usually along the lines of:

  • I can’t
  • I should
  • I could
  • I must
  • I might
  • I ought to
  • I have to
  • I am supposed to

What kind of energy do these words carry? Just by reading the list you can tell that they are not motivating, inspiring or persuasive.

By making a conscious effort to swap these words around to:

  • I can
  • I will
  • I want
  • I choose
  • I select
  • I decide
  • I am able

You can begin to create the shift required to change those useless, old, unconscious thought patterns and help you get to where you want to be.

It’s a subtle but significant shift. It will provide noticeable benefits to the way you feel about yourself and the life you are living.

I have to or I really must imply pressure and obligation. On the other hand, saying I can or I will suggests that there are opportunities, choices and options.

Consciously choosing your words will take time and practice. Understanding how much power words can wield is a good start. Changing your words will change your outcomes.

Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well.” – Robin Sharma