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Hi there! Heather here. I found myself typing a quasi-inspirational speech to some of my associates today via email and I wanted to share it with you in case you also found it helpful.
“Do or not do, there is no try.”
This isn’t just linguistics. This is a mental and emotional hurdle. Just think of Yoda. He was onto something!
When you say you’ll do something, either out loud or in your head, you’ve just committed yourself to seeing that task through to completion. (Yes is a powerful word.)
When you say you won’t do something, the commitment is terminated right then and there and you can move onto the next thing. (No is perhaps an even more powerful word!)
You can also say not at this time (which is also quite potent) with the understanding that you’ll research the matter and make this assessment once you have more information.
The least powerful and least assertive thing you could ever say is: “I’ll try.”
TRY removes your agency as an active player in the situation.
TRY gives a potent and concise voice to your self-doubts. Everyone has self-doubts, but assertive people see them as a challenge. Scared people use these doubts as a shield to deflect anything that might rile their insecurities.
TRY is weakness thriving behind a cozy and compact three-letter lie.
TRY is for people who need excuses, can’t make decisions, or doubt their abilities. Think about it; it has an excuse built into it already! People who find themselves routinely saying, “I’ll try,” are too afraid to say they can’t (or won’t) do something and too insecure in their own abilities to commit to getting it done.
Just think of how annoying it is when friends say they’ll “try” to hang out with you and then never show up or call. You probably already knew they were going to flake out on you. We’ve all known at least one person in our lives like this. If you’ve lived through this, then you know all too well how some people can hide behind that maybe to avoid saying yes or no.
That’s why we should avoid doing this crap to ourselves. Don’t be a flakey friend to yourself!
Either you will or you won’t do something, or, you’ll wait until you have more info before you make that call. All of these options display more integrity than saying, “I’ll try,” or, “maybe.”
Highly skilled people don’t need to resort to excuses because they know that this is just a seductive hinderance to their productivity. They’re too busy trying to get stuff done. There is no room for TRY.
I want to drill into this a little further to show you how this little mental shift can help you in big ways.
“Do or not do, there is no try.”
When you change your mentality to this binary, the way you approach obstacles, knowledge deficiencies, and new challenges also changes.
It forces you to make instantaneous assessments of the extent of that which you do not know.
You must stop yourself, focus inwardly, and do an internal integrity check about your short comings without self-directed malice. This is a skill. You need to practice it to do it well.
This is especially true if you are predisposed to depression or anxiety. It won’t be impossible for you if that is you situation. You just have to try harder and longer to make it work, just like how some people maintain a healthy weight more easily than others. Every BODY (which your brain is only one part of) is differently abled. Everyone’s path is different and that’s ok!
Anyhow, you need to assess whether you can do something before committing to it one way or the other. If you’re wrong and you assume you’re good at something only to fail, it shows you a weakness. You can then focus on that weakness to make it a new skill and a new source of strength.
This is the way we learn. This is how people overcome obstacles. This is how we GROW.
It’s a painful process, which is why so many people work so hard to avoid it. After all, it’s always easier to be upset about something — or feel guilty about it — than to go that additional step to try to fix it.
No one gets everything right the first time around. However, you can’t learn from your mistakes properly if you side step this process. By always choosing TRY or MAYBE as your path, you are actively avoiding this important growth opportunity because your ego, guilt, or fear is getting in the way.
The thing is, though, you need to know your short comings in order to overcome them, and beating yourself up over them is counter productive. It can seem like a horrendous Catch 22. You can easily get caught in a cycle that seems compelling: one of judgement, self-directed malice, and ultimately, guilt or shame. But once you arrive at this negativity and internalize it, you get stuck there until you can recognize that it’s pointless. You have to remind yourself from time to time that this mindset is just self-centered sabotage.
If this is the first weakness you encounter, then it is also the first one you’ll have to address on your path to success.
And on that note, just because something is easier said than done, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Heck, some of the most important things in life — finishing college, having and raising children, getting married — are textbook examples of how some things are easier said than done, but somehow still worth the pain of the path to that experience.
Knowing your weaknesses is the first step in life towards truly realizing your strengths instead of just assuming what they are or letting others define them for you.
It’s scary. It’s painful.
It’s the most important thing you could ever learn. Even more so than computer stuff.