“By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.” ~Mark Twain

SUCCESSFULLFAILURE (opening of Dutch Identity at de Paviljoens in Almere)Are you trying? Are you trying really, really hard? We often excuse ourselves because we tried. Worse yet, we frequently set our excuses up in advance by determining that we will try to accomplish something rather than by determining to accomplish it. The odd thing is that by trying we call a failure an accomplishment. After all, we succeeded at trying. It counts as a win even when we fail.

So the next time you say “try”, replace the word with “fail”. Would you like to see an example? See how the last paragraph reads when we swap words:

“Are you failing? Are you failing really, really hard? We often excuse ourselves because we failed. Worse yet, we frequently set our excuses up in advance by determining that we will fail to accomplish something rather than by determining to accomplish it. The odd thing is that by failing we call a failure an accomplishment. After all, we succeeded at failing. It counts as a win even when we fail.”

“Newsflash: trying to succeed is not the same as succeeding.” click to tweet

It adds some clarity, doesn’t it? Take note when you say “try”. Is it because you are not committed to succeeding? Not feeling prepared or confident? These conditions can be improved when you are mindful of them. Then you can confidently avoid trying — and failing.

Where have you been trying and failing? Share your experiences by commenting below.

Photo credit: Paul Keller

Why Trying Really Hard is Hurting You
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3 thoughts on “Why Trying Really Hard is Hurting You

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    Ok, this is pretty freaky. I’ve been doing what you recommend here (replacing “try” with “fail”) when I talk and I have to say I sound like a complete idiot sometimes! Unfortunately, my “fail” statements come out all too accurate. It sure makes you think before you speak.

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    Poignant, the only time I use the word try is when I am not allowed to say no to a project. I am always aware of my limits. I use the word try to politely back out of any misfortune should their relentless prodding ignore my previous statement of “it cannot be done by me”.

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      I gave a lot of thought to your statement that you were “not allowed”. I acknowledge that some folks will not allow you to say “no” (politely) any other way. Still, I would work to change the relationship so that I was free to say no with integrity or, as a last resort, to end the relationship.

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