Stop Trying


Have you ever needed help moving, or doing yard work? What do your friends usually say when you ask them for their help? “Oh yeah… I’ll try to be there.” And when a friend says: “I’ll try to help.” We all know exactly what that means. It means no. It means: “I don’t want to, but I don’t have the guts to say no.”

I see it on the weight loss message boards: “I’ll try to do better.” “I’m trying to lose weight.” “…trying to eat healthier” “…trying to exercise more.” These are all noble sentiments and I’m certain that the people saying these things have nothing but the best intentions. That said, the very best piece of advice that I have for anyone “trying” to make a big change in their life is this:

Stop trying.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that you should give up! What I am saying is that the word ‘try’ is our subconscious way of giving ourselves permission to give up. How many times have you gone after something you wanted and failed but taken solace in the idea that “I tried.” If you think about it “try” isn’t even a real thing! Are you trying to read this blog post right now? Or are you reading it? Are you trying to sit in that chair you’re sitting in? or are you sitting in it? In short: “try” is a lie. You either do something or you don’t. To quote one of my favorite philosophers: “[you either] do or do not, there is no try.” — Yoda

So, what exactly am I suggesting when I say: stop trying? I’m suggesting you completely remove that word from your vocabulary and substitute something more accurate. Instead of “I’m trying to lose weight” … “I AM losing weight” (I am RELEASING weight is even better, but that’s another blog post). Instead of “I’m trying to exercise more.” … “I AM exercising more.” “I AM getting healthy.” Do you see the difference? By eliminating the word try from your vocabulary you are denying your subconscious the permission to give up.

You see, our words are far more powerful than most of us realize and we have the ability to choose the words that we use, every day, for our benefit or our destruction. This is true with all the words we choose, but it is particularly powerful when we attach “I am…” to them. In fact, whatever we attach “I AM” to and say with emotion and intensity our subconscious will conspire to make true.

It may not sound like it, but what I’m talking about here is your identity. Socially speaking, identity can mean any distinctive characteristic belonging to an individual can be considered part of their identity (gender, race/ethnicity, career/vocation, hobbies). However, in psychological terms, a person’s identity relates to self-image or one’s mental model of one’s self. Psychologists most commonly use the term “identity” to describe personal identity or the idiosyncratic things that make a person unique. Most of us think of our identity a something that’s out of our control, almost something that is assigned to us, but this is not entirely true. Our identity must change and grow with us and we have much more power to shape and create it than most of us realize.

So how do our words shape our identity? It works something like this:

If you look at yourself in the mirror and, for instance, say: “I am clumsy” your subconscious immediately asks itself “is that true?” and then starts looking for reasons why it is true. It will remember all the times you stumbled, fell, or dropped something. In an instant, it will remember all the times you felt clumsy and will conclude that yes “I am clumsy.” Over time, as you say this to yourself over and over, it will become part of your identity and our identity is the driving force behind everything we do.

So, the question really is who do you want to be? If you could build your identity from the ground up who, exactly, would you want to be? Strong, sexy, healthy, confident, outgoing, witty? An exercise beast? A financial genius? Make a list of your “I am” statements and say them to yourself in the mirror every morning (bonus points if you do it naked).

We have the ability to choose our words and our words have the ability to shape our identity and our very lives. Choose words that are empowering! Choose words that build you up instead of tear you down!

“What we hold in our minds, on a consistent basis, is exactly what we experience in life” – Tony Robbins

Stop trying. Start doing.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

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Kal Irwin is a Weight Loss Coach, Life Transformation Expert, and Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Associative Programming and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.