In some LGAT (Large Group Awareness Training) and indeed in many coaching methodology, the word TRY is somewhat like a banned word. Many like to quote the green guru of 800 years old of the Star Wars fame:

“Do, or do not. There is no TRY!”
Yoda said it right.

The argument is that TRY presupposes the possibility of failing. Many organizations have already dropped “trial and error” to put in place “test and measure” for the same reason.

Using muscle-testing exercise, it has been demonstrated that a person’s physiological performance is reduced by the induction of the word TRY in a given instruction. Using the same set of testing parameters, and putting in the phrase DO YOUR BEST instead of TRY, the subjects are able to physically resist a downward pressure exerted on a outstretched arm better.

Some call it mind-body connection (NLP presuppose that the mind and body is a cohesive system), some call it body intelligence while others call it something else. Muscle-testing has been used to elicit unconscious preference and how external stimulus of a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory nature affects a person.

I did a LGAT that discourages the use of TRY. I’ve got no beef with that coz I find the word to be one of the most replaceable word in English.

Just replace it with the verb that comes after it!

One of my coaching client Mary (may be her real name haha) has an issue with getting things done in the proper timeframe (read: procrastination) I observe in the coaching conversation with her that she was peppering it with TRY’s.

“I try very hard to get things started and try to make sure that everything goes by the schedule. I even have problems trying to come up with the schedule!! When I try to tell my boss what’s going on…”

When I ask for her to replace her TRY’s with the first verb that comes after what she said:

“I get things started and make sure that everything goes by the schedule…”

I stopped her and asked her: “So how do you feel about starting and scheduling now?”

Mary’s frown dissolve into a wide grin and poured: “That’s it!! There’s no TRY. It’s either I don’t start meaning that I have something of a higher priority or I start doing the things I was suppose to do!”

Mary discovered the thing that doesn’t exist! It’s so oxymoronic that she feels like a moron. Let’s think about this together.

If you try to do something, what does it really mean?

Let’s say I ask for you to TRY to flare your nostrils.

If you had flared your nostrils, you SUCCEEDED in doing so. You failed in TRYing.

If you had not done so, you are not TRYing; you simply did not perform the action.

To try is to be in a state of limbo. You are neither here nor there and it just takes up too much space.

So stop using the word on yourself, it disempower you. For those whose first thought was: “I try my best.” You oughta get shot!! 😛

Be well.