There's one word that, if used in the wrong context, can hold you back and rub people off the wrong way. Yet, it dominates our vernacular. It's a word that makes people's eyes roll. It gets us to lie to ourselves and severely limits us without us even knowing it.

That word? Try.


"I'll try to get that report to you by tomorrow."

"I'll try to make it by noon."

"I'll try and see if I can make the time for that meeting."

Try usually means: Even though I heard your request, it's not really a priority right now for me to follow through on that request, but I just can't be honest enough to tell it to your face.

"Try" doesn't get past really intuitive and emotionally-intelligent people. When they hear it, they know the truth, see through you, and peg you as inauthentic.

Unfortunately, if you're the "I'll try" type that procrastinates and is known for a lack of commitment to things or people, you're probably using Try's two closest friends in your vocabulary often: "if only" and "but."

"If only the commute was 10 miles closer, I'd be getting on the highway to the company party by now and get there on time. But the highway is always so backed up halfway there, so I'll try to find another route and get there as soon as I can."

Then the predictable happens. Your colleagues, who took the same highway, arrive on time. But you show up an hour late to the company party. It's a mindset, you see...

Using "try" indicates what you are really thinking, or don't want to admit -- even to yourself. When it becomes ingrained in your self talk (without you even know it), it affect your mood. And those words spoken aloud affect other people's moods as well.

"Try" creates doubt -- in your own mind and in the minds of others -- and the message coming across is that it's unlikely you'll succeed. That makes you the most unreliable person in the room.

An Easy Replacement: I "Will"

Put it into practice and decide for yourself if it makes a difference to how you feel and to how people respond to you.

Instead of "I must try and start exercising," or "I'll try to be more considerate," use "I will begin to..." or "I'm committing to...." and speak out the outcome aloud.

As the wise Jedi Master Yoda (who gave us one of the best movie quotes ever) once said:

"Do, or do not. There is no try."

Eliminate your "try" from your thinking and vocabulary, and watch your credibility soar.