Saying “I’ll try” really means “I’ll fail”. Here’s why.
Try is a dangerous word that goes undetected in our everyday language.
It’s a precipice,
When we ask someone to try,
When we say we will try,
We presuppose that they, and we, will be unsuccessful.
We are implying imminent failure.
A husband says to his wife, “I want you to try harder to be on time when we go out”. The wife says, “Sure, I can do that”.
According to this, she will give it a go — try — but also fail.
And when he gets upset with her? As she has once again made them late to something.
She will say, “Well, I tried”.
And she probably did try.
But trying is not good enough because nothing changed.
So what can we do instead?
We can change our language.
“Honey, could you please start getting ready much earlier? So we can be on time. And if you do this, I’ll reward you in ways you cannot begin to imagine”.
Do you think the wife will rise to the challenge?
Try is such a part of our habitual language patterns that it is easy to find ourselves using it.
In the past, it has been automatic for many of us.
However, now, when you use it,
Or hear it,
I invite you to feel very differently about it.
Try equals imminent failure.
Try equals not good enough.
Try equals a cop-out.
Try is a way for us to say we will do something but not attempt to figure out how to do that thing differently and change our behaviour.