Try vs. DO

By: Elisabeth Green, Instructor & Columbia GM

Back in January, I heard a very sharp-someone equate the word “try” to a four-letter word -- as in, a curse word. This took me aback, since I saw “try” as any other word. He went on to explain that saying, “I’m going to try to do _______” left an opening for an easy way out.

“Well, I tried.”

“At least you tried.”

“I guess I’ll try.”

This was ironic for me in particular, since several years ago Krav Maga Maryland plastered the phrase “Try Hardest” on the grey wall in Room 3. Further, we had shirts, posters, and entire website dedicated to the “Try Hardest” initiative, and we were really excited about it. After meeting this gentleman back in January and hearing his viewpoint on the word “try,” I’ll never see it the same way.

Now when I think of “try,” I imagine leaving a trapdoor for failure and my own excuses.

If I want to work out, I’m not going to “try” to work out – I’m either going to prioritize it, or I’m not.

If I’m going to set a goal, I’m not going to “try” to hit it – I’m either going to achieve it, or I’m going to fall short.

There’s no harm in falling short of a goal, as long as we’re willing to step out and get after it, risking failure along the way. Me saying “I tried” is just like saying “I failed, but I don’t want to admit that I failed.”

If something is important to you, don’t try. Take your goals out of the gray area, and either do it or don’t.

Rachel Parker