There’s this crazy word in the dictionary called “trying.” It actually means “difficult or annoying; hard to endure.” Which is funny to me, because whenever you hear someone say, “I’m trying…” it falsely sounds like they ARE actually doing something. Ha! Turns out, that pesky word is nothing but a sham. #artofnottrying

TRUTH BOMB: I actually believe that there is no such thing as “TRYING.” You are either doing it, or you’re not. Period.

Now I know you might be thinking, “But, Leslie, I AM trying to do a pull-up,” or “I AM trying to get on Broadway.” I don’t doubt that. But, the very statement, “I’m trying” gives the impression that you’re JUST trying, but that you don’t really believe you can do it, OR that you are “trying” so hard, that you’re actually NOT “doing” it. #tryingtoohard

In fact, it’s been said that saying, “I’m trying” or “I’ll try” is just a polite way to say that you probably won’t.

So, the big question is, “Are you WILLING to do what it takes to make those things happen, or are you really just talking about it or “trying” to do it?

Whoa! Big question for a Tuesday morning I know. And, I get that this might sound confronting. But stay with me here and let me show you a personal example.

When I was in high school, I always wanted to be able to do a pull-up. I would “try” and “try,” but I just couldn’t do it. So I stopped and never thought of it again. But about eight years ago, before anyone knew about Crossfit… I joined a Crossfit gym, and my goal was to be able to do a pull-up. Period.

With that intention, I arrived to every workout 15 minutes early and did specific exercises that would strengthen me to be able to do a pull-up. I would actively practice and do those exercises. I would ask people who could do pull-ups to give me tips and guidance. I would also stay after class, do the exercises again, and take the necessary days off to restore. I did this each day. Every day. Until one day, I did a pull-up… unassisted, without my feet starting on the ground. The training at CrossFit taught me how to do it in less than one month. And in about eight months, I was doing workouts with upwards of 30 pull-ups unassisted.

Now, before you go thinking that I’m bragging about this feat, I’m NOT! I’m using it only as an example of the difference between “trying” and “doing.” When I was only “trying” to do a pull-up, that’s all it was. When I DECIDED I was GOING to do a pull-up, I did it.

So, here are three tips to stop TRYING.

  1. The Kleenex Trick: I want you to take a Kleenex and try REALLY HARD to drop it. Don’t actually drop it, just really “try” to drop it. And remember “trying” means “difficult and hard to endure” so really act like you’re trying to drop it and notice what that feels like. IT’S HARD! It’s hard to TRY to drop a Kleenex and make it land where you want it to. Now, simply drop it and notice what happens. Look at that! It drops. You were not “trying” to drop it, you just dropped it. Now do that in whatever you are working toward in your life.
  2. Catch yourself saying “I’m trying…”: Become highly aware of how often you say, “I’m trying…” and keep a little tally for yourself. Every time you catch yourself saying it, I want you to replace it with “I’m working at…” or “I’m doing it…” This might just sound like semantics, but the language we use gives us our life. So choose your words wisely. Stop trying. And start doing.
  3. Take a social media vacation. If anything can remind you that you are just trying and not doing, it’s social media. We see everyone else appearing to have the perfect life, tons of success, working all the time and it makes YOU feel like you’re not…even if you are doing great things. Taking a break from social media will not only free up time to actually DO the thing you’ve been trying to do. It will also give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that social media is not real life. It’s a sizzle reel.

What’s YOUR best tip on not “trying” but “doing?” Comment below.

Leslie Becker is an award-winning Broadway actress, writer and creator of The Organized Actor® and is passionate about inspiring, entertaining and educating others.

    1 Response to "The Art of Not Trying"

    • Melissa

      Cool article

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