Today I am letting you in on a secret. A secret I typically reserve for clients only. To my clients reading this, not to worry, you’re well on your way to putting this secret into practice, the part that tends to be hardest! And for the rest of you, get ready.
This secret is a game-changer. Seriously.
And the best part?
It’s really simple.
Picture yourself at the start of the week. It’s Monday morning, and if you’re like most people, you are feeling a bit tired and grumpy and wishing the weekend had lasted just a little bit longer. But it didn’t, and Monday is here.
You look at your to-do list, whether typed, written or stored in your brain. What do you see? Do you see a big long list of things you are dreading doing? A list of never-ending items? What do you tell yourself about doing these things? What words do you use?
I’m guessing you use a lot of two words in particular – two words I ask my clients to ban from their vocabulary when it comes to action plans. Two words I used to use a lot.
What are these words, you ask?
We associate these two words with not wanting to follow through on something – or at least that’s how our brain understands it.
Here’s how it comes up with my clients. We get to the part where we set their action steps for the week; they say something like, “I’ll try to make it to one yoga session this week” or “I should book that uncomfortable conversation with my boss.” That’s when I stop them and share what’s coming next.
By using try or should, you are not committing to the actions tied to them.
By saying “I’ll try,” you’re already giving yourself an out to not follow through. It’s feeding your ego and ridding you of your guilt before you even give yourself a chance to do it. If you were only going to try and do it, but then don’t, you’re telling yourself it’s OK – you “tried.” You are giving yourself permission to not follow through before you even take action.
It’s like my kids when they tell me they’re going to “try” the food at dinner while making a disgusting face at it. By saying they’ll try it, they’ve already made up their mind that they aren’t going to like it. They test the tiniest bit, claim they don’t like it and justify their decision with “but I tried it.”
In my opinion, try = I won’t.
Now, let’s move on to should.