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Try is a Weak Word

Try is a weak word. When it becomes a part of your vocabulary, what you’re actually doing is telling yourself that you’re not committed, serious, or interested in following through.

Stop saying, “I’ll try” … in life.

When you’re serious about whatever it is you’re doing, you stop implying that you will ‘try’ and, instead, simply do. You commit to getting it done. You commit to showing up. You’re all in! 

Do you see the difference?

  • I don’t ‘try’ to not eat gluten – I avoid gluten no matter the cost.
  • I ‘try’ to not eat potato chips… and guess what? I eat potato chips.

How serious are you, really? Are you as determined as I am with not eating gluten, or are you just ‘trying’ to not eat the potato chips?

Your vocabulary has the power to shift your perspective - but you choose. Share on X

Try is a weak word … in your business.

When I hear clients say they’re ‘trying’ to build their business – I know what they’re saying. If you notice you say these words too, I’m guessing you probably aren’t all in on what it takes to make your business successful. Try is a Weak Word

Why? Trying is much weaker than doing. It implies you’re not serious. Trying is an excuse that gives you a way out of committing.

When you use the word ‘try’ in your business, you make this value statement: maybe you really do want to do that hard thing, but it’s too hard, and it’s just not something you want to go all-in on fully.

The question becomes: what’s in your way? Mindset or motivation?

Using the words, ‘I will try’ almost always sets you up for failure. It messes with your mindset and affects the amount of effort you put in. Watch your motives.

Pay attention to where and when you are using the word 'try' and ask yourself if there is a reason hiding beneath the surface of why you're not fully committing. Share on X

If you look up the word ‘try’ in the dictionary … it says, ‘to make an attempt.’

Make anattempt!? Is that what you want to be known for – for just trying? Try is a weak word. What are you afraid of? Failure is only an option if you choose to opt-out of doing.

Here’s what it looks like when you commit to working on your business and toss out the word “try”:

  • I don’t “try” to blog each week.I blog.
  • I don’t “try” to review the numbers in my business. I do it every single week, and teach others to do it too.
  • I don’t “try” to build my list.I have a list of daily to-dos to ensure that my list grows. 
  • I don’t “try” to get new customers.I intentionally schedule it into my calendar all the time. 

Don’t make an attempt. Try is a weak word. Stop trying, start doing.

What are the things you are committed to doing, and how can you prioritize those things and forget about the fluff? Tell me what you’re choosing to tackle this week in the comments below.

TIP: Look at everything you are “trying” to do and decide which of those things are non-negotiable.



7 thoughts on “Try is a Weak Word”

  1. I’ve heard this from a number of people before, but respectfully I have to differ.

    This approach is based on the notion that “to try” means “to attempt.” It might mean that, for sure, but “to try” can also mean “to experiment with.”

    When I say, “Catching fruit flies using apple cider vinegar sounds like an interesting approach. I’ll try that,” there’s nothing tentative or non-committal about it. I WILL try it, to see how well it works

    When I say, “I’ve never been to this restaurant, but I’ll try ordering the fish,” what’s tentative is my endorsement of the restaurant for its cooking skills, not my future plans.

    I’ve had people admonish me for saying “try” in the above circumstances, when they want me to take more control of my life. It’s not defensible. “Try” doesn’t always mean “attempt.”

    1. Hi Lewis (and Lisa),

      I do have to agree a bit. I completely understand what Lisa means and her regularly kicking my butt to do has made a big difference in my business. However, there also needs to be room for failure and some times you try to do and you fail. This language can make us not do if we are afraid to fail. I have learned that trying and failing can be the best teacher.

      So yes do, and make room to try and fail as well.


      1. Agree 100%. And in the case where you try and fail, you’ve actually done something, versus using the word try, without ever intending to attempt making an effort.

    2. Thank you for your perspective. I think it depends on the context of the word “try”. In my experience, most people are willing to try a new social network, meaning set it up when it’s shiny and new, but few are willing to post daily, when they put the word “try” ahead of daily posts. One version of the word implies a trial of something, the other implies “attempt” to do it.

  2. Look – you are all correct in your interpretation – I think it depends more on the words you use and how they shape your behaviors and most importantly your mindset – for example if I “try” something” I can’t be fearful of failure – as long as trying doesn’t stop you from taking a risk then trying is the logical first step – but one needs to accept a mistake or failure as a learning experience and take that “learning and try again until they do it – to make the point I ask my clients “how does a turtle move forward?” – after listening to answers like slowly or one step at a time I tell them that the turtle moves forward by “sticking his neck out” – taking the right risks separates those who use try as the step before they quit or give up versus those who try with the clarity of what they want to accomplish

  3. Good topic Lisa! I fully agree on your analysis. I am in marketing. In seeking commitment internally, I often use Yoda’s saying: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
    I think it is about focus. One could replace the word “try” with “do” and the outcome of doing it could be continue doing it or stop doing it or change the way doing it. But the outcome of try could be did not try it.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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