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Three Words to Delete from Your Vocabulary

January 4, 2022 • Confidence

I have three words I want you to delete from your vocabulary in 2022. “Try,” “should,” and “maybe.” I can’t stand these words! Why? Because when we use these words with our boss or clients, we are preloading the option to fail. We are creating an out for ourselves. We are covering for ourselves in case we are not dependable. When we inject this negativity into a project or an activity we are more likely to fail! Why do we do this to our clients, to ourselves?

Want to make a simple mindset shift? Replace these words with the phrase, “Make it happen!”

My experience using “try” on the court

I remember in high school, I walked out on the tennis court for a lesson with my juniors coach. He told me, “Look, I want to do something with you today that I want you to work on low balls. So I’m going to feed you really low balls and I want you to get down to the ball. I want you to get low.” He starts feeding me these balls and telling me, “You’ve got to get lower. You’ve got to get down.” He’s grinding me, getting after me because I wasn’t getting down enough.

I run back to set up for the next round and I looked at him and said, “Man, I’m trying! I’m trying to get low, I’m trying to get out to the ball.” That’s when he tells me, “Come here.” I walk up to the net and he says, “Let me tell you something. That word ‘try’, I hate it.” He continues, “Don’t ever use that word with me on the tennis court again.” When we’re “trying,” oftentimes we aren’t “doing.”

When we use the word “try,” we suggest there’s an outside chance of failure. I was telling myself a self-defeating story when I told my coach I was “trying.”

Can you imagine a pilot telling you he’s “trying” to land a plane?

My brothers are both airline pilots. Can you imagine if passengers boarded the plane and they looked at the passengers and said, “Hey, welcome aboard. I’m going to try to get you there safely.”

“Hey, hey, welcome aboard. I’m going to try to get the wheels down and land this plane.” Can you imagine? No chance, right? You couldn’t get off that plane fast enough. So why are we telling our partners, clients, and bosses this?

Don't use try, should and maybe

Delete these words from your vocabulary in 2022

So as you walk into 2022, get rid of the words, “try”, “should”, “maybe”. Remove them. When you use these words you are telling yourself a self-defeating story, you are setting yourself up to fail.

I would just challenge you to lean into what our team, what Nike does, which is “Just Do It”. Send yourself positive messages, not messages that suggest an out. Send those kinds of messages to the people that you lead, to the people that you serve, to your clients, and to your boss. If you fail, you can deal with that later, failure is just feedback, but don’t set yourself up to fail by using these words. Tell yourself you can do it and then be dependable and do it!

The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to up their game. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company offers training and coaching programs to help leaders unleash their potential, including: Game Changer Negotiation Training, which teaches business people a framework for successful negotiating; The Energized Leader training, which teaches people how to manage their energy to achieve focus and freedom; and a monthly coaching program, Game Changer Leadership Huddles, to help members recharge their purpose and mindset. Sign up to receive our newsletter, subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, and watch her TED Talk on The Secrets to a Champion Mindset.