You Can Try Not to Read This Article, But You Will Read This Article.
Throughout our lives, we say the word try more often than we realize.
- “Try your best.” ~ Implies never actually doing your best.
- “Try to relax.” ~ Then you never actually feel relaxed.
- “Try not to think about it.” ~ You will end up thinking about it more!
- “Keep trying.” ~ But likely always failing.
- “If at first, you don’t succeed. Try and try again.” ~ Always trying, never actually succeeding.
The word try is weak, and it implies that we are going to fail before we have even started. Saying something like “I’ll try to remember to pick that up on the way home” implies that there is a good chance you will fail and not remember to do that. So, you end up forgetting to remember to pick that item up on your way home.
Trying is an excuse not to fully commit to doing something, an escape clause of sorts, allowing you an out, in case you don’t do it. Oh well, at least I tried.
How about if I tell you to try not to think of a pink elephant. Go ahead and do it right now. Try not to think of a pink elephant. You can’t do anything other than think about it. For our minds to not think about something, we first have to think about it, so that we know what we’re not supposed to be thinking of, which leads us to think about it even more.
OK, so some of you may just have opened the article out of curiosity, while many of you felt that you must open it. The reason for that was all within the phrasing of the title.
First of all, the word try, as previously explained, is weak and implies failure, or at the very least, a lack of adequate action. So, telling you to “try not to read this article” suggests that you will fail at that and do the opposite, and read it!
Next, we have the word but, typically when someone hears but, in a sentence, they dismiss everything said before that and focus more on what comes after. Has anyone ever said something to you like “Your hair looks pretty today, but I prefer it when you wear it down.” or something like that.
Notice how you focused more on the second part of the sentence? They prefer your hair worn down. Maybe, implying that you don’t look good with your hair up after all. They started by telling you your hair looks pretty, and yet most people dismiss that part of the sentence.
Some people go even further to hear it as someone implying that their hair must not have looked pretty on a previous day, but that’s a whole other topic.
Ever have someone tell you to try and have a nice day? Have you ever told someone to try and do their best on an exam?
In the title, the second half is more powerful and somewhat of a command. You will read this article. The word will is more powerful than the word try, so as you try not to read the article, you will read it all. The harder you try and not read this article, the more you will want to read it.
So, as we go about our day to day lives, there are many times when we fail to do something, and more often than not, we only have ourselves to blame. Maybe we tell ourselves that we will try and stop smoking or that we will try and lose weight, and as you now know, that implies you will not succeed in what you are trying to do.
If you’re serious about doing something, you will stop merely trying to do it, and you will do it. You fully commit to getting it done rather than just trying to do it.
So instead of saying:
“I’m going to try to quit smoking.”
“I’m going to try and lose 15lbs.”
“I’m gonna try and sleep better tonight.”
“I’m trying to be more relaxed.”
Replace it with the following.
“I am going to quit smoking.”
“I will lose 15lbs.”
“I am going to sleep better tonight.”
“I am relaxing more.”
By eliminating the word try, and variations thereof, you eliminate the option of failure from your subconscious mind. While the process may be simple, the effects can be very profound.
Stop attempting to do things and do them instead.
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Confidence & Smoking Cessation Specialist