If you’ve ever found yourself in quicksand, you know that with every tiny movement – you sink deeper and deeper into a dark abyss. I’m relieved that, so far, my experience with quicksand only comes from 80s pop-culture scenes like cartoons, video games, movies.
Quicksand really isn’t as common a problem in adulthood as expected. Or is it?
What if I told you that many of us are unknowingly standing in quicksand. It’s not dirty. Or cold. The adult version of quicksand is the word, “Try.” We’ve all said it, and many of us are unconsciously saying it on a regular basis. Go ahead – take a moment to think of the last time you said, “Try.”
How many times have you said it today? Did you say it to a colleague? Your spouse, family, or friend? Maybe you don’t even realize you say the word – so ask someone you trust if they hear you say that word.
(From here forward, I’m going to help you stop saying the word and eliminate it from the rest of this post. Let’s get started!!)
Imagine yourself sinking deeper into quicksand with each use of the word. Each time you say the word, you are giving yourself permission to fail. Permission to sink deeper into quicksand. You are also giving permission to the recipient to doubt your ability to complete the task or target in front of you. That’s not good.
You’re not alone. I used to navigate conversation accepting and using the word. My own breakthrough came during a coaching conversation with a good friend, JP, where, where unbeknownst to me, he counted the amount of times I used the word, finally interrupting me mid-sentence to give a count. Eight. I said the word eight times – giving myself permission to fail eight times in a single conversation. My legs, my torso, my arms and shoulders were completely submerged in quicksand – and with my last breath, I made the decision to to never use that word again.
Now we can’t all have personal word counters, but we do have a choice to raise awareness. If you’re reading this post, replace the word with something more action-oriented like, “will” or “am” or “must.” Additionally, if you hear the word, point it out. Ask that person a question to dig deeper into why they can’t fully commit. Even if we don’t say the word, we’re equally as guilty if we accept the word.