Doing vs. Trying: Knowing the Difference to Achieve your Bold Goals

Learning the difference between doing and trying.


In my book Heart of a Champion, I share the good, the bad, and the ugly—when “stuff” hit the fan at my first roping school with Lari Dee Guy and Hope Thompson. There may have been some divine intervention involved, as I developed my non-negotiables before I attended this school. The non-negotiables that served me extremely well, at that school, and in life since then are these:

1. Let go of my old ways.

2. Do everything I am asked to do.

3. Have unquestionable trust.

Each time I have begun to learn anything new or started working with a new coach or mentor, I double down on these non-negotiables. I am grateful that I was willing to commit to them. By doing so, they have transformed me from inside out.

As my first roping school with Lari Dee and Hope came to an end, I could not catch one, single calf. I vividly recall standing next to Lari Dee and not doing a very good job of holding back the tears. I felt so broken, defeated, and confused. Lari Dee was not at all shaken by my situation and said, “Keep working at it. It takes time, and you WILL get it.” I heard her say those words, but at that moment, I was not sure I believed her.

At the end of the school, Lari Dee and Hope gave us all super cool swag bags from their sponsors. They also presented some awards. When they announced the “Most Improved Student Award” recipient—it was ME! Now, I had been to the WPRA Women’s World Finals, and I was not a beginner. So I was a little shocked and was thinking, “Why would she do that?” Then, I realized she saw me giving up all my old ways. Lari Dee didn’t see me trying; she saw me doing. She saw my commitment and persistence. I would NOT quit. Lari Dee’s observation was correct! There is a big difference between doing and trying.

[Learn: Score, Ride, Then Rope with Hope Thompson]

Yoda’s quote from “Stars Wars–The Empire Strikes Back” is powerfully empowering. He said, Do or do not. There is no try.”

Here are a couple roping examples to explain that quote:

· Regarding the start at the barrier: You either “get out,” or you “don’t get out.”
You either do it, or you don’t do it. There is no trying to “get out.”

· Regarding riding your horse correctly to the calf: You either “ride correctly,” or you “don’t ride correctly.” You either do it, or you don’t do it. There is no trying to “ride correctly.”

Having a TRYING mindset gives you permission to “half-bake” your potential for success. Before I knew better, I used the word “TRY” which gave me permission not to give an honest effort. I knew I could always say, “Well, I tried.” At times, I knew in my heart I did not give it my best or put in the time necessary to succeed. All that “TRYING” allowed me to stop or quit and look for the next new coach, school, drill, or strategy. When I was not getting the results I thought I deserved on my timeline, I could say, “Well, I tried,” and I would be on to the next, new thing.

When you include the word “TRY” in your vocabulary, you are headed down a slippery slope that is hard to navigate, all the while “trying” to run down you Bold Goals. This is not the direction nor the type of momentum you want to catch when performing. Here is why:

TRYING can lead to Thinking.

THINKING can lead to Being Tight.

BEING TIGHT can lead to Holding Back.

HOLDING BACK can lead to Worry/Doubt/Fear/Anxiety.

WORRY/DOUBT/FEAR/ANXIETY can lead to Being Timid.

BEING TIMID can lead to Feeling Intimidated.

ALL OF THE ABOVE leads to an inability to perform your best when it matters the most.

Having a DOING mindset will give you permission to Hang On, Until You Catch On. I still have a timeline, but I understand that Bold Goals will almost always take longer, cost more resources, and grow me inside out, before I see significant results. Here are some examples of how a DOING mindset helps me run down my Bold Goals:

DOING keeps me honest with myself. Either I did it, or I did not do it.

DOING keeps me asking myself thought-provoking questions.

DOING keeps me giving full effort, willing to fall short and do it again.

DOING keeps me Holding On, Until I Catch On.

DOING keeps me hooked to Do Whatever It Takes for As Long As It Takes, No Matter What.

DOING keeps me from half-baking my potential.

DOING keeps me from Blaming, Complaining and Being Defensive.

DOING keeps me collecting data, staying excited in the process, and committing to figuring it out.

Using positive words is another powerful strategy to add to your arsenal. I want to encourage you to take inventory of the words you are using throughout your day. A small shift in your word choice will be transformational in your life. Once I became aware of the words I used, I doubled down on using positive, productive, process-based words, and it helped in transforming my life. If I can do it, you can do it too! I absolutely, positively, 100% guarantee it!

I have never regretted digging deeper and Doing the Work. Once you commit to digging deeper and Doing the Work, your life will never be the same.

If you are in a place in your life where you are ready to “Master the Art of Winning,” it would be my honor to coach you. Contact me at to begin my 90-day Mental Performance Program. I would love to help you run down your Bold Goals.

[Here’s Why You Need A Coach]

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