Stuck On Try

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Do or do not do. There is no try. – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

(* a special thanks to my oldest son who reintroduced me to this movie quote one evening as he read his newest book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda).

When you seek change, starting will be the hardest part. I’m not talking about starting in the sense of acknowledging a need to change, planning for change, or seeking help with the change process. I’m not even talking about your first real act that begins the start process, although this is often further than most people are willing to go. What I’m really getting at is a genuine start whereby you lean into risk and uncertainty with determination and commitment.

To do this you must accomplish two things.

First and foremost, you need to face your fears and resistance in order to take an honest step forward.

When you’re getting closer to taking true action, does the voice inside your head begin to grow louder? Does it fill you up with a swirling soup of self-doubt and judgment? Or does it play subtle mind games where you find yourself becoming easily distracted? Or you feel the urge to step back and re-examine things before stepping forward? Or you find that your professional and personal life are suddenly overbooked with responsibilities, making it impossible to begin?

If and when you find yourself in these moments, remind yourself that your work is important and there simply are no shortcuts. There is no magic button, no expert who can do all the work for you, and no 10-Steps to Guaranteed Success Tele-Seminar that will simplify the process and deflect the work you must face. There is only you with all your idiosyncrasies, insecurities, wisdom, resilience, and unique talents. Ultimately, you must do the work.

The second step to a genuine start is learning to stay the course and avoid the pitfalls that may derail your hard work at any moment.

This is an even tougher one to tackle than the first. Perhaps you launch a new business after months of planning and it starts slowly, or your innovative idea falls on deaf ears. Do you get all tied up in a fit of self-pity and blow it all up?

It’s so easy to get diverted, overwhelmed, and to be talked down from the edge of success. Stay committed to your work and passion. Know when to quit and regroup, but be sure you make those decisions with a clean heart. Find grounding experiences, and build routine and ritual into your everyday life so you have an opportunity to examine things clearly without the constant self-doubt and chatter.

Without the willingness to initiate, you lose your power. Be kind to yourself and have the courage to do or not do.

David P. Diana
Learn more about our coaching, consulting, and marketing services HERE!



  1. Mary Hopkins  September 21, 2011

    This is one of my favorite quotes and have used it often with clients who are having trouble overcoming their own resistance to change. Many times, we excuse our inaction, our lack of initiative, by saying that we are “trying”. It allows to us feel as though we are doing something and when in fact, we are doing nothing. We delude ourselves that “trying” is an acceptable substitute (after all it feels like effort, doesn’t it?) for action. Why does one “try” rather than “do”? The excuse I hear most often is: “it’s soooo hard”. If this is the rationale for lack of action, unearthing and examining core beliefs such as “Things should always be easy for me” and “I should only attempt to do things that are easy or where there is no possibility of failure” is often a productive line of inquiry.

  2. David Diana  September 21, 2011

    Fascinating Mary. The concept of “try” is so very intoxicating and elusive. What I try and get across to people is the idea that if they can break through the barrier of “try” they will see ever expanding opportunities in the marketplace. Why?
    – People are empowered and have better access to other people and places that can make ideas happen
    – The opportunity to bring ideas to the forefront, to connect with others, to debate, learn, and create is expanding at the speed of light.


  3. Ann Howell  September 22, 2011

    Thank you (once again) for such a timely and encouraging article. I am plugging away at my Internship (one 20 hour pr week at a time) and there are mornings that I really would rather pull the covers over my head, and just go back to sleep. The uplifting words of those that are already out there in our field, make the days go by a little bit faster. Keep those articles coming! You are heard…your voice continues to inspire others 🙂

    Ann Howell, MA Intern Webster University
    Future LPC/I

  4. David Diana  September 22, 2011

    Keep on keeping on Ann. I remember those days when it all seemed to be progressing in slow motion. While you are in the midst of your internship I would also set aside time where you reflect on what it is you are passionate about in the field, and if you don’t know yet then use that time to explore and find out!

    And thanks for the kind words!

  5. mishi  October 18, 2011

    i always make time to visit your website. those words are truly inspiring and make me see things in different angles. indeed the concept of taking that big step is going to be challenging but the real challenge comes is keeping up to it. i just started my business and although im so passionate in what i do, there are days when you feel that this is not turning out the way you planned. but because you want this to work you will do your best to search for solutions to make it work..the things you do and say david, make someone like me go forth, explore and stay positive . thanks for being a blessing… 🙂

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