That is a sentence that I’ve held dearly for so many years.
It helps you when you want to achieve.
It helps you when you face adversity.
It can even help you when you are rushed to A and E and are scared to death you are dying.
Whatever your life looks like or what you want it to look like this article could change your actions by the time you finish reading it, ready?
For those that aren’t into Star wars that phrase is said by tiny ancient Yoda (who looks like he couldn’t take on a toddler and beat them in a battle, although not sure who would want to do that!) it is as his prodigy is attempting to get his spaceship (bear with me non scifi lovers) out of the bog.
Luke the young prodigy proclaims, “I don’t believe it!” As tiny Yoda effortlessly lifts the ship not just free of the bog vines and mud but with just the gentle lifting of his hand lands it gracefully next him. Yoda turns to Luke and pretty much says “And that my dear boy is why you couldn’t do it.”
“Do or do not there is no try.”
Okay so what’s that got to do with your life and happiness?
Meet Sarah (Name changed because all clients are always confidential unless they go around shouting about working with me) Sarah had been working with me for a couple of months and was getting used to the fact that you can’t hide from yourself in our sessions. She flippantly said “Well I will give that go. I promise”
Give that a go?” I asked, “What do you think your chances are of success I asked?” and I added “What are you actually saying in your head about this plan of action?”
The deep sigh and “Wow I hate you look” (it’s good to get that look from your client because it means you’ve found what is really standing in the way of what they want. And it’s always handled with love and respect. Usually leading to clients coaching themselves in the middle of our sessions!) led to them saying “Well I suppose if I’m honest, it’s a great plan, it’s what I really want, but I’m not convinced that I can actually do it.”
Sarah was going to tackle her coaching plan of action with a “I will give it a go” attitude. When we analysed that viewpoint, she could see that;
- She was moving the responsibility for success from her to “out there”. No responsibility, no accountability, not her fault, right?
- She feared that she lacked skills and the confidence to do the actions we had set.
- She held on to an outdated and quite frankly untrue idea that she would fail.
The quickest way to fix this (as Sarah and I did) was to;
- Build her internal confidence – not the confidence you get from the outside world when things are going right but from knowing who you are and privately being proud of that.
- Looking for the evidence. We so often listen to the wrong voices in our head that second guess us. By looking for proof Sarah could see that she had never failed at any of the actions we had outlined, I had jested with her “So for the first time ever in your life you are going to phone that person and be rude, swear and disrespect them giving them the “Oi you, give us your money” attitude are you?” This was so far removed from the wonderfully professional businesswoman that she is that she couldn’t but laugh. When we laugh, we are generally starting to notice that what we are scared to see.
If she had gone with the I’ll give it go (try) attitude her results would not have been as epic as they were.
On the opposite side of this, I also work with a lot of business owners and managers who have long term health issues. It is very hard to be a dedicated passionate hard worker and find you have a body that won’t sustain all you want to get done that week. Learning that lesson is not easy, and it tends to lead to a lot of stress as we try to let no one down and achieve everything for everyone. For myself I have learnt that I will do or do not, not try.
A client who had recently been given a diagnosis of a long-term condition that could potentially greatly damage their business and their earning potential came to me for this reason. Attempting to be the before illness person was adding so much stress because they physically with all the will in the world could not get everything done. No amount of late-night working worked. If anything, it just exasperated their symptoms. Would they have to quit their business and give up?
No, through our time together (I only worked with that client 4 times) they learnt that it was their decision to decide what they spent their time.
It is not easy to say No to people (Heck there’s a whole chapter on it in my book Fight the fear because it can be so detrimental to our success.) So, learning what to allow into their life and what would be dropped was difficult but had a massively positive impact.
If you find yourself trying to please everyone and get everything done;
- Have crystal clear goals on what you want and need to do. (Don’t let other people’s definition of importance get dragged in here. It’s confidential to you, so they won’t know!)
- Learn how to say No. For me and many clients start small. Don’t meet for coffee that takes you out of the office for 2.5 hours (as much fun as that is to meet up) organise a conference call. You could save 1.5 hours! That would be respectful to your needs too.
- Be honest. We seem to think we are some kind of superhuman robot race. We aren’t. As such trying to do everything is a quick way to overwhelm, stress, burn out, long hours, uncompleted tasks, missed opportunities and a lot of stress related illnesses. (I’ve a proven track record of helping people work less hours and achieve a lot more). Communication is critical. Say things like “That sounds great, however I’ve got to get X done by Friday, so could we have a chat on the phone after the 23rd please?” or “I’ve got a long term health condition that has never impacted on my ability to deliver to my clients however it does mean I don’t check my phone after 6pm. If there is an emergency, please phone xxx” That one is one I used. I was really scared that with my Lupus diagnosis I would lose clients, if anything my honesty led to an increase in clients. What better coach to work with than someone who watched box sets in the middle of the day, only worked part time and injected herself with chemo once a week and still won multiple awards, was asked to write a book by the UK’s leading non fiction publishers and clients include Councils, NHS, Virgin Care and WHSmith’s!
Thankfully the do or do not attitude has had far reaching results for myself my clients and their teams.
It led to me finding a solution to my 8 years of illness last May and now I’m well. Working full time and very grateful for my health. And thanks to the try or try not method, you can imagine how epic my time management and success rate has become?
It leads us finally to faith. Try or try not says. I have faith in what I do. I have no faith in what I can achieve. I have no faith in who I am.
So, ask yourself this. Do you have faith in what you will do? Who you are? And what you can achieve?
Get in touch anytime.
I love the phone ringing 01206 381482. Or if that feels to scary to phone in the first instant firstname.lastname@example.org I’m here to help.