Do or Do Not; There is no Try: Facing Uncertainty

The Star Wars series is arguably one of the greatest cinematic displays in the entertainment industry. Not just because of the story line, or the fact the series has been around for 45 years, but all the philosophical quotes provided by the great and wise Yoda.

Yoda’s primary role was to train Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi, but also to mentor him to learn the ways of the Force. There were challenges, failures and self-doubt at numerous turns for young Skywalker, but Yoda was always there with wise words of wisdom, all of which hold relevance to many of us in our daily lives. In times of uncertainty, or when learning new skills, you may be asked to try something for the first time, which can seem daunting and add anxiety, but necessary for growth. In these times, finding ways to be confident can be difficult, but not impossible.

“Do or Do Not. There is No Try”

Over the last couple of months, one of Yoda’s quotes that has resonated with me is “Do or do not. There is no try.” In February, I found out I was slated for a certification course taking place in April. Two months did not leave me much time in terms of preparation, especially since I would be missing two weeks due to training that I needed to be eligible for this certification course. Each day over those two months was filled with reading research, diving into practical exercises, understanding the practical exercises, and teaching back skill after skill after skill. Some days, my mentor would challenge me to teach a skill without any notice. In these moments, I found myself shaken, unsure and nervous about the thought of teaching something I did not fully comprehend. I would often say, “Okay, I will try” to which she responded, “Sometimes you just gotta get up and do it.” And she was right. Saying, “I will try,” is not as confident as saying, “I am going to do it.”

Nothing can match personal experience in terms of your level of confidence, but we do not always have the privilege of experience in our back pockets. For me, getting in the mindset of, “I am just going to do it,” gave me the confidence I needed in those uncertain times. Did the teach backs turn out well? Not always, but failure is a part of learning, and giving your best self is going to help create more accurate feedback, which is what helps you get better.

Building Confidence in Uncertain Times

Ultimately, it starts with changing your mindset about failure. Failure is an essential part of growth. Some would argue that you can learn more from failure than you can learn from success. However, often people avoid failing because of how it makes us look and feel in front of other people, or how it might impact future situations.

When you perform, there are always two options: you win or you lose. Understanding this and being comfortable with the fact that losing may in fact be an outcome, can lessen the pressure of failure just enough to help you perform like your true self.

To add on to this, grounding yourself in personal growth can help you be more confident in uncertain times. Yes, knowing that failure is a potential outcome, but also that failure will help you better because you now know what not to do, or what the adjustment might be for next time. Therefore, the next time you are in a similar situation, you will be more prepared. Understanding that each and every scenario will help you grow, whether a success or failure, can help you be confident and bring your true self to that moment.

Finally, having your own motto or catch phrase that you can go to in these uncertain times can help you remain confident. For example, I would say, “Be yourself,” or, “Have fun,” right before my practice teaches. Did it mean I would remember the content? No, but it put me in the right mental state to perform my best. Having a go-to saying can increase your comfortability and help you be your authentic self, which can help you perform at a high level. Find what works for you. Find what can get you where you need to be to perform your best and learn a thing or two.


Final Thoughts

Failing is not easy. Being confident is not always easy, especially when you have zero experience with what you are about to do. However, in order to perform your best and receive more accurate feedback, you must shed your fear of uncertainty and failure by attacking that situation with as much confidence as possible. So next time you are in an uncertain situation, and you are asked to perform, do not try your best, instead, do you best.