Do Not "Try" to Do Well

Posted November 6, 2014

by Belinda He

do_or_do_not_there_is_no_try_star_wars_inspired_bracelet_0ffbfaf6In a widely circulated document amongst Feldenkrais Practitioners, ‘Learning to Learn’, written by Dr. Feldenkrais himself, a paragraph heading says ‘Do not “try” to to well’. In Dr Feldenkrais’ words:

“Trying hard means that somehow a person knows that unless he makes a greater effort and applies himself harder he will not achieve his goals. Internal conviction of essential inadequacy is at the root of the urge to try as hard as one can, even when learning…Learn to do well, but do not try. The countenance of trying hard betrays the inner conviction of being unable or of not being good enough.”

Remember Yoda saying “Do or do not, there is no try”?

As I continue on my journey of self-discovery as a dance artist and Feldenkrais practitioner, I seek to do what I can at the present moment, noticing how well or not the situation turns out. Giving myself permission to not “try”, but instead, simply, “do”, has significantly shifted how I live my life. With the ‘noise’ created by ‘trying hard’ muted, I can more often listen more clearly to myself, and as a result, both my emotional and physical well-being have improved.

Next week, I will share a little more from ‘Learning to Learn’. Feel free to comment or write to me with questions, at



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