“Do, or Do Not … There Is No Try”

“Do, or do not … There is no try.”

~Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back – Star Wars, Episode V

Jedi Master Yoda said it to Luke Skywalker when he was training him to control the Force. I say it to my 11-year-old son as he’s learning new things and discovering where his skills and talents lie. (As a big fan of all things Star Wars, he gets it!)

I have it posted on the wall of my office along with other quotes that inspire me.

But if you’re not a Star Wars fan (gasp!), here’s another way of expressing the same idea:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

~Henry Ford

It all comes down to having complete belief in your ability to do something … including succeed as a freelance copywriter.

How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll try to get more copywriting clients so I can quit my J-O-B”? Or “I’ll try to work on a self-promotion campaign to market my copywriting services”?

How about, “I’ll try to earn a six-figure copywriting income”?

How many things do you actually accomplish when you keep telling yourself you’ll TRY to do them?

The Power of Belief

Many people have written and spoken about the power of belief – Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, Benjamin Disraeli, Sam Walton, even Dr. Seuss … to name just a few.

Some call it the Law of Attraction, others describe it as positive thinking, still others refer to it as manifesting. Some say it’s the payoff for hard work and perseverance.

The bottom line is this: when you believe you can do something, you will!

I know. It’s happened for me time and time again.

I believed that if I went to AWAI’s Web Copywriting Intensive and met Rebecca Matter in person that I would write for her and AWAI … I did, and I am.

I believed that I could win a Bootcamp Spec Challenge … I did.

I believed that I could replace the salary from my JOB with copywriting income within a year … I did and even surprised myself when it happened faster than I had planned.

I believe that I will be a six-figure copywriter next year … I’ll let you know when it happens!

The Power of Words

As copywriters, we know that words are powerful. We know the importance of choosing our words with care.

In addition to the words we use in our copy, we also need to carefully choose the words we use with ourselves.

When stating a goal, for example, consider which is more effective:

· “My goal is ____ (fill in the blank).”


· “I will ______ (fill in the blank).”

Which option more strongly reinforces your absolute belief in achieving the goal? “I will ____ _,” of course.

We copywriters search out and remove passive voice from our copy as a standard practice. This is the same thing …

“Try” is passive when it comes to achieving success. There’s no room for it in your mental dialogue.

In fact, I challenge you to remove “try” from your vocabulary completely!

The Power of Support

Yoda believed in Luke even when he didn’t believe in himself. If you don’t yet have total belief in yourself, here’s what you can do:

  1. Have someone else tell you every day that you can do it. This can be your spouse, best friend, parent, child, sibling … anybody who will look you in the eyes and tell you that you can. Pretty soon, you’ll start to believe them.
  2. Write a daily affirmation and read it out loud every day. Perhaps look at yourself in the mirror as you do so. Eventually, you’ll start to convince yourself.
  3. Surround yourself with other like-minded and positive people. Seek out success stories. (AWAI’s Wall of Fame is a good place for this. So are live events.) All of those positive vibes can rub off and start making you believe.

The Power of Action

Stop thinking about trying to achieve success as a copywriter — go out there and do it! And keep taking action until your belief is a reality.

A popular term for this phenomenon is “fake it till you make it.” Jack Canfield calls it “acting as if.”

The power of action is that it sends messages to your subconscious and to the universe that this is what you desire. And once those messages start getting received, results follow.

For example, establish a professional presence. Claim a professional title and use it on business cards, social media profiles, and your website. When introducing yourself, use your title and a brief description of what you do (or will do) for your clients.

If you don’t have clients yet, write the projects that you’d like to land. If you want to land a sales letter, write one. Case study? Autoresponders? Write them. Then use them as samples to show prospects the work that you’re capable of doing when they hire you.

Do, or do not …

It really is your choice. I hope you choose success. May the Force be with you!

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Published: November 14, 2012

2 Responses to ““Do, or Do Not … There Is No Try””

  1. Excellent topic, Michele. Thanks so much!

    The theme of the article is as clear as day: Let your writing do the talking. And if you don't write, you're not a writer. Period.

    You don't mince words, Michele. They are far too valuable. Keep up the great work!

    RNin2013November 14, 2012 at 9:07 am

  2. “Do, or Do Not … There Is No Try” Yoda said this not Michael Peterson

    Guest (Yoda)November 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

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