In 2016, Please Try

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!

This blog post is based on an emotional conversation I had with two of my best friends. I’ve mentioned these upstanding women in different posts and feel so honored to call each of them dear friends. This is basically a letter about effort.

“I need you to know how important the concept of trying is to me. I’m thinking about lots of conversations I’ve had in the last three months and now realize that effort and trying are vital to my existence. For me to be close to someone, I need them to TRY. There is no need to be perfect, they only need to practice putting forth a modicum of effort and show some personal agency. I’m not asking for too much.

It’s beautiful when people push themselves past their limiting beliefs and get an inch closer to what they want. Undeniable persistence is a gorgeous thing: I see one dear friend pursuing her Roller Derby dreams and I’m touched by this continual growth process. Another friend is applying to graduate school, something she’s put off for years. I witness people submitting resumes for out-of-reach jobs, and landing them! I see friends dating people they met years ago and reconnecting, based on mutual effort and willingness. I listen to clunky conversations that eventually straighten out because the people stay with it, keep experimenting, and know their value is not measured in what the outcome might be, but rather, that they’ve attempted.

Progress and process are keys to our own self-loving. Effort, for its own sake, is so pure. It’s passion, trial and error, and finding the right course for our ultimate meaning and happiness.


img_0422Though I’m not an avid member of the CrossFit community anymore, I tried and practiced really hard for five years. Now I try with equal diligence in my yoga classes, blog posts, and coaching business.  The pride payoff for attempting something special is totally worth the perseveration or doubt that probably occurred mere moments before I made the decision to show up.

A few months ago, I got my first headstand, something I didn’t think would ever be possible. Similarly, with communication, I’ve practiced being more heart-centered and open for a decade, and it’s paid off more than I can quantify. I’ve had love and travel experiences, opportunities to lead, and have exceptional closeness because I keep trying. The key was to try and put forth effort even when I felt frustrated, could not express myself as I wanted, or was being misunderstood by the other person. Now I’m at a place where I can basically listen and respond authentically without too much self-doubt.

I believe trying is about experimentation and keeping an open mind. The trial process is a belief in one’s self and pushing through discomfort in order to get to the next level. I think we must involve ourselves in the process, and not simply do things for the final outcome.

I’m impassioned by this topic of TRYING and now is as good a time as any to develop an experimental attitude. Don’t stop at fear! Instead, look at possible, even eventual, success. Trying is one of the existential parts of life that makes things better and worth living.

So now that the new year is here and it’s early January 2016, I ask you to identify a few areas in your life that need some TLC.  Are these new ideas you want to try? Are these activities or sports that have always eluded you? Is this a private discussion you need to have, but you’re waiting for the perfect timing? What dreams are you now pursuing? How will you try?

I need you to try for you and try for me. You don’t need to be perfect. Please try.”

To get a conversation going, please visit me at Coaching By Nina Rubin.

All of the photographs in this post are published with permission by photographer, Melissa Gluck. 

3 thoughts on “In 2016, Please Try

  1. Two quick comments, Nina:

    1 – Thank you for helping my friend. He just invited me to his going away party tonight after making the decision to move, which he says you helped him come to. He sounds better than ever. Well done! 🙂

    2 – One thing my therapist often stresses to me is the idea that “something is better than nothing.” I often bemoan that I’m not aggressive enough in looking for jobs, coasting on the fact that I’ve been able to jump from temp gig to temp gig to support myself. She suggested trying to apply to one job per day, and if that’s too much, cut back to one a week. I asked, “how does that help?” She responded, “how does your doing absolutely nothing help?”

    IMO, if you begin trying, you can gradually increase what you do (as I have). If you sit there and wallow in self-pity because you’re not doing what you should be, you guarantee that you will continue doing nothing.


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