Want to know a secret? I know the most powerful word in the English language. No. Really. This word is angry Hulk/Scarlet Witch-level powerful. And it is only three letters. I bet you use it all the time and don’t even know how powerful it is! OK, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The most powerful word is…..YET.
What? You think I’m joking? Let me prove to you the power of YET. Read each of these sentences:
I can’t drive a car.
I’m no good at algebra.
I have no friends.
Pretty pessimistic – right?
Look what happens when you add the most powerful word to each of them:
I can’t drive a car YET.
I’m no good at algebra YET.
I have no friends YET.
So. Much. Better!
How can such a small, simple word completely change the entire meaning of these sentences? The first set of sentences implies that the person has given up. Researcher Carol S. Dweck calls this a fixed mindset. According to Dr. Dweck “the fixed mindset limits achievement…it makes effort disagreeable, and it leads to inferior learning strategies.” (Mindset (2016), p.67)
Adding the simple, but powerful YET indicates a shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. When you have a growth mindset you understand that “important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies.”
Having a growth mindset can help you reframe unsuccessful attempts to achieve a goal. This is what is so incredibly powerful about the word YET! By adding that word, by shifting toward a growth mindset, you are giving yourself permission to examine, reflect, and change the strategies you have been using to achieve the goal. You are giving yourself the energy and enthusiasm to look at a problem in a new way and try again to succeed.
So the next time you catch yourself having negative fixed-mindset thoughts, help shift yourself into a growth mindset with YET!