Saturday, November 13, 2010

Add 'yet' to your vocabulary

All too often my students and clients say to me "I can't do it".

It's such a final statement, one which puts a full stop under learning, signs it off and tucks it away in a dungeon somewhere far away. Hands thrown up in despair and with a sense of failure and dejection. You get the picture, and it's rather bleak.

Maybe at this stage in their lives they genuinely feel unable to complete the task even with help and support. But there is one word I encourage them to add EVERY TIME they hear those words come from their mouth, no matter how sullenly uttered. And I get them to repeat the new phrase to me until it begins to roll naturally off their tongue.

Simply, add the three letter word "yet" to the sentence.

Just by doing this allows a breath of hope into the equation. It allows for growth, change and a whole new approach to the task.

So "I can't do it" becomes "I can't do it yet" with the unspoken "But maybe someday I will be able to".

And "I don't have the confidence" becomes "I don't have the confidence yet" with the unvoiced "But maybe someday I will".

It's liberating. Shoulders unhunch, faces relax, the sense of hopelessness and frustration some students and job hunters experience begins to loosen its grip.

Don't underestimate the power in adding this one, three letter word to negative sentences!

Please feel free to share your experience and comments.


Liza said...

Wow. What a powerful word. I'm going to practice using it...that is, when I am unable to abolish "can't" from my vocabulary.

sue said...

Liza, thanks for visiting, and the comment. It's sparked a lot of ideas for a future post. And just between you and me, 'can't' still slips out from my mouth, and my husband picks me up on it gleefully.