What is the power of the word “yet?”

Can a single word have a profound effect on our abilities? The short answer is yes. Most people when faced with a challenge will have one of two reactions: they will embrace wholeheartedly with an excitement towards learning or they will be unenthusiastic and unconfident concerned only with a looming failure .

The idea behind these positive and negative reactions is the mindset they have towards their own learning and development. Those that embrace the challenge are “embracing the power of yet, whilst the others are stuck in tyranny of now” says Carol Dweck in her Ted Talk on the The Power of believing you can improve.

Dweck implies that simply encouraging someone with the word “yet” and praising their process, strategy, effort and progress will have an unquantifiable benefit on their learning abilities, rather than judging their answer as wrong. By categorising that one answer and not properly assessing the entire process behind, the person is being pigeonholed and their confidence towards approaching new problems will be decimated.

Whilst this is most apparent with children and their learning abilities, it can still be applied to almost everyone, even if their mindset has been fixed for as long as they can remember. Beginning with the smallest challenges, a fixed mindset can be broken and the mind unleashed. The power of yet lies in the idea that the achievement is pending, it is not a singular destination that once attempted will not be arrived at.

For some such a simple concept is easily understood and somewhat obvious, but for others the tyranny of wrong constricts their ability. It is as simple as as swapping “no” for “not yet”.


Via Tedx