The Power of Yet: Your Guide to a Growth Mindset
Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, talks in her popular Ted Talk of the power of one simple word: yet!
The trouble is that most people have a fixed mindset, as Dr. Dweck explains.
Where you see failure as finite, an attack on you as an individual, and you give up.
We think if we aren’t good at something now, we never will be.
Saying, “I can’t do this” or “I never will be able to do this.”
Or perhaps you see failure as if YOU are the failure.
Rather than us saying, “That was bad” we say, “I am bad”.
We inadvertently link our self-worth with our outcomes.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Using the simple three letter word ‘yet’, we can change our perspective entirely.
“I can’t do this.”
“I can’t do this yet!”
It opens up the possibility of what you can do.
And moves to what Dr. Dweck calls a growth mindset.
A mindset where we value effort over opportunity, where studies showed children who were praised on effort over intelligence (outcome) showed improvement in performance.
When we catch ourselves with limiting beliefs and talking in finites, by adding the word yet, we break down the walls in our way and give life to the possibility of what could be.
We open up a mindset of seeing failure as an opportunity to grow, seeing setbacks as a chance to learn, and giving more effort moving forward.
It doesn’t guarantee our success, but if we give up, we guarantee that we’ll never get what we want.
As Dweck says in her talk, when you find yourself failing, say to yourself “Not yet”.
It gives you a path into the future.
Whereas when we stay in a fixed mindset, we build a wall that we don’t believe we can climb.
The bridge to yet
What can we do? How do we get there? What is the bridge we can cross to reach this mindset? Here are a couple of ways in which you can help yourself develop this growth mindset:
Praise the process.
Praise (either yourself or others) the processof achieving rather than current intelligence, strength, or ability. In other words, you’re praising the effort they are putting in to get to the desired result.
Reward for effort, strategy, and progress.
When you take on something, whether it goes well or not, reward yourself (or those you’re in charge of) by praising the efforts you put in, the strategy you used, and the progress (no matter how small) you’ve made.
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