29 Jan

The Power of Yet

Some of you may have noticed the changes around here over the past few weeks. They’re slow, in part, because I have so many balls in the air – I happen to be in the midst of one of my own life transitions. I’m trying to move at the pace of guidance, but I get frustrated with myself when I feel like things aren’t going fast enough.

I’m trying to remember the power of yet.

Growth by KimManleyOrt (via Flickr)

Growth by KimManleyOrt (via Flickr)

Last month, I was able to spend a lovely week in my Midwestern home town, connecting with loved ones and settling into a slower pace, if only for a few days. While there, I caught up with my oldest and dearest friend, and our conversation went into details that we don’t often get to on the phone. Rhonda’s been an elementary school teacher for the past 15 years, and she had recently attended an in-service training on Teaching with a Growth Mindset. In fact, she said, it was one of the best trainings she’d ever been to. I was intrigued, so I asked her to tell me more. This idea that moving from a fixed mindset – one where students assume their knowledge and abilities are fixed at a certain level – versus one of growth – where talents result from effort, good teaching, and persistence – felt really powerful.

You can read more about the topic here, but one thing that really struck me was the way Rhonda said this mindset was impacting her students’ language. Rather than saying, “I don’t know,” they were now saying, “I don’t know yet“.

I don’t know the answer to that question… yet.

I don’t know how to do that… yet.

As I sit here, creating my business plan for the next phase in my career, writing and rewriting my About page, wondering whether I really need an Instagram account – and, oh yeah, sitting with clients as a therapist trainee – it’s easy for me to get stuck in self doubt and worry that I’m never going to get there (wherever “there” is). And I realize I’m working from a fixed mindset. I don’t know how to do this right now becomes simply I don’t know how to do this (and sometimes, I can’t do this). I think of those nine-year-olds changing their language.

One little word has the power to change things. Remember the power of yet has become a simple mantra that helps me shift my own mindset from a place of stuckness to one where I can see the broader view, where I can recognize this discomfort as part of the experience of getting from here to there, instead of as proof that I’m not enough.

I’m not done with this yet. There’s still a lot of work to do. And that’s okay! The work is what keeps me moving forward.

Or, said a different way: