The Power of Not Yet

I recently watched a TED Talk which featured Carol Dweck, Author of Mindset, talking about the power of yet. I felt super inspired by this and it gave me such a positive outlook on how using language can have such a powerful impact on our emotions and how we think about things.


Therefore, I thought I would share with you Carol's case study along with how powerful using the word 'yet' can be when striving for a growth mindset.


Case Study:


Carol went to a High School in Chicago where students had to pass 84 units to graduate and if they didn't pass, they got the grade 'not yet.'


- The term 'fail' or 'failure' is granted as a dead end road, you've failed so now there is no where else to turn to or no path forward to progress whereas if you switch 'fail' to 'not yet' then this gives people the opportunity to grow and develop. It reassures them that they are on a learning journey and that they will get there, just not now.


- Those that were told they had failed resulted in them considering cheating next time (Blackwell, Trzesniewski & Dweck 2017), finding someone who did worse than them (Nussbaum & Dweck, 2008) or running away from difficulty (Hong, Chiu, Dweck, Lin & Wan 1999, Moser et al 2011, Mueller & Dweck 1998, Nussbaum & Dweck, 2008)


So how can we use 'not yet' in our everyday lives to try and help develop and uplift people?

How To Get To 'Not Yet':


- Praise Wisely - whether you are a student, teacher, employer or parent, praising the progress made along yours or their 'not yet' journey is powerful. It provides encouragement along with reassurance that they are heading along the right path.


Some things that could be praised are: their resilience, perseverance, hard work, strategies and focus.


- 'Yet' - simply by using the words not yet or yet has a significant impact as it develops greater confidence and persistence. It means that people have a chance at succeeding.


- Changing Mindsets - this can be something you can remind yourself of or perhaps a friend or family member. If you change your way of thinking when you are presented with something out of your comfort zone from 'it's going to be a challenge' to 'if I push myself out of my comfort zone, I will become more experienced and smarter' this is going to likely drive you to experience something outside of your comfort zone than feeling daunted and unsure.


I hope you have enjoyed learning about this theory like I did! Here's a link to the video in case you'd like to give it a watch. Let me know in the comments if you will be using Not Yet instead of fail now...