Have you ever tried something new and felt dejected when it didn’t work out? Have you ever been frustrated with your team or a colleague because they just didn’t seem able to produce the results needed?

Of course you have. We all have! It’s entirely normal. And more than likely you, like the rest of us, have often given up or lowered your ambitions as a result. Again, all perfectly normal.

But we have a solution! Two powerful words which when added to your negative, self-doubting sentences will help you find the mental strength to continue on, to try again … and again! To be more resilient and to feel more positive.

‘Not yet’

These words, which we borrow over and over again from Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck, are amongst the most powerful phrases that a leader can (and should) use.

Simply insert these words into your sentences and see how they turn around your thinking and therefore your behavior. For example:

  • You are trying to learn something new and don’t feel you are making progress. Don’t say: ‘It’s not working.’. Instead, say: ‘It’s not yet working’.
  • You are struggling to resolve an issue. Don’t say: ‘I can’t find a solution’. Instead, say: ‘I have not yet found the solution.
  • You have struggle to get along with someone. Don’t say: ‘Our relationship is not working’. Instead, say: ‘Our relationship is not yet working.
  • You feel unqualified for a particular role. Don’t say: ‘I am not qualified for the job’. Instead, say: ‘I am not yet qualified for the job’.

Notice how the two alternative sentences differ and how you react to them.

The first sentences sound very definitive. Story over. Time to pack up. It’s never going to change.

The second sentences suggest an element of hope. Things could improve. There is still a chance that things might work out.

Hope is fuel. So long as we have it, we have the energy to be resourceful and engaged.

Hope is inspiring and contagious. Isn’t that what we want to cultivate as leaders?

Now – to be honest – we can’t just insert these two words into our sentences and expect a miracle turnaround.  We do have to do a little bit more than just use ‘not yet’ more frequently.

For ‘not yet’ to have true power, we have to combine the words with deliberate action. Action based on the resourcefulness and engagement that have been nurtured as a result of using the words ‘not yet’. Without action, nothing will change. But, of course, we don’t have to explain that!

And also … in reality, sometimes, it actually IS better to stop wasting time, resources and energy pursuing certain goals, which will (for whatever reason) always elude us. After all, there is real power in knowing WHEN to stop and to feel good about that decision. (But that is something we will discuss in a future newsletter article!)

For the time being, let’s use ‘not yet’ followed by deliberate action – and remember this wonderful quote from US basketball star Michael Jordan: Limits, like fear, are often an illusion.

If you would like to give yourself or your entire team a boost of positive energy and develop some strategies for approaching challenges with a positive mindset, we can provide our very effective ‘Boost’ seminar in an online format. Guaranteed to increase resilience and inspire renewed determination. Contact us to find out more.