Adding “yet”

December 10th, 2013 by Kelly Kienzle


“I don’t speak well in front of groups.”

“I don’t speak well in front of groups yet.”

The difference in the construction of these two sentences is small.  But the difference in power and possibility is enormous.

The first sentence shows a fixed mindset of believing that I will never speak well in front of groups.  The second sentence reflects a growth mindset which shows I believe that learning to speak well is a long, curvy path and I have not yet reached the destination.  There is still more for me to learn.

I can add hope for my learning simply by adding “yet” to the end of my self-condemning sentences.

Try it with one of your sentences that you use to berate yourself, such as:

“I’m not good at math.”
“I don’t understand introverts.”
“I can’t prioritize my responsibilities.”

Or how about we just roll up all of those sentences into one blanket statement:

“I don’t know enough.”

Now add “yet” to the end of each of those sentences:

“I’m not good at math yet.”
“I don’t understand introverts yet.”
“I can’t prioritize my responsibilities yet.”

“I don’t know enough yet.”

What changes in your attitude about that skill?  How do you view your possibility for learning now?  What are you inspired to do?

By adding “yet” to the end of our self-condemning sentences we can tell ourselves that the opportunity to learn is not closed.  We are giving ourselves more time to learn.  We are allowing ourselves not to know everything from the moment we cross the threshold at work.

So, just once today, as you state something you cannot do, try adding “yet” to the end of the sentence.  Then, consider what you can do to continue your learning in this area.  Because, do you really want to say you’re a finished product and to stop learning?

Bonus Step: If you hear a colleague make a self-condemning statement today, add “yet” to the end of their sentence for them.  Then sit back and watch what Hope looks like as it opens up in someone’s mind.


“I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors”

Emily Dickinson

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