Realistic self-talk: Don’t forget the power in “yet”


Realistic self-talk: Don’t forget the power in “yet”

Growing up, Chinese food was always my favorite. Not because the buffets were filled with endless rice and desserts, but we were each prized with a fortune cookie upon paying our bill. And, even though we rarely took stock in the message on the piece of paper nested inside the oft-stale shell, we always had a laugh — especially when we added the words “in China” after it. “You are well known and loved…in China. You will receive great wealth…in China. You will regain a friendship lost…in China.”

Even as an adult, the game is still fun. Only now, my kids are teaching me a new way to play and the “yet” movement is taking over elementary schools.

With positive self-talk, we are encouraged to neglect our character flaws and focus on what we are and do instead of what we can’t or aren’t. “I am friendly. I am a good person. I can do anything.” However, what if we really aren’t friendly or a good person or (heaven forbid) have limitations?

Instead of neglecting to focus on our weaknesses, faults, challenges and obstacles, we must name them but then end each observation with the word “yet.” This act doesn’t try to trick our psyche into believing an untruth, but turns a negative truth into a hopeful positive.

“I can’t pull a 200# deadlift…yet. I can’t get that handstand…yet. I don’t have a sub-3 Fran time…yet.”

Adding the simple 3-letter word to the end of our shortcomings gives space to improvement and ultimately change.