One word. Three letters. When added to a thought, how powerful those three letters can be! How much that word can change how we feel about ourselves and our struggles!
This idea was incredibly helpful to me during my challenging times. How much of our time do we spend beating ourselves up, being hard on ourselves for something we haven’t been able to do? If you guys are anything like me – it’s a hell of a lot of the time. But, if we add the word “yet” to the end of those thoughts – or the words “right now,” it may help to shift things.
Doing this changed my perspective. I was able to see things from a growth or a possibility mindset, while acknowledging that right at this moment, this is tough. This gave me hope that at some point in the future (who knows when) I would be able to. It gave me the persistence to keep trying. It reminded me that where I am right now is not necessarily where I will be. It reminded me that things and I can change – that I am not a fixed entity.
- I can’t do this. … I can’t do this yet.
- This is too hard. … This is too hard right now.
- I can’t tell anyone how I feel. … I can’t tell anyone how I feel yet.
- Nobody understands. … Nobody understands right now.
- I can’t face my family. … I can’t face my family yet.
Essentially, I made a conscious effort to take notice when my trickster of a brain was telling me I couldn’t do something. When I noticed the word can’t, I added either “yet” or “right now.” This has helped in my grief and trauma recovery and my life as a whole. This word has allowed me to look at myself – at my perceived mistakes, failings, challenges, and difficulties – from a very different standpoint. Rather than being a hard-arsed drill sergeant harassing myself to be able to cope better and do more, I’m able to recognize where I’m not comfortable, what I would like to be different, and approach that with compassion.
This has increased my determination and persistence. After all, “can’t” is finite. “Not yet” gives hope and possibility.