The Importance of Yet

I read a children’s book last year that taught the concept of “yet.”

Essentially, when you find yourself saying “I can’t,” adding the word yet at the end changes the entire meaning.

You shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Example: “I can’t travel to Europe” becomes “I can’t travel to Europe, yet.”

Adding the yet leaves wiggle room and possibilities. Yet allows us to hope and dream.

This week I tried changing one important phrase for myself.

“I can’t ever relax” became “I can’t relax, yet.”

As a stay-at-home mom, it can be easy to pity myself. It can feel like there is endless time and no time all at once.

I found myself pouting about not being able to relax more, and while pouting I was getting nothing done.

So this week I told myself, “You can’t relax, yet.”

Somehow the promise of future respite made me more positive and productive. I suddenly had permission to relax, once the work was done.

The meals got made, the house was clean, laundry done, appointments scheduled, etc. Then the kids and I had time together and Kevin and I had time together.

I suddenly had a surplus of time and energy to do my work and pour into my loved ones.

And then it finally happened today. We biked to the park, and I pulled out a book and coffee.

I can relax now. No one needs me.

It was worth the wait.

It may seem dramatic to say one word changed my attitude and productivity. But if you pay attention to your self-talk, you will likely find many “I can’t” mantras floating around.

These mantras come disguised as excuses, complaints, or even blaming.

“I can’t because they (fill in the blank).”

“If they would just (fill in the blank).”

I tried taking ownership of these thoughts, and it worked.

Personal responsibility is powerful. Instead of looking outward for excuses and blame, you look inward for solutions.

Maybe many of our “I can’t” moments are simply “I can’t, yet” moments.

Maybe we just need to do the work first or wait for a better time.

Maybe we need to leave room for all the possibilities.