The words we say to ourselves matter. The stories we tell ourselves and words we choose to repeat in our heads, matter. Thoughts create feelings. We take action from our feelings. Our action creates our results. One word can have a huge impact on the results we create in our lives.
One of the most powerful words you can use in your self talk is YET.
This 3 letter word can make a huge difference in how you experience yourself and your future.
When we set goals for ourselves, no matter how big or how small, there will be a period in time that you are working towards achieving those goals. During the journey to your goal, you will face challenges. Challenges are a built-in experience when you are working to achieve your goals. It would not be a goal if there was not something you needed to overcome.
So at some point, you will face a challenge and you will experience doubt. Usually doubt starts as a whisper, but if you fuel it with focus, it can quickly become a roar.
The brain likes to attach doubt to all sorts of other thoughts about yourself. Think of it like the doubt creating a marching band with all its other friends, even if they have nothing to do with the experience, to join in the noise. Now all the sudden you also have self judgment playing the tambourine, the time you gave up on a school project playing the trumpet, the time you pulled out of the race on the drums, your perfectionist thoughts on the cymbals. It is a marching band of chaos! If you let it, it will get louder and louder until you decide to stop it by either choosing different thoughts (which gets harder and harder the louder it gets), or giving up on the goal.
The most effective way to keep doubt from gathering a marching band of chaos in the first place is to use the simple word “yet.”
When you notice that you are having thoughts of doubt, add yet after the thought:
I have not found the job I want… yet
I have not hit my target weight… yet
I have not worked through my grief… yet
The earlier you can begin to do this, the quicker you will find it is easier to find more perspective and less likely the doubt will turn into a full ledge Thanksgiving Day parade band.
Take this example I worked through with a client:
Goal: Find a job they love and challenges them
Circumstance: My client interviewed but was not chosen for a job they wanted.
Thought: “I have not found a job I love.”
Doubt whispered: “I will NEVER find a job that I love.”
Marching band chaos chimed in with: “I am not qualified.” “All the jobs are taken” “I don't have what it takes.” “I am asking for too much” “I don't deserve to have a job I love.” “No one will hire me.”
Feelings: anxiety, fear, worthlessness
My client stopped looking for jobs, they stopped dreaming about what they wanted in a new job, they stopped believing it was possible.
Result: They did not find a job they loved. In fact, they didn't find any job. The marching band of chaos totally took over so to stop the chaos, they stopped the goal and stopped looking.
BUT when they added “yet”, they had a totally different experience.
Same goal, same circumstance.
Thought: “I have not found a job I love.”
Doubt whispered: “I will never find a job I love.”
Add in yet: “I have not found a job I love… yet”
Doubt has nothing to add to this. Yet totally disarms doubt and it has no fuel to bring in the marching band of chaos. It might try to keep on whispering, but keep reframing with yet. That is the work, add yet, and keep re-framing. Do not add fuel to what doubt whispers, redirect to yet.
Because there was not a marching band of chaos, my client had totally different feelings and therefore different actions and results.
Feelings: assured and calm
My client started looking for jobs again, asked their network for help, got clear on what they wanted.
Result: They are currently being interviewed for their dream job
In this example, you can see how this simple word makes a tremendous difference. It will likely be a life changing experience from adding one word to their self talk and sticking with it!
Give it a try. I challenge you to add “yet” to any doubt you have in the next 7 days and see what happens.