The Power of YET!

No matter the original source, the premise, “If you believe that you can or you believe that you can’t, either way you’re right”, is a powerful statement. Each human mind determines what the individual attached to it will accomplish. This is why negative thinking and negative self-talk is so toxic. Every ‘can’t’ becomes a self-reinforcing nail in the coffin of personal achievement.

Hundreds of life coaches have helped millions of people overcome their self-doubt and attain much more than they ever dreamed possible. More often than not, their techniques focus on changing the mindset to belief from uncertainty.

Internationally known author and speaker, Tony Robbins doesn’t convince people to become ‘fire walkers’ to get them to walk simply across burning coals. He’s replacing doubt and fear with faith and confidence.

Every time Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything out of life that you want, if you will help enough other people get what they want”, he was helping to change a mindset from complacency to dreaming of a better life.

When Grant Cardone trains salespeople, he blows their preconceived notions right out the window. He challenges them to forget their small goals and replace them with 10X goals.

What you tell yourself, day after day, even in small ways, will manifest into your belief set. Your personal belief set will determine what you accomplish in life.

If even the small bits of negative self-talk make a difference, different bits of positive self-talk can change your life. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are afraid of heights. For years, every time you even thought about climbing a ladder or standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, you shuddered in fear. Your very thoughts reinforced the fear and changed your behavior. As a result, today you won’t climb a ladder and certainly won’t go near the edge of the Grand Canyon, even with the safety rails.

What else won’t you do because you are ‘afraid of heights’. (A state you have convinced yourself is real through years of reinforcing the mindset you created with self-talk.) How about rock climbing? What about SKYDIVING?

By now you’re vividly protesting, “I just told you I’m afraid of heights and now you’re talking about skydiving. Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Are you nuts?” No, just demonstrating a point. In a few brief sentences, you reiterated the fear, proclaimed its validity, and projected insanity from the mere suggestion that change was possible.

So, ratchet down the objection and take a look at the process. Years of incremental self-talk develops into a belief set of self-determination. In like manner, a period of differing self-talk can transform that belief set into something completely altered. And it starts with a very simple three letter word, yet.

With the list of self-limiting statements seemingly endless, here are just a few more examples:

  • I can’t give up my Diet Coke.
  • I don’t like to go to the gym to work out.
  • I can’t stop smoking.
  • I won’t be able to finish my degree.
  • I can’t speak in front of people.
  • I don’t deserve that promotion.
  • I can’t start my own business.

By changing these hard and fast statements in very tiny ways, a world of possibilities opens up. Drop the period, add a comma, and finish with ‘yet…‘

  • I can’t give up my Diet Coke, yet…
  • I don’t like to go to the gym to work out, yet…
  • I can’t stop smoking, yet…
  • I won’t be able to finish my degree, yet…
  • I can’t speak in front of people, yet…
  • I don’t deserve that promotion, yet…
  • I can’t start my own business, yet…

What just happened? The finality of each statement became the start of a new ‘possible’.

  • Perhaps I can start limiting how many Diet Cokes I drink in a day.
  • Maybe going to the gym could be fun.
  • Fighting my nicotine addiction may be possible.
  • Finishing college might not be just a pipe dream.
  • I might be able to at least ask or answer a question in a group setting after all.
  • Going above and beyond at work could be worth trying.
  • Becoming an entrepreneur is not so far out of reach.

Once the door to positive change opens, even by the merest crack, everything becomes brighter. Every time your self-talk ends in ‘yet’, new ‘possibles’ are being reinforced. Soon, the ‘perhaps’, ‘maybes’, and ‘might’s turn into ‘can’s, ‘will’s, and ‘must’s.

As your new mindset blossoms, possibilities become dreams. Dreams become goals. And goals, once clearly defined, broken into small, achievable, sequential steps, and consistently acted upon, will be achieved.

Do you want more out of life? Would you like to change some things about yourself? Are better relationships something to strive for? Any bad habits you’d like to break? Make some tiny changes in your thinking.

Starting today, every time your old mindset gives you a ‘I can’t’, ‘I don’t’, or ‘I won’t’, turn it around with a resounding ‘YET!’.


Rick Artis is a serial entrepreneur and now serves as the Membership Coordinator at The Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.