The Power of Yet
If you have done any reading or learning in the area of mindset, you know that the power of yet can be a powerful game changer. It can help move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
The concept is simple:
Help students change from saying and thinking “I can’t” to believing “I can’t yet.”
Shift them from “I don’t get it” to “I don’t get it yet.”
Push them from “I don’t know” to “I don’t know yet.”
And encourage them to abandon “This doesn’t work” for “This doesn’t work yet.”
It’s a significant way to re-frame our thinking, to be sure. And it’s one that can help those who are consistently down on their own accomplishments to recognize there is always an opportunity for more.
Reframe What it Means to Fail
This concept is not new. In F is to Face Challenges I shared that the acronym of FAIL can represent First Attempt In Learning. But the idea of yet can be a subtle and meaningful reminder to our that we are always growing, always learning.
How amazing it could be if we tackled our own personal frustrations with “yet”. How significant for an adult to model this language and embrace this belief system rather than simply saying the words to children. We know that modeling works, but somehow we don’t seem to use it as effectively and consistently as we should.
So how does all of this lead us back to inclusion?
Again, if we shift our thinking to embrace the power of yet, we can move that much more steadily on the road to inclusion. It allows us the room to take steps and manage them before moving on to the next. It helps us to see that we can be inclusive by opening the doors and starting the journey, and that we don’t have to wait until we reach an arbitrary end point to say we are inclusive. Way too often does an organization say or believe that if they “can’t do it all” they are not or will not be inclusive. Unfortunately, there are even disability advocates among us who criticize organizations for not being “inclusive enough”.
Imagine the game changer if we harnessed the power of yet in such situations:
“We just can’t meet your daughter’s needs here,” can become, “We understand that we are not meeting your daughter’s needs yet, please be our partner so we can do this more effectively together.”
“We do not have an accessible entrance/bimah/bathroom,” can become, “We do not have an accessible entrance/bimah/bathroom yet.”
And “We can’t afford those structural changes,” can become, “We can’t afford the structural changes required to improve our accessibility yet.”
What’s more, despite the frustrations they may feel, how powerful if those wishing to access our congregations also embraced the power of yet:
“I am pulling my daughter out of your program because you can’t meet her needs!” can become, “Your program doesn’t meet my daughter’s needs yet, I will help you understand how to do that more effectively.”
“I have to leave my temple/school because the entrance/bimah/bathroom isn’t accessible” can become, “This space isn’t fully accessible yet, but this is my community and I will serve on the committee to guide those changes.”
And even more powerful is what can happen when ALL of our teachers embrace this belief and demonstrate “a yet attitude”:
“He doesn’t seem to be getting anything out of this lesson…yet”
“Her behavior is so difficult and I just don’t know what to do with her…yet”
“I just can’t get him to cooperate…yet”
The power of yet is real and unmistakable. How will you use it?
This post was originally published at Removing the Stumbling Block.