Words have lots of power.
How many times have you, as learners, encountered can’t statements? Can’t as in “I can’t do math” or “I can’t draw” or “I can’t” just about anything. I think it was my grandmother who used to say “can’t never did anything”. And she was – and still is – right.
I was thinking about the power of “can’t” during yoga practice this week. It used to happen that when I was in a public class and a balance pose as simple as tree pose was called, my whole body would break into an anxiety sweat. I can’t balance on one leg, I would tell myself. I’m too clumsy, too old.
Then, one day, I switched the narrative to add in the word “yet”. I can’t do this… yet. Through those 3 letters, I could feel my attitude changing. “I may fall out of tree pose today, but some day I will nail it.” In fact in time, that’s exactly what happened.
When I was actively teaching, students often would say “I can’t” to everything from a writing topic to division. Adding the word yet to their statements – I can’t do this yet – often made a difference for them too.
Three letters. Those three letters can make all the difference for every student.