In primary school I was hopeless at Maths. I was a couple of years behind my class in skill level, and I would get so frustrated about being so far behind my friends, feeling stupid and silly, like I'll just never get it!
One day I came home from school after a Maths test, angry, frustrated and totally dejected. I remember saying to my Mum, 'What's the point? I'm just not good at this'. I'll never forget my Mum's response. She said:
'Turia, you're not good at this....YET. Maths is a skill. It's just like riding a bike. Just because you're not good at it now, doesn't mean you won't be good at it in the future. (In the way Mum's always are, she was right).
Years later, I graduated high school first in my classes and the winner of the Maths Medal and went on to become a mining engineer.
It was a lesson Mum taught me again in the hospital. When I couldn't feed myself, couldn't dress myself, couldn't brush my hair (for years!), I would cry with frustration and say 'I can't do it'.
Each time Mum would gently remind me: 'Turia, you can't do it YET!'
What Mum made me realise was that, even though my situation was hard, it wasn't permanent. If I kept trying, kept persevering, I could and would get better. She's pretty good, my Mum!
Looking back now, I understand that what she taught me had lasting impact beyond those early years at school and those months in hospital. The lesson she really taught me was of self-talk, about how the words we speak, to ourselves and others, become our reality.
See, when you say something negative and final like 'I can't do this' there's no room for movement. It's a fixed and final statement, one your brain reads as 'the end'. You can't do this and you never will. So, give up.
But adding three little letters to the end ...Y E T... opens you up to a whole world of growth. I can't do this yet, but if I keep trying, one day I will.
So, my challenge for you this week: You're no longer allowed to say 'I can't do this' UNLESS you add those magic, little three letters on the end: 'I can't do this YET'. Remember, where you are right now isn't permanent, with time, energy and a little perseverance, all things are possible!
(Turia Pitt is a mindset coach, international keynote speaker, humanitarian and athlete. She is the author of Unmasked, Everything to Live For, Mindset Magic, and Good Selfie).
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