Not Yet VS. FAILED!!!

I came across an article about a Chicago school a few years ago that started doing something really interesting. Students there needed a certain number of classes to graduate but instead of teachers giving them an “F” if they failed a class, they got a grade of “Not Yet”.

After that, the graduation rate skyrocketed.

The point was, by thinking in terms of “Not Yet” you can set up a path towards growth.

You escape the tyranny of “I just failed” and replace it with the hope of “I’ll get there eventually.”

Psychologists called the change in thinking the Growth Mindset and brain scans actually show a difference in the brains of people who think in terms of “not yet” versus “I failed”. In her TED presentation, “The Power of Believing You Can Improve”, Carol Dweck explains the power of “Not Yet”.

She talks about every time you push through a difficult experience or a failure and say to yourself “I’m not there yet, but I will be someday”  something inside of you changes. You grow in such a huge way that your brain actually gets rewired.

Success in business, and really life, is all about how you respond to failure. Success is not about what you have already achieved. I’m sure you can recount story after story of successful people that overcame adversity.

So today, when you fail or get told no, or when you have a rough weekend or don’t hit your sales goal, fight the urge to look at it as a failure. Instead, tell yourself “just not yet”.

Big changes can happen when you catch this mindset. It transforms the meaning of all your effort from failure to future success and it empowers you to get back on the treadmill of life and keep running.

Do you have a story you can share where this mindset paid off for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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