by Lynda Wallace

The things we say, whether out loud or to ourselves, have a profound effect not only on how we feel, but also on what we do.

When we tell ourselves, I can’t do it or They’ll never allow it, we undermine our own power and motivation to make change in our lives. When we tell ourselves, I’ll find a way, or ask, “What haven’t I tried yet?” we give ourselves a feeling of hope that can help us to sustain the persistent effort we need to make things happen.

So it’s important that we pay attention to what we say.

Ask yourself this: How often are my comments positive and empowering, and how often are they negative and self-defeating? If you can shift that balance, even a little, you can have a real impact on how you feel and what you do.

Here’s one way to start the shift. If you find yourself saying things that suggest that the quality of your life is out of your hands, see if you can find a way to turn them around. One simple way is to use one of my favorite words: “Yet.”

Harnessing the Power of “Yet”
Adding “yet” to the end of a sentence can turn it from an old complaint into a new challenge. It can remind us how much power we do have, help us set goals for the future, and open us up to finding new ways to achieve them. It’s one of the surest and simplest ways to strengthen our hope and persistence—two essential elements of a happy and successful life.

Here are some examples of the power of “yet.”

For Ourselves
I haven’t been able to lose a single pound … yet.
I can’t get promoted because I’m just not good at giving presentations … yet.
I have no idea how I’m going to afford to pay for college … yet.

For Our Kids
I just don’t understand algebra … yet.
I don’t have any friends at my new school … yet.
I’m not having a good soccer season … yet.

In Our Relationships
I haven’t been on a single date since my divorce … yet.
I haven’t forgiven my sister for that old insult … yet.
My spouse doesn’t understand how much we need a weekend alone together … yet.

See the magic? Okay, time to add your own examples to the list. Think up a few ways you can use the power of “yet” to turn complaints into goals in your own life, and to help you generate the hope and persistence you need to achieve them.

Find out about upcoming courses with Lynda Wallace.

LyndaLynda Wallace is a certified Positive Psychology Coach with a thriving practice offering career, life, and executive coaching to local clients in her office in Montclair, New Jersey, and to clients around the world by phone and video. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and spent 20 years as an executive with Johnson & Johnson, where she ran a billion-dollar global consumer products business that includes some of the world’s most iconic brands.

Lynda is the author of the #1 Amazon self-help best-seller A Short Course in Happiness, the creator of the coach training program at Wholebeing Institute, and a mentor to coaches around the world. She loves her work. Find out more.