I do, and I have to say it seemed a silly thing to say. Either the speaker didn’t like word contractions or they doubted my own assessment of a situation.
“I can’t do it”
“There’s no such word as can’t”
(does he not like work contractions?)
“I cannot do it”
“Don’t be silly”
(it can’t be word contractions)
“But I can’t”
“Yes you can”
(am I lying?)
Now as an adult I can understand there is a theory that this is being encouraging, but to me it was just confusing and confidence destroying. It told me that I as a child was unable to assess my own ability and I had to rely on another person to inform me of what I could and could not do.
Admittedly now as an adult I have children coming to me informing me they can’t do something, when I believe if they tried again, tried in a different way or altered some behaviour they could do it without any problem. However instead of telling them “There’s no such word as can’t,” I simply reply “Yet.”
- I love this word “yet”
- It contains in just 3 letters bounds of possibilities.
- All the world is open to you in “Yet.”
Well that is how I see it. In yet I am acknowledging, for myself as well as for the children that currently there is a situation when my ability or something else is limiting achievement. I am seeing things as they are, not trying to say persuade myself of an alternative reality where currently I can do “it” whatever it may be. I am also giving the children the power to assess their own ability, and for me as an adult to believe them.
However, that is not where I am happy to leave it. By using “yet” I am setting up for a future change. I hope for the children, as well as for myself, when they here that word “yet” it tells them to hope, to believe in their future selves, just as much as I believe in their current self. It tells them seeing things as beyond their grasp now doesn’t mean it always has to be that way.
“Yet” has given me hope.