Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

There’s a little too much no out there.

No, you can’t.
No, you don’t have that.
No, that’s not affordable.
No, you’re not good enough.
No, you don’t know how to do that.
No, you can’t reach those customers.

The problem with no is in the finality of its tone. No cuts off possibility, especially inside your own head. Are you good enough to get this job? If your mind says no, then you move on – but chances are, you don’t come back, and that door of opportunity closes forever in your mind.

Not yet is the secret to coming back. It changes a definitive lack of possibility into a time-deferred possibility. It provides your own mind a way to acknowledge a realistic lack of resources, time, or knowledge without cutting yourself off from future potential.

Flowers of June

No says cut down the plant, it’ll never flower and it’s a waste of time and energy.

Not yet says you’re too early, but the buds are there and the blossoms will appear if you’re willing to be patient and keep caring for the plant.

This is super important if you’re dealing with anyone trying to learn, be it a student, child, or friend. If you ask an adult if they’re good at math, chances are they’ve got a lot of emotional baggage with that question and more often than not, you get an ashamed no, bringing back all kinds of unpleasant memories from childhood when someone told them that they were bad at math. Help them to reframe that answer into not yet, because it’s entirely possible to relearn something as an adult and develop amazing proficiency – if your mind is open to the possibility.

With children, this is even more important. If they believe no about themselves on a topic or field of study, that part of their future is gone forever. If you can teach a child to say not yet, and to believe that it’s just a question of more time to study something, that door remains open for them, and that potential can be revisited later on in life, perhaps with a better teacher.

What are you currently saying no to right now that you could be saying not yet to?

What potential have you taken away from yourself in the past that you can now go back to, knowing that you didn’t really mean no, but instead meant not yet?