• René Pothetes

The Power of Try, the Tyranny of Now

I’ve been watching videos of professor, author and speaker, Carol S. Dweck and the power of believing you can improve.

An excerpt from her TED talk:

“I heard about a high school in Chicago where students had to pass a certain number of courses to graduate, and if they didn’t pass a course, they got the grade “Not Yet.” And I thought that was fantastic, because if you get a failing grade, you think, I’m nothing, I’m nowhere. But if you get the grade “Not Yet” you understand that you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path into the future.

“Not Yet” also gave me insight into a critical event early in my career, a real turning point. I wanted to see how children coped with challenge and difficulty, so I gave 10-year-olds problems that were slightly too hard for them. Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way. They said things like, “I love a challenge,” or, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative.” They understood that their abilities could be developed. They had what I call a growth mindset. But other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic. From their more fixed mindset perspective, their intelligence had been up for judgment and they failed. Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet, they were gripped in the tyranny of now.”

Breaking down barriers in order to overcome emotional eating issues is not an easy path. Many get stuck in the “now” and can’t even imagine what “not yet” could look like.

Here’s an example of mired in the “now” – there is so much information (and mis-information) about what constitutes a healthy diet, that I’m doomed to be overweight for the rest of my life, I’ve tried everything!

Or, it doesn’t matter how much I exercise, my body doesn’t change.

Instead, what if, by invoking a mindset of “not yet” we could look at things differently. Example – there is so much information (and mis-information) about what constitutes a healthy diet, that I’m doomed to be overweight for the rest of my life, unless I develop a better understanding of what my body needs in order to make a lasting change…

I encourage you to think carefully about where you are, where you want to be, and how the conversation(s) you have with your self move you toward a “yet” mindset, or keep you mired in the “now.”

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