Have you experienced those times when you are confronted with obstacle after obstacle and you want to give up? However, because you’ve put in so much effort, you can’t allow yourself to quit?

I’ve spent the better part of two days trying to complete this post. I was stuck in the “I haven’t finished it yet” mode, and now, I’m free! How appropriate that I am writing on the topic of completion — as in being finished! Caput! Done! I have succeeded! Some could say that I am finally a Yet! Here’s the summary of what happened:

The Tale of a Yet

All of the Not-Yets said that some day

Their “Not” had to go far, far away.

But The Yets interrupted, they needed their say,

“There is so much more to getting your way!”

So the Not-Yets decided to set down a plan

To become the Not-Yets that certainly can.

They worked and they toiled and much to their surprise,

The “Not” in their “Yet” disappeared in their eyes.

Now everyone is a Yet, don’t you see?

And that’s when the Yets turned into WE!

~A Not-Yet Yet

Nothing like a good Dr. Seusssesque rhyme to get your eyes smiling and your brain working.


All of this silliness leads me to the question of measurement. What’s your measurement for success? And when do you decide that you have succeeded? When you get paid? When you are able to do a jump 360? When you send off that project or wake up pain free? In other words, when are you a Yet?

This idea has come up in several of the coaching conversations I have had in the last month. Come to find out, measurement is a tricky beast! The answer centers partly on some quantifiable measure, but the other part centers on the time frame in which we expect to be done.

One of the most powerful tools I found on this topic is Carol Dweck’s concept of “Yet”. In a nutshell, when we don’t decide an outcome as a success or failure within a certain time frame, but rather, we describe it as a process of completeness, a whole lot of needless suffering is kicked to the curb.

If failure is just feedback, and not some confirmation that we are …(You insert the negative self talk), then the question of success centers on goal completion, and not on the time in which we think it “should” take for us to complete it. End of story.

I know. I get caught up in that trap, too. I think I “should” have mastered it, finished it, got it done, yesterday just like this blog post. But if I use that inspiring and motivating word – YET — I discover that I am not a failure! I am still in process!

Carol Dweck’s TedX lecture is enlightening and helpful to us all. You can watch it below.

Until next time, it’s okay to be a Not-Yet!

With smiles,