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The Power of Yet

June 1, 2016 by Angela Botha

The Power of Yet.

I’m a big fan of TED Talks and I often get inspiration for my teaching watching TED. I came across a talk by Carol Dweck. Professor Dweck is a Professor of Psychology and author of Mindset: The Psychology of Success. This talk was about how some schools have started introducing the word yet into their grading systems. So instead of giving students a conventional grade such as F when the student has failed the subject they give the grade Not Yet. On receiving this alternative grade the students tried harder and rose to the future challenges set forth by teachers.

Now what has this got to do with Pilates? Well, it occurred to me that I tend to become a little obsessed with getting exercises right first time round – even when the exercise is a new one! Recently I have started embracing failure in my workouts. Except I don’t call it failure….I call it trying, because that’s exactly what it is.

While I’m trying, something else happens. I begin to enjoy the process. The process of changing my body and the way I use it. With Dweck’s simple statement of “Not yet” as my new mantra, I find I have the stamina to continue trying past fatigue. I don’t get frustrated, I get more excited. I remain patient and compassionate with myself for not being able to do something after many attempts. I remember Mr Pilates’ words “Patience and Persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavour.” I really get it now.

I will be introducing the Power of Yet to my clients and looking forward to their successes but more importantly creating a more positive energy around failure. Because it’s good to fail and to keep going long after the first time you didn’t get something right. Any Master of any craft will tell you that.