By Wild Violet
Early on in my Roller Derby journey, one of my trainers introduced me to the power of using the word “yet” when I came up against a skill or drill I could not do.
“I can’t do a stutter stop!”
“You can’t do a stutter stop YET.”
Adding that one word to the end of any frustrated statement helped to transform my outlook. I didn’t completely stop feeling frustrated when I hit walls, but I regained optimism that I would eventually scale over them.
The language we use can be powerful. The words we say inside our heads when we try something and struggle have the ability to hinder us further in our progress or give us a push to keep going.
“I can’t do it.”
“I suck at this.”
“I’m not good at this skill.”
“My body doesn’t work that way.”
Are we telling ourselves things we wouldn’t dream of saying to another skater? What if we change these types of thoughts?
“I can’t do it-YET.”
“I haven’t mastered this-YET.”
“I’m not good at this skill-YET.”
“My body doesn’t work that way-YET.”
See the difference?
We can only progress by trying-and sometimes failing-first. Forget what Yoda said, try and try again. In all new things we do, we need to put in the work to get where we want to go. We may not be there-YET-but moving forward is the only way to get there.
The next time that Negative Nelly voice in your head starts criticizing you, remember the power of language and turn it around. Look how far you have come already, and instead of seeing the road ahead as long and daunting, see it as an epic journey to be conquered. Each drill, practice, scrimmage, or bout is part of the adventure.
Don’t ever allow the one stopping you from getting there to be you. Change your language, and you can change your derby experience.