The 3-Letter Word That'll Instantly Improve Your Self-Esteem

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Next time you're about to tell someone you can't do something, stop yourself. If you ever have a bad thought about yourself, stop.

know it's much easier said than done, but if we continue to let these bad thoughts in, they will grow and make us feel much worse about ourselves.

It's a good habit to get into to try and stop these thoughts the second they happen. Try to distract yourself, and go for a run. Have a good cry and just let the tears flow instead of trying to justify them. Blast the loudest, most sad songs you can think of and just listen to them.

Better yet, try to restructure the way you talk to yourself.

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The 3-letter word that'll instantly improve your self-esteem: yet.

Try saying, "I can't do that—yet" instead, which may go a long way in terms of how you view yourself and your abilities, according to Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

This tiny word has a big impact. Dweck has done a whole lotta research about having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. If you think you just are the way you are, and your abilities are what they are, then you'll think your lot in life is what it is: unchangeable and inevitable. This is a fixed mindset. What you think is what you create, to word it differently.

On the flip side, if you have a growth mindset, then you are open and ready for improvement. You're allowing room for advancement, learning, and positive change in your life. You don't see failure as this great big ending but rather as an excuse to try again.

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And you can change your attitude daily simply by adding "yet" to your statements.

According to the Science of Us, from the perspective of a teacher and a student, Dweck explains it like this: "We've found that putting in certain phrases like not yet or yet can really boost students' motivation. So if a student says, 'I'm not a math person—yet.''I can't do this—yet.' And it means that with your guidance they will continue on their learning trajectory and get there eventually. It puts their fixed mindset statement into a growth mindset context of learning over time."

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And honestly, that's the way it should be. You are never so old that you stop growing and evolving, that you can't learn new habits and improve your well-being. You should constantly be striving to improve... so get motivated to get better about your fitness routine, your career goals, your diet, anything, and everything.

You're not the best you can be yet. Looks like we just found our new favorite mantra.

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This article was originally published at Self. Reprinted with permission from the author.