The Power of Not Yet


What does my title, chilli and failure have in common?

I would ask you to keep thinking and come back to this article when you have found an answer but I know you are curious, so let me share with you some insights about this.  Last week I presented some of my work to a corporate city firm and this generated some exciting conversations.

So… chilli eating is not a skill we are born with. The process of biting into it is the same in every culture, whether you are Asian (like many of my friends and clients) or Hungarian (like many of my friends, clients and me). When you bite into chilli we all experience this- capsaicin, a nitrogen compound that irritates the mucus membrane attacks the nerve receptors. We then have our personalized reactions. As we keep eating it, the more we get accustomed to it and the less it pains us.

Failure, the thing we all dread, operates on the same principle. Although there is no chemical we bite into, the process of failure is personalized. We have our own ways of dealing with it, mostly either pushing our disappointments away or numb the feeling of failing. (I have been a coach long enough to know this). The more we fail, the more we develop an attitude towards it or away from it, i.e. we either grow from it or avoid it like plague so just we stay safe. (again, I know this pattern too well).

What about Not Yet, you might ask? If you are anything like me, you like doing things and getting results. You work hard to get what you want but life does not always work in your terms. So when you fail, you label your project as a failure and worst case scenario, you label yourself as a failure. If this resonates with you, I am sure you never once say to yourself- “OK, I failed so this is a Not Yet category. Where do I go from here?”

It is inevitable that we fail in life. Our plans do not always work out, some of our delicious dreams get shattered, much of our efforts do not bring us the result we want. The list is endless and so is our ability to push our disappointment and frustration away.

Instead, we pick up another dream and rush towards it.

But not having something we have dreamt of does not mean not having it at all. It means a Not Yet.

And this is where chilli eating becomes useful, or at least the mechanism behind it. Because we can absolutely learn how to eat chilli as much as we can learn how to fail better. Or love better. Or how to be with our anger and in conflict. Trust me on this one, brain science is powerful stuff.

The way your brain is wired can be changed, rewired and ultimately bring you results you want in your life. When you learn a new skill, your brain creates neural pathways. The brain then creates neural maps and you operate on those without you needing to pay attention. Just like the way you drive your fancy car.

The great news is that it is the same process with emotions. In reality, you can unlearn and relearn how to be with emotions like anger, feelings of failure, joy, guilt, shame and a whole range of other emotions.

The principle is the same- practicing new thoughts and ideas so that you rewire the brain. Ultimately, you get new results, new reactions and new depths to your relationships.

If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about your brain, I have a few exciting announcements:

I will be running my Spring Classes from the end of March in London, UK where you can get to know about your emotions, brain and a whole range of really interesting things. This series of fresh, playful workshops are guaranteed to give you goosebumps, so please drop me an email here  for more details:

See you soon!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s