The 3-Letter Word That Immediately Begins To Defrost The Learning-Something-New Brain Freeze

I love learning stuff. Fun stuff. Interesting stuff. Cool stuff. Exciting stuff. Not always useful but who-knew stuff.

I’m not a fan of learning boring stuff.

I was always told by others of authority that I didn’t apply myself, or it was too hard for me to learn, or I wasn’t good at “that” (whatever ‘that’ was I was trying to learn at the time). I knew a lot of critics.

I also don’t like to look stupid. I always thought everyone else got what was going on in classes and I was suffering silently.

I learned learning was hard. I adopted this and told myself this mantra. Learning is hard. Old dogs and new tricks don’t match up.

The problem with all this was my subconscious was listening.

Any time I attempted to try to learn something new, I would go back to that mantra “learning is hard” and my subconscious responded with “Okey-dokey, we’re going to make this hard since that’s what you want.”

Instead of a three-letter word, I had plenty of a four-letter one.

Then I stumbled upon NLP. Neuro-Linguistic Programming and discovered that all these years, the harshest critic of all was me.

I programmed myself to struggle against learning.

I’ll make a wager. If someone recorded the way you talk to yourself for a day then a week later replayed it to you and told you that’s how you talked to a stranger, you would be mortified. No way would you be so mean to another human being, especially someone you don’t know!

We’re mean to ourselves. Way. Too. Much.

But let’s get back to this learning thing (yet do reach out if you want help learning to talk nicer to yourself).

This one three-letter word makes all the difference. I’m proof. More than once.

While in the financial industry, in one year I earned my Series 7, 9, 10, 63, and 65.

Over a decade later, in one year I earned my NLP Practitioner and Coach Certification, as well as Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Confidence Coaching Certifications.

The one word that made the difference from struggling to succeeding is yet.

Try it out for size. Add it to the end of your sentence:

I don’t understand this….yet

I don’t know how to do this….yet

I can’t figure this out….yet

You’re allowing yourself a little emotional release of frustration while telling your brain that you will make it happen.

Try it the next time you are stuck on a problem or trying to learn something new and feel the difference that three letter word can make.

Then please, let me know how it works for you!


I help amazing people get career happy and companies stay true to brand.

Coaching: Career, Emotional Intelligence, Confidence, Business, Brand, Yoga

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All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog, who thinks I’m hilarious (maybe because I’m his meal ticket?).

2 thoughts on “The 3-Letter Word That Immediately Begins To Defrost The Learning-Something-New Brain Freeze”

  1. WOW! That’s a really interesting way to think about this. I was just in Indiana seeing friends and clients, and all I heard from my friends were apologies, and negative self-talk. Trust me I called them out on it, but doing the recording (or suggestion of it) really makes you pause and think about it. Great article!

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