The Big But Problem

We’re humans and we use language to tell others what do we feel. We express our deepest thoughts, feelings and intentions through our words, consciously and unconsciously.

During last few years, I’ve developed the habit of listening to people. Not just cursorily, but deeply. I’ve learned that by tapping into someone’s choice of words, I can really understand the mental and emotional blocks they have erected for themselves and open their reasons they aren’t as successful as they want to be.

There are several words that I often hear that are like enormous flashing neon signs screaming, “This is what is keeping me stuck!!!”

One of those words is the tiny “but”.

Have you heard yourself or someone else say something like:

  •  I want to make more money but I can’t figure out how.
  • I want to grow my business but it seems like I just stay at this plateau.
  • I want a better relationship but it never seems to work out that way.
  • I hear what you are saying but I can’t do that because…
  • I wish things were different but that’s just the way they are.
  • I would like to do that but I can’t because…

That is an excellent idea but I can’t see how we can do it.

Each day I hear people telling desires for something and then immediately telling me why they can’t get it. Or they express approval of something and then negate the approval in the same sentence.

But” is the little word that causes all of it.

Imagine that you had to get rid of the word but from your vocabulary and you had to find a replacement for it. The sentences above might then become:

  • I want to make more money and I’d like to figure out how to do that.
  • I want to grow my business and I’d like to find a way to get off this plateau.
  • I want a better relationship and I wonder how I can get one.
  • I hear what you are saying I wonder how I can do that.
  • I wish things were different and I want to know how I make them so.
  • I would like to do that and it would be great if I could a way to do it.

That is a great idea and could you help me find a way to make it happen?

Do you feel the difference between the first and second set of statements?

In the “but” statement, there is a finality, a hopelessness. In the “and” statements, there is a sense of looking for an answer and the beginnings of creative stirrings.

But” creates barriers, resistance and obstacles in your mind. “And” creates opportunities, openness and desire for a solution.

As you go along through your week, listen to yourself and others. When you hear “but”, see if you can create a better sentence with “and” instead. As you do this, you will be releasing any feelings of being stuck or blocked and you will begin to develop creative ideas to get you anything you want.

I’ve used this technique with many of my clients and have watched them literally double their income, time off and sense of fulfillment with their businesses. Give it a shot yourself and let me know how many wonderful things begin to flow into your world.

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