Stop With the “Buts” Already!

Changing the story we tell ourselves


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The secret of getting ahead is getting started - famous American writer Mark Twain quote interpretation with pink notes on vintage carton board

During regular discussions with friends and acquaintances, I often hear things like “I wish I could do something else. Instead of showing up to a boring job every day.”  And I might say “well, why don’t you…” Only to hear “well…” followed by a litany of excuses.

Or I might jump in with a quick suggestion based on my observation of who I think they are. Then they might say, “but…” followed by a long list of self-deprecation and excuses, accompanied by a violent shake of the head.

What I see though in all these “wells” and “buts” is fear. People are scared of change. But more realistically, a single mom would be scared of taking the leap to follow her dream given she is the only one her children has to depend on.

However, by using the word “but” (first) they send up an impenetrable wall – too high to climb and too wide to get around. In other words before the balloon is airborne, the air gets sucked out of it….by a “but”.

So what is your “but”? What is the “reason” you tell yourself you can’t start working on your dreams, your passion, your calling? And I know some of the reasons are legitimate. But by using words like “but” you are telling your brain “no way, forget it, don’t even think about it.”

As a man thinketh…(Proverbs 23:7)

            …Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34)

Your buts then drive your actions. You are paralyzed by fear. Because instead of opening your mind to possibilities you close yourself off to greatness by telling yourself it’s just not possible.

Tony Robbins describes this as our “story”. So what is the story you are telling yourself? What is the story that creates the wall between you and your God-given potential?

It is true that you need your job to support your family. It is true that if you do not work you and your children may not eat or have somewhere to live. But those reasons should be your catalyst to your “why”. In other words, if you can determine why you feel you need to be or do better in life, you will have the motivation you need to move forward with your dreams, desires and goals.

So put the brakes on the “but”. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t leave my job to start a business because…” Start by telling yourself that you will spend 30 minutes each day to researching and taking notes about what you think you want to do.

Action brings momentum.

So pivot.

Take action!

Your actions will tell your brain what to think and do. So start today by reading an article. Or listen to a podcast. Write down what it is you yearn to do. That you can do while remaining in your job.

Start today. Kick the “but”.


Resources to get you started:

The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

Start by Jon Acuff

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey

And if you are still having trouble starting read:

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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