We’ve all gotten the apology that is followed with a “but” as in “I’m sorry I did this, but…” and we know how it makes us feel to be on the receiving end of that. Have you thought about how often you use that word in communication with and about yourself?
It seems that the word “but” has taken on a life of its own, one that enables us to live lives of complacency. I hear and have said the following:
“I want to spend more time with the people who matter, but we’re all so busy.”
“I would really like to eat better, but it’s expensive.”
“I would like to work out, but I’m so tired.”
“I want to grow my business, but there’s so much to figure out.”
“I wish I could change careers, but we need the money.”
The word “but” is a finisher; it’s a conversation stopper. We use it as the final authority, as though nobody, especially ourselves, can negate that point or move past it.
I wonder what would happen, though, if we take that word and change it to “and.” The word “and” then becomes a conversation starter. It becomes a point of curiosity and invites the solution to present itself.
“I want to spend more time with the people who matter, and since we’re all so busy we need to plan in advance so we can make sure we don’t neglect each other.”
“I would really like to eat better, and because it can be expensive I am going to look into using seasonal and frozen produce. I may even look into eating less meat and cooking more at home.”
“I would like to work out and I’m so tired. I’ll bet taking a walk outside, especially in the colder weather, would help my energy levels.”
“I want to grow my business and there’s so much to figure out. If I spend even 15 minutes a week researching topics that interest me, by the end of the year I will have researched over 13 hours. I’m pretty sure that’s enough time to figure this out!”
“I wish I could change careers and since right now we need the money that this field offers, I wonder what steps I can reasonably take to begin to transition towards a career that actually makes my heart sing.”
I invite us all, me included, to change our narratives and spend some time listening to our inner wisdom. Journaling helps with this because as we write, we tend to slow down and become more aware of our thought process. I think you’ll be delighted to realize you have more answers that you imagined!